Competitive drive is an essential component of any success story. If it doesn’t come in your way, how will one derive experience and lessons? It is the need to do better and better than your competitors that keeps everyone at the top of their game. Those who claim that they don’t live for competition are only trying to hide behind a smokescreen of make-believe lies.
Startups always research ahead of time on how their fellow-organisations must have set themselves up and established as big brands. One such aspect of making it big in any industry depends largely on digital marketing. While some climb the ladder of success real fast, some wonder what they might be doing wrong. Perhaps you aren’t nailing the digital marketing concept right? Let’s take a quick look at what your competitors can possibly teach you about digital marketing.
1. Reputation – How does the market perceive them and how do they respond to customers?
These are a few things you may want to research about your competition. What is the general verdict about competitors and their products. If they are highly rated in their business service or for customer service, then it’s time you take cues from them. It’s also important to know how they respond to online feedback. Take notes on how they typically reply to comments – both positive and negative.
2.What type of content are they posting on social media?
Comparison of social media pages will throw light upon what you’re missing and what they’re doing best. Which demographic of audience are they targeting and what kind of information do they provide, which will give you a fair understanding of how to engage with customers.
3. Which digital channels are competitors using to reach viewers or customers?
Social Media is a wide spectrum of services now. There are so many news avenues (Snapchat, Instagram, etc.) in addition to the old ones (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter); the need has risen to dedicate resources only for creating and posting content on them. Is your competitor making YouTube videos? Is the brand active on Instagram? How many followers do they have? Do they tweet as a company?
4. Fan Following – Who do they follow?
Everyone has inspirations and interests. Just as you are taking inspiration from your competitor, so are they. It is a good idea to look at who inspires them or who they are following on social media accounts. This will also act as a reference for your motivation. Also by following them you get an added advantage of inside industry access.
5. What kind of website do they have?
Get a tour of their website. This is a great insight into their taste, products and how they wish their customers to perceive their brand. If you’re trying to figure out why customers are hitting their web pages more is probably because of the layout, the ease of navigation, clean product/service/content/information display and perhaps a minimalistic design?
6. What is their Company Culture?
Looking into a competitor’s company culture is important to learn how they are creating a “good work-life” balance for their employees. A happy team is loyal, generates more ideas and invariably contributes to individual as well as holistic growth of the organisation.
7. What to say on social media?
This is a great learning curve, even with what not to post on social media. Curating the best content for your website is a given, but what not to say is also an art. You can look for signals that indicate what customers are asking them on social media, how frequently they are issuing offers/newsletters, etc. Make smart use of your competitor’s shortcomings to be proactive and post relevant data on your networks.
8. Can you reuse the content in an original way?
Creating worthwhile content takes a lot of research, time and effort. Looking at your competitor’s content can be a potential roadmap for your digital marketing journey. Even if you are trying to showcase similar content, let it be original and convey your own unique message. The keyword here is “similar” not “same”.
9. What changes are your competitors making?
Every business wants a large share of the profits-pie. Branding change is sometimes the biggest marketing strategy. Keep a sharp eye on the changes they are making to their brand/ products or services. It could be even anything as simple as their logo. Then again, check consistently if they have started out with a new social media platform, have they changed their blog layout, etc.
10. What have we learnt from the competition?
There is really nothing like one-size-fits all digital marketing strategy for every business. But perhaps what you can learn from pioneers and successful businesses is how they have turned failures into success, what they do better than others and how they have identified what does not work for them.
Just because someone is your competition, doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them. Haven’t you heard, keep friends close and enemies closer?