Competitor Analysis is the research to find and analyze your direct and potential competitors. Along with finding out strengths and weaknesses of your competitors it will help you to watch out for opportunities and threats.
Why do competitor Analysis?
By Doing competitor Analysis you will know where you stand in the market and what your potential competitors are doing online and offline to grow their business. Some of the competitors might be doing something which you have never thought of doing and some of them do exactly what you are doing.
Competitor Analysis will save you a lot of time and money in figuring out which strategies to test and implement, since your competitors have already done the work for you. You can emulate the strategies by putting more creativity and variation in it. You have to be open to all the opportunities that will get you more acquisitions and increase brand awareness.
How to Find and analyze competitors?
Before starting to create a list of your competitors and know what they are doing exactly, you have to get organized by opening up and excel sheet or google document and create a report of complete Analysis which you are going to do.
There are many methods to find competitors but I will list out 5 best methods to do competitor Analysis. You will get the most from these 5 methods than any other method.
1. Start with the problem
Before diving into doing the analysis, you should be clear about what problem is your product or service is solving and for whom
Channel the user and see how do they complain about the problem on google. What specific keywords or phrases would they use when complaining about it online. Write down all the phrases that you can come up with and start googling them by yourself.
- Results of companies that are focussing on that particular phrase for their google Adwords campaign. These are the direct competitors which you can look out for.
- Results of companies that are using similar phrase as their marketing message to be on first page of search engine results via their landing pages and blogs. These can be your direct or potential competitors
- people who are searching about those problems on forums. Most probably this would be in the form of question & answer session where people answer to help others in solving their problem. Here you can find the companies these people are referring to and their opinions on the product or service.
- Other easy or hard alternatives to solve the problem which you are solving.
Using premium tools like keyword spy and spyfu will get the most related and popular keywords/phrases that you may not find by yourself. Investing in premium tools is worth every penny in the beginning stage of marketing. However, you can try google keyword planner and UberSuggest as free alternatives
2. Exploring Online Forums
Exploring online forums where your potential buyers will hang out will give you so much information about your competitors and their performance. There are two types of forums which you should target
3. Monitoring Social Media Channels
Monitoring Social media channels like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube of your top competitors will give you a complete information about what they are up to.
You will know different things like product messaging, press releases, product updates, marketing strategy, Blogs they are posting, events & tradeshows they are attending through their social media channels.
If your competitor is not much into social media then sign-up to their newsletters to follow all their updates.
Product review sites
Product review websites like Yelp, Google reviews, and other niche sites will also help you get more information about your competitors along with social media channels.
4. Asking Customers
Your own customer’s feedback is a valuable asset.
Get feedback from New, existing, and previous customers who used your product.
Ask your new customers what made them switch to you from their previous service provider and what they are lacking. You can ask other questions like How did they get to know about you and what single feature of your product is solving majority of their problem.
Similarly, ask questions to the customers who don’t want to use your product or service anymore and switching to other products. Ask them why they are switching to other products and what is the problem that you are not able to solve.
The feedback will give you much deeper insights about your own product as well as your competitor’s.
5. Google what your product does
Google exactly what your product does and the features of your product. This will produce 4 different types of results similar to method-1.
This way you will find direct and potential customers who are doing exactly what you do with similar features/services
Additional Resources to do Competitor Analysis
- Seo SERP: SEO SERP is a chrome extension which will quickly check the position of any website(your’s or your competitor’s) for a particular keyword.
- Similarweb.com: SimilarWeb is a freemium tool which provides complete analytics like Traffic overview, referring sites, and organic & paid keywords of your competitors website. One can get most of the information using Free plan.
- Google similar pages: Google Similar Pages is a chrome extension which shows many different pages similar to the page your are surfing. This will help you in quickly finding out
- Google Alerts: Google alerts is the service offered by Google itself. One can set up alert to track a particular keyword or Brand name consistently. This way you can have up to date information about your competitors.