What is competitor analysis, and why do we do it? I’m sure you’ve heard the term, but you may have no idea what you’re meant to do and why are you meant to do it! This blog is going to cover that off.
The definition of competitor analysis
Entrepreneur defines competitor analysis as:
Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service.
Why should we care what our competitors are up to?
Our competitors are competing for the same customer as us. It makes sense that we monitor what they are up to. Ideally, we want to learn their strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and what is working or not working in attracting customers.
However, monitoring and obsessing are not the same things! If you find yourself getting imposter syndrome or find other negative connotations, stop following them.
We never want to copy our competitors, and this is not the intention of the exercise. However, we may gain some inspiration of ideas on conveying a message or methods of marketing we may not have thought of.
How do we identify our competitors?
Competitors are people competing for the same customer sale as us, and you may know who they are. To identify other competitors in the market, and newcomers on the scene, it is a good idea every 3 months or so to do some further structured research.
The simplest way to identify new competitors is to do some keyword searches on Google. See who comes up for the same keywords as you’re targeting.
For instance, if you are an electrician, look up electrician in your area. Also look up any questions people may ask. You may also utilise keyword research tools like the freemium tool Ubersuggest. You can read our blog on Ubersuggest here.
Complete strengths and weakness analysis of our competitors
For the people who seem to be in direct competition with you, or are newcomers in the area, check out their offer. Try to find out things like their pricing and their key messages. Consider what your competitors market and what is obvious to you as their strengths and weaknesses. If you haven’t recently make sure to update your own SWOT Analysis. Our blog and video guide you through completing a SWOT analysis with a twist.
We never use the information gained about competitor weaknesses to talk down about them. Instead, we talk up our strengths in our messaging that we know will combat their weaknesses.
Analyse the competition’s website and social accounts
Apart from this superficial look by observation and actual numbers around pricing, we can also dive into their website and their socials using tools to analyse them. Tools like Ubersuggest mentioned above help with reviewing websites, and we do offer sessions on how to conduct such competitor analysis.
These tools allow us to find how they generate their organic search, and what pages are rating best on their website. Facebook also allows us to check out the ads that our competitor is currently running by going to the page transparency tab on a desktop version of Facebook. From there you can access their ads library. It doesn’t show all the details of the targeting used, but enough to see what type of ads, images and copy they are using.
What do we do with the competitor analysis?
Once you have completed your analysis, the first thing is to make sure our own marketing is up to scratch. Ensure our website has our key messages and key strengths, particularly those that offset their key weaknesses (but don’t call them out). You can plant seeds by mentioning something you’re really good at, because it may cause the prospect to ask the competitor whether they also offer that.
The analysis may trigger us to create content
We may identify some content gaps and want to create additional blogs or videos and add to our own website. It may also trigger us to run Facebook ads or other marketing we had not considered previously.
How often should you update competitor analysis?
This is a tricky question as so many factors will go into this. Complete a competitor analysis when first launching, and then again on a 3-12 month basis. How frequently will depend on your business type, maturity of the industry, size etc.
For additional tips on competitor analysis
We run workshops on market research and competitor analysis to identify how you compare to those in your market. These sessions include access to a competitor analysis template.