How To Do An Effective Competitor Analysis

It’s always imperative for a business to stay one step ahead of their competition. If you’re a newcomer to your business’s respective industry, however, accomplishing this feat can be pretty difficult. How do you learn about your competitors? Where do you start? Thankfully, there’s a complex yet thorough way to analyze your competitors on an […]

It’s always imperative for a business to stay one step ahead of their competition. If you’re a newcomer to your business’s respective industry, however, accomplishing this feat can be pretty difficult. How do you learn about your competitors? Where do you start? Thankfully, there’s a complex yet thorough way to analyze your competitors on an ongoing basis.

Through a method known as a competitor analysis (also called competitive analysis), you can monitor your competitor’s behavior, allowing you to predict their actions so that your business always comes out on top. As Christine White from Hubspot writes, “a competitive analysis helps you learn the ins and outs of how your competition works. It also helps you identify what they’re doing right and opportunities where you can easily one-up them by using a strategy they haven’t taken advantage of.”

A competitor analysis is complex as it involves a whole net of key information, procedures, and metrics. Of course, some pieces of information you collect through your analysis will be more important than others. We recommend performing a thorough competitor analysis to increase its effectiveness.

In this blog, we discuss what makes an effective competitor analysis that can help your brand grow.

What is a competitor analysis?

A competitor analysis is a strategy that identifies your main competitors and their individual strategies for their products, sales, and marketing. It is a highly effective strategy that many companies use for their marketing efforts. For instance, Crayon, a research firm based in Boston, reports that 41% of business professionals “strongly agree” that competitive intelligence is critical to their company’s success. Therefore, it is important to consider creating an effective competitor analysis that allows you to view your competitor’s strategies so that you find new strategic opportunities for your business.

How do you perform a competitor analysis?

Performing a competitor analysis involves a number of careful steps that completely takes into account your competitor’s behavior, content, and other vital information. Be sure to use the following tips as a blueprint for your own analysis.

Start with searching for your competitors.

Do you know who your key competitors are? If not, it’s an essential first step to every competitor analysis. There are various ways to identify your main competitors in your industry, but you should start by considering your own business first. For example, if you sell online products or services, you are competing with hundreds of similar businesses. The same goes if your business is local or international—you will have hundreds of companies going after similar goals and leads. 

To identify your competitors, your best resource is Google. Start by searching for the type of service or product you produce, your business name, or business ideas and continue from there. Once you have a list of businesses that serve as your competitors, you can explore their website content, social media channels, news mentions, customer reviews, and other information based on their online presence. 

Your main objective is to create a large net of your direct competitors and learn about them through a comprehensive lens.

1.Organize your competitors.

When it comes to your competitors, it’s important to organize them into categories so that they’re easy to identify. In your competitor group, there are primary, secondary, and tertiary competitors. 

  • Primary competitors. These companies are your competitors on a local level. This means they offer the same or similar services and products as your respective business in the same location, and target your audience for their needs.
  • Secondary competitors. Secondary competitors are similar to primary competitors—they offer the same or similar products and services as your company in the same geographical area. Unlike primary competitors, however, these competitors are serving a vastly different need or targeting a separate audience from your own. 

If you sell beer, for instance, your product may be stocked in supermarkets and liquor stores on a local and national level. Your secondary competitor would likely be a company that sells wine, which is sold in a similar location but has a different target audience with some overlap.

Tertiary competitors. A third type of competitor is a company that sells a product or service that’s vaguely similar to yours but isn’t a direct competitor like the previous categories. It’s important to identify these types of competitors as they can easily become primary and secondary competitors in the future. Keep an eye out on them to anticipate any big changes or developments that could occur on their end. 

2. Review what products competitors offer.

After you’ve researched and organized your competitors, you’ll need to analyze your competitor’s products and services. Take note of their current product and service line, including the quality of what they’re offering. You should also check the pricing of each product and any discounts or product deals they offer to customers. Other things you should consider are the characteristics of their customers, their pricing strategies for online products and services, and the format they use to distribute their products and services.

3. Analyze how your competitors market their products.

Once you review your competitor’s products, it’s time to figure out how they market their products to their audience. Start by analyzing their website. We don’t necessarily mean reviewing their website’s design and layout (although these features are also important to marketing efforts). What type of content are your competitors putting out as part of their marketing strategy? Do they have a blog? Whitepapers or ebooks? What visual content are they including on their website? You should also observe their content for podcasts, webinars, and FAQs section and compare these pieces of content to your own. 

4. Take note of your competition’s content strategy.

Next, take a look at how much your competitors produce each type of content. For example, are your competitors producing hundreds of blog posts or just a few small periodically? You must also determine the frequency at which your competitors are publishing content, is it weekly or monthly? We also recommend analyzing the topics your competitors are discussing in their blog posts, ebooks, and white papers as it provides you with an idea of what your target audience may be interested in. Doing so will also give you an idea on how your competitors are crafting their lead generation strategies.

After you note your competitor’s content strategy, you should evaluate the quality of the content they produce. For example, if the quality of their content is noticeably lacking, their blog posts won’t provide much value to their audience. This makes it less likely for them to convert. Pick out a small quantity of content to review that covers a variety of different topics. When analyzing your competitor’s content, make sure to look into its accuracy, tone, details, visuals (infographics, images, and illustrations), and even spelling and grammar errors. All of these items can affect each piece of content’s effectiveness. This information allows you to determine what works and what doesn’t for your own business, leading you to create content that engages your audience. 

How does your business compare?

You might feel a bit overwhelmed with all the crucial information you collected about your competitors. What’s important is establishing a baseline and considering your business as a whole. This includes reviewing sales and marketing efforts through the same methods used to evaluate your competitors. Jot down this information and use it as your baseline for an accurate comparison. Be sure to look and organize each area in order of importance to your business objectives. For example, you may be focused on a specific competitor and their strengths. You can also use your competitor analysis for ideas on how to successfully break into your industry. 

It may take a few tries before you can create a competitor analysis that works for your business needs and goals. With enough practice and time, you will be able to gather information about your competitors that’ll help you stay on top of your industry. Make sure to start with research that is already available to you. After that, plan out how you and your team can go above and beyond in creating strategies that sets your business apart from the competition. 

If you would like to convert visitors to your website, the best way to start is with a landing page that sells! Check out our blog, What is a Landing Page? to learn more.