Any business that wants to find their unique position in the marketplace should be analysing their competition. You can bet that they will be doing the same to your business, so making sure you have a strong understanding of what they are doing will stand you in good stead as you look to grow.
Not performed competitor analysis before and are unsure where to start? Then check out a few short tips on how to get started:
1. Identify the Competition
Do you know your true competition? Sure, you might think you have an idea of your direct competitors right now, but do you know about smaller companies that could become a threat sooner than you think?
You need to identify as many competitors as possible. These are companies that offer similar services and products that yours does. You need to come up with as comprehensive a list as possible. In particular, target acquiring at least 4 or 5 of your biggest competitors.
2. Use Online Tools to Learn Competitors Strategies
There are some great online tools that you can use to learn about the strategies that your competitors are using. In fact, a lot of information can be found without any tools. You can just visit their websites; go through them to see the products/services they are offering and check out their social media profiles to see the type of content they share with their followers.
SEMRush, Moz Pro, Ahrefs and SpyFu are some of the best tools that you can use to spy on what your competitors are doing. You can learn about the keywords they are targeting; which pages get the most views and the backlinks that they have acquired to rank their website.
3. Compare your Competition
Once you have compiled a list of your competitors and have analysed their websites to understand their strategies, you should then compare them against each other. List what each does differently, how they engage with their audience, and anything else of note. You can then compare your own business against each of them in the same way. For local results, use software with geographical servers and encrypted connections.
4. Do a SWOT Analysis
Now that you have a better understanding of your main competitors, you need to look internally at your own business. A SWOT analysis will allow you to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats your business has.
Performing this analysis will allow you to learn where your business performs well, not so well, and where there might be some opportunities and threats to be aware of. You can then form a plan on improving the poor areas, enhancing your strengths and so on.
5. Establish Your Unique Market Position
With all the above complete, you should now be in a position to understand where your business can find a unique market position. You know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and what your business has to do better to beat them off.
Perhaps you have learned that you can be them in terms of price, or by enhancing your social media presence. Maybe there is an angle to have a stronger focus on customer service or a better moral compass. If you dig deep enough, you will find a space that you can use to differentiate your business from all your main competitors.
Putting all your efforts into what your company is worth doing while ignoring your competitors is a risky game to play. You need to be one step ahead or at the very least, on top of what they are doing that could prove damaging to your space in the marketplace. By performing competitive analysis, you can understand more about your competition and what you can do to put your business ahead of it.