A Beginner's Guide To Competitor Research

Guide To Competitor Research

Competitor research is an essential part of any business's marketing strategy. While it’s a great time to start and grow a business, the competition is more brutal than ever, and failing to know what you’re up against can spell disaster. 

Unfortunately, most companies seldom take competitor research seriously, creating stagnant growth and losing customers.  By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can develop targeted campaigns that will help you gain market share.

What Is Competitor Research?

Competitor research is systematically observing and analyzing what your competitors are doing. It involves collecting data using competitor research tools and sometimes mystery shopping from your competitors. 

You can reverse engineer your competitors' strategies to make them work better for you. Some of the benefits of competitor research and analysis include more:

  • Robust business strategies
  • Bigger market share
  • Fending off other competitors 

This process can also help you understand and strengthen your product or brand’s unique selling proposition since it will help you create a better differentiation from what your competitors are offering. Your competitors' weaknesses can be turned into strengths if you know how to capitalize on them. 

Competitor research also helps you create benchmarks to know if you’re performing well or poorly amongst other industry players. If you constantly know what your competition is doing right, you have a pattern to follow to ensure that you stay relevant to your target market. 

How To Perform Competitor Research

Competitor research may seem to be a daunting task, especially for beginners. However, it's not as difficult as you think. You can start by following these tips:

1. Define Your Goals. 

Knowing your goals will help you focus your time and efforts on productive activities that will yield maximum results. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • What do you want to learn from your competitor's research? 
  • Do you want to check the pricing structure of your competitors? 
  • How much traffic and social media engagement do they drive to their channels?

2. Identify Your Competition.

Benchmark your performance against those of your competitors who are doing well. You should list the five or ten biggest competitors in your field. Categorize them as direct or indirect competitors. Make sure they have established websites and a thriving online presence.

3. Choose Suitable Competitor Research Tools. 

There are a variety of competitor research tools available, from simple Google searches to specialized software programs. Choose the tools that best fit your needs and budget. Some of the standard tools are:

It's not enough to use just any tool. Depending on your goals, pick the right ones to give you the best data. 

3. Collect Data. 

Once you have chosen your tools, it's time to start collecting data on your competitors. Look at their website traffic, social media followers, and customer reviews to get a better understanding of their business.

Some of the data you’d want to collect are keywords they’re ranking for, PPC campaigns, social media following, and content analysis. You can find out how often they post content and what topics they cover. Take a look at their most active social media platforms and observe their posts.

You can also subscribe to their newsletters and find out how they conduct email marketing campaigns. If you’re analyzing pricing and product quality, you can make a purchase or try their sales funnel. 

4. Data Analysis

Once you have collected the data, it's time to analyze it. Look for patterns and trends that can give insights into your competitor's marketing strategy. Exploring the website is the fastest way to gain information about your competitor. 

Look at the things they’re putting on their websites, such as webinars, podcasts, slide decks, FAQs, videos, and more. Check their blog posts and determine their content's quality and publishing frequency. 

5. Create A Plan. 

Develop a plan to improve your marketing strategy based on your findings. This may involve changing your target audience, revamping your website, or launching a new social media campaign.

One way to effectively create a plan is by making a SWOT analysis. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis the opportunities and threats your competitor research revealed. The SWOT analysis can guide you to know what to improve in your business to remain competitive. 

Competitor research doesn’t have to be a complicated task. By following these steps, you can be sure that your exercise will be successful and informative. For more articles about running a competitive business or improving your SEO strategies, check out our blogs at  Blissdrive.

Richard Fong is a highly experienced and successful internet marketer, known for founding Bliss Drive. With over 20 years of online experience, he has earned a prestigious black belt in internet marketing. Richard leads a dedicated team of professionals and prioritizes personalized service, delivering on his promises and providing efficient and affordable solutions to his clients.
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