You should always know what your competitors are doing if you want to stay truly competitive within the market. If you sell soap, you better know what scents your competitors use, who they market to, and how they reach your customers. It’s not that you want to mimic their efforts, you simply need to know what’s going on. Use these steps to keep an eye on what’s going on with your competitors in the marketplace.
Step 1. Read through their website
You can get a lot of information about your competitors from their website, so make sure to take a regular look. Who do they market to? Do they talk about their company as an I, Us, or The Company? Do they post regularly to their website’s blog? Use their website to see how they present themselves to customers.
Step 2. Signup for their newsletters and freebies
While you’re on their website, go ahead and sign up for their email newsletter. If they send out a freebie, such as a free guide, get one and read it. In many cases, companies give the illusion that they have a newsletter even if they don’t have time to write one and send it out. Some companies use automated marketing funnels after you sign up. All you need to do is sign up for their free newsletter to know. If they send out a regular newsletter, you can find out about their specials and promotions.
Step 3. See what websites they advertise on
Most companies advertise on other websites to drive traffic to their own site. See what websites they advertise on. What does this say about their target market? How do they portray themselves?
Step 4. Do a quick Google search
When you do a Google search, you can see if they come up in results or if they pay for Google AdWords. (Hint: It says “Ad” next to the ones they pay for). Search their company name and see what comes up. Search relevant terms for your industry with your city and see what comes up. You might find that customer reviews come up before anything the company puts out about themselves. What do their customers say? We find that Triassic Media Group is referenced a lot in conversations on message boards and not review sites. When we ask our clients how they found out about us (which you should always do), they often say that someone recommended us on a message board. For this reason, it’s worth doing a thorough search to see where else your competitors are.
Step 5. Talk to them and create partnerships
Do not let competition keep you from becoming strategic partners with your competitors. At Triassic Media Group, our most prolific clients were once our “competitors.” Once we talked to them, we realized that we are positioned in the market differently and didn’t work with the same types of clients at all. We refer clients to each other that offer better fits.
For instance, we’re friendly with a few web developers. We offer website packages, too, right? Yes, but Triassic Media Group works with the copy and marketing, first and foremost. We use templates we can modify and that work for most businesses. We write all of the content, set up free-forever email hosting, write newsletters, and list our clients on reputable directories. We only work with other businesses, so someone starting their own blog about genealogy would not be interested in our services. Maybe they want a custom site they want to write the content for, with interactive elements such as a large, clickable tree. We’d refer this to the right web development guy because we’re the wrong fit.
Each business is different. Just because your competitors use a certain marketing strategy, it doesn’t mean that your business would benefit from the same or that it’s really working for your competitors. That’s why it’s important to test any new marketing strategy to determine whether or not it works for your business. If you need help creating a winning marketing strategy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help.