It’s wonderful that you believe in your product or service, and you’re confident of your expertise in delivering solutions that benefit customers. But customers are continually judging you against the competition, and wouldn’t hesitate to ignore you if they sense a superior product elsewhere.
It’s high time you learned a little bit more about the way competing products are marketed. If you did that, you’d probably learn a lot about yourself and rediscover your unique identity.
SEO experts at Miromind and Spiralytics can handhold you through the process of building the edifice of B2B competitive analysis. Consider yourself weaponized with a strategic marketing tool that provides the forward momentum for steady, sustainable growth.
Analyze how competitors address customer pain points
Customers have a zillion pain points begging for answers. Initiate an online conversational search posing questions that concern your niche audience and analyze how the competition addresses customer issues.
You may notice that companies exhibiting a solution-oriented approach are more likely to be rewarded with customer loyalty. Lookout for competitor attributes that could be game-changing for your company:
- Unique value-added propositions boost the competitor’s sales initiative.
- A straightforward tone of communication permeates the sales copy, landing pages, and blogs.
- The competitor’s culture, it’s intrinsic values, it’s overall mission is customer-centric and loyalty-inspiring.
- Branding is evocative, visual identification is clearcut, and imagery is appealing to the customers that make up your niche segment.
Assess the technicalities powering superior web presence
Once you’re familiar with the background and branding of your closest competitors, it’s time to probe what makes their websites tick.
Browse a competitor’s website in the manner of an unbiased customer researching information before deciding on a product. Assess and rank each website on the following criteria:
- Is the site informative? How effectively does the website address the pain points of the customer? In comparing the desktop website and its mobile version, what is your first impression?
- Do you know immediately what the website intends to do?
- Can you figure out instantly how the pain point can be resolved, and navigate with minimum discomfort to the solution?
- How effectively does the graphic design set the tone and project the brand, styling, and identity of the competitor?
- Is the page load time immaculate, reasonably good, or frustrating?
Probe the competitor’s positives and negatives
Your perception of what makes you unique and different changes when you probe the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. Competitive analysis unearths the niche areas and exceptional features that strengthen your uniqueness and elevate you in your field.
There are simple low-cost techniques that get you the desired information on competitors.
- LinkedIn data gives you a better understanding of the company’s skill profile.
- The Better Business Bureau gives you insights regarding the ranking of the company and its success in dispute resolution.
- PRWeb provides unique yet straightforward tools that help you find out how other companies are targeting niche audiences. You’ll know if any competitor offers features with better value for money.
- Scouting the Trade Shows brings you face to face with the competitor’s booth and how it molds public perception regarding its product.
The channels for information gathering are in plain sight, but what exactly are you researching? Here are four fundamental factors that give you a better perspective on any company’s strengths and weaknesses as compared to your own:
- Reputation: How does the public (meaning consumers) responding to the company's pitch? Would you say the company has a sound reputation?
- Revenue: How are sales compared year on year? Is it a boom or bust scenario, or is the business growing steadily?
- Resources: What is the hiring policy? What are the critical skill profiles that are gaining traction with competitors?
- Release schedules: How often does the company release its software updates or patches? In which cycle do the significant upgrades come?
The answers to these questions make you more aware of what it takes to improve your stability, strengthen your presence, and mark you out as something unique and different from the competition. In short, this is basic research that pays off handsomely in the long-term.
Study what competitors are saying and how good they are at saying it
High-quality content and excellent copywriting skills help businesses define the brand’s image and reputation among consumers. That being the case, you owe it to yourself to find out what the competition is saying, and how they’re saying things differently to drive traffic to their websites.
We’re at the most critical stage of competitive analysis, so please ensure you have three areas thoroughly researched:
The Content Optimization Race: How optimized is the content? In the bid to attract consumers and improve conversions, how effectively is the content optimized to project the usefulness of products?
The Direct Competitive Threat: When products or services are basically the same, it’s an uphill task to project uniqueness. Analyze competitive web pages and contrast how they’re using content to outrank you on feature comparisons, pricing packages, and consumer-friendliness.
The Inbound Marketing Strategy: With consumers tiring of aggressive and invasive marketing spiels, businesses are busy making targeted offers to the demographic asking for specific information. Evaluate how successful competitors are in mixing free, paid, or gated content (that which is offered in exchange for information such as email addresses).
Search Engine Optimization and Marketing: Keeping tabs on the competition through web analytics
Far from fearing competition, you should be elated that there are methods out there that genuinely work, and you could emulate these strategies to improve business.
Some tools give you a comprehensive overview of online brands. These tools extend their reach to news aggregation platforms, blogs, community forums, and websites where you can tune into the conversation surrounding your product. You’ll know what's trending, which pain points are getting maximum traction, what influencers are saying, and how consumers are rating or ranking services.
Touted as the best SEO competitor analysis tool in the market, SEMRush catapults competitive analysis to a whole new level with the ability to analyze billions of keywords and trillions of backlinks.
Through a single digital platform, you’d be the lord and master of five areas of competitive concern:
- Organic keywords: Which are the top five consumer keywords registering the highest search volume and cost-per-click (CPC)?
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) competitor analysis: Zeroing in on the creative messaging and targeting options used by the competition should help you in doing your own PPC performance audit.
- Monthly Ad spends, and transaction cost: Find out the competitor’s monthly ad spend on PPC campaigns. Sustained PPC campaigns indicate that the company is notching up a healthy return on investment and converting customers regularly.
- PPC keywords searches: Before positioning your keywords in paid searches, make sure you’re not missing out any of the most profitable competitor’s keywords.
- Ad copy and formatting: Reviewing your competitors’ landing pages helps you key in on the content used to highlight products or services, the special offers that target paid search visitors, and the way people are inspired to contact the company.
Keeping abreast of what consumers are saying about competitors
An effective business strategy is to keep an ear to the ground, monitoring what consumers are saying about your competitors.
It’s as easy as setting up an email alert to stay updated on competitor business moves. Using Google alerts, for example, you could set up different threads to measure how frequently blogs are posted, how often social media reviews are generated, and when new backlinks are generated.
You can customize the frequency of the alerts, define the sources, and improve the scope and ambit of the results.
Competitive analysis is a critical strategic initiative that businesses ignore only at their peril. It’s the kind of research that one does before conceptualizing, processing, and delivering the product.
Your ability to benchmark your product depends on your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. Knowledge of the competitor benefits every employee, not just the production controller.
Become successful in positioning your services in the market by leveraging your intimate knowledge of competitive product strategies. Shore up the flexibility with which you adapt products and services to changing market perceptions.