Staying ahead of the competition is key to growing your business but do you know what your competitors are up to with their online marketing strategy? Are they stealing a march on your product/service offering and potentially taking traffic and sales away from you?
If you can afford to let them do this then this post isn’t for you, but if you’d like to get an idea of what your competitors are doing online then read on below and we’ll help you with three quick, easy and free ways to get an insight into what they’re doing with their digital strategy.
1. What Does Their Website Tell You?
Your competitor’s got a website, right? How often do you visit it and actually read what they are saying? Off the top of your head could you list their Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)? If the answer is no then perhaps you might want to take another visit and make some notes.
- Are they promoting any offers or discounts?
- Do they offer a quick turn around or delivery option?
- Is their product or service superior in some way to what you offer?
If you remove your business hat for a second and visit their website with the mindset that you are a customer looking to purchase the product or service that they offer then you could really learn a lot about what they are doing.
Once you identify what it is that your competitor is offering you can really start to evaluate your proposition and how it compares. Being involved in that product or service can often leave you with rose-tinted glasses about why someone should buy from you as opposed to your competitor, looking at this subjectively could give you a new perspective and potentially ideas about how you can improve your online offering (and ultimately your bottom line!).
2. Subscribe to their newsletter
While you’re taking that visit to your competitor’s website have a little look around and see if they offer a newsletter that you can subscribe to (most businesses that have a regular newsletter usually put a sign-up box at the very bottom of the website). If they do, pop your email address in and let them tell you how their business is going every month.
Many businesses look to promote offers, give company updates, and tell you their latest news and do this on a monthly basis. You can take advantage of this information by subscribing to their newsletter and just having a little look every month to see what they are up to.
PRO TIP: If you are a direct competitor you might want to think about using a non-company related email address when subscribing, that way it’s harder for them to identify and stop you from receiving communications.
3. Check out what they’re advertising on Facebook
Social media marketing is big business and if you know your target audience is on Facebook and you think your competitors are advertising then you can easily identify exactly what they’re doing.
In recent years Facebook has tried to take a more transparent approach to its advertising and one of these ways is to allow anyone to view if a particular business page is running social media adverts. It’s really simple to find out and could help you see if there are any particular products or services that your competitor is promoting currently.
To find out, simply head to Facebook and search for the business page you’d like to review. When you’re there scroll down the main page until you see a box that says “Page transparency”
Click on the “See all” button on the top right. A new box will appear; if you scroll to the bottom of that and see the following message:
You’ll know that they are running ads. If this message doesn’t appear then they aren’t advertising on this platform at this moment in time. If you see this message simply click the “Go to Ad Library” button and you’ll be able to see all the adverts that are currently live from that business page.
Note: You can’t see audience details about who is being targeted, but this will give you an idea of the products and services that are currently being advertised.
These are just three quick ways you can see what your competitors are up to. Of course, if you want a more in-depth look at what they are doing and how they are operating then you might need to make a little investment in some specialist tools, or employ an objective third party who can help analyse the situation and realise some potential opportunities for you.
At Miromedia we regularly conduct competitor research for all the client campaigns we are responsible for ensuring that our clients always have that competitive advantage. If you’d like to know more about the competitor research that we do then please contact us on 01926 358 200 and speak to one of our team today.