by The Trilojee Team, posted 1/10/2018
Competition is a word that causes concern for every small business owner and a big fear for every person thinking about starting a business. Competition is something that could throw you out of the market, steal all of your potential customers and something that can slow your momentum. It’s best if you have a positive feeling towards your competitors, because the biggest lessons come from the people with whom you share ideas, markets and common interest.
So, why do we fear competition so much if we can learn from it and embrace the fact that competition can simply add to the fun of your new business and make a great entrepreneur? You can learn so much from the competition, the bars are already set, you just need to set the bar higher and become someone else’s competition. After, you can then share the experience and beauty of owning a small business to other inexperienced business owners.
However, before you consider being someone’s competition, you’ll need to fully understand the existing competition and surpass them in every possible way. A good and thorough competitive analysis can challenge you to be better, bring you closer to your goals, and most importantly, develop a healthy competitive spirit which is crucial when running a business.
Here’re some proven tactics which can help bring your marketing to a whole new level thanks to your competition, so let’s make the most of it:
DO YOU KNOW YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITORS?
If the answer to this question is no, then you haven’t been doing enough homework so this is a good place to start. Thanks to the Internet, you have a lot of valuable information available out there so you need to do is type the right keyword to gain knowledge on the things you are searching for. This type of information should normally be acquired before starting a business. For instance, if you’re a proud owner of a small and creative gift shop, then you need to type “handmade gifts” or maybe “gift shop” will do the trick. In your search you’ll then get the info that can save you a lot of time and money. Open the first 3-5 pages that Google has given you, grab a pen and start writing down all the things that are important to you. How is your competition similar to you? What is the unique feature that will separate you from your biggest competitors? Which is their target audience? Which are their strongest points? The answers to these questions will lead you closer to your potential clients, help clarify how you will differentiate yourself, and help shape your marketing strategies. So, write down your biggest competitors and start digging deeper into their ways of marketing, ways of engaging their customers, and ways of differentiating themselves from the crowd. By the time you finish, you should have a clear list of the competition, how these stores rank for key words on Google, and what stores are buying PPC ads with your keywords.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Now that you have all of the important data written down, you can start researching the most successful tactics and marketing strategies which make your competition relevant. First, check their website or any other social media platform where your competitor is most active. Look for clues and information which will help you step up your game and surpass them. Try to pay good attention to the features listed below:
-Website design and simplicity
-The marketing message (value proposition)
-Important posts with the most engagement
-How they market their product/service
-Other relevant info on their website
Next, write down all the things you liked on these websites, looking at it with the eyes of a potential customer. You should definitely write down the things that they could have done better so you can decide on how you can increase the value you offer. For example:
-Their website is clear, easy to use, but you had difficulties finding a specific item? Then find ways to make it easier for your prospect to find and easily purchase your products.
-Their visitors love their live chat? Then you should definitely consider that and plus you can add a pop-up window for every visiting customer.
-Your competitors are charging for shipping? Or maybe they have a minimum order where they charge for shipping? In this case you can offer free shipping in all cases and normally emphasize this on your homepage.
-What is your competition’s “story”? What is on their “about” page? Your “about” page should be a reflection of your philosophy, your brand and the uniqueness of your product. Try to be honest and relatable when creating your “about” page.
HOW IS YOUR COMPETITION ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS?
The most effective and widely used way to attract customers to your business is by creating a useful and informative blog. Most traffic will come from your blog and it should be created with one purpose only- to bring clients closer to your business in a subtle (non-salesy) way. Your blog will attract your audience if it answers all the questions they may have. Your blog’s goal should be to inform and/or entertain your target audience. For instance, if your shop offers organic products, then add value in your post by sharing the health benefits of organically grown produce. You can also add an article on different ways to prepare delicious dishes using organic products. This kind of relevant information will help bring your audience closer to you and products. Just remember to be unique and memorable!
WHICH IS THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM PREFERENCE?
You can also learn great things about your competition by looking into their social media engagement and activities. First note which social media platform is mostly exploited by your competition and then how their audience is engaged. Finally, notice your potential audience’s reaction to your competitor’s products. What amazes them and drags them to their stores? Is it the price? The convenience? Or maybe it’s the value of the product itself? The research that you’ll do on their social media profiles will give you an accurate insight into your target audience’s preferences. So, you’ll know in the future the audience that you’ll need might be mostly engaged on Facebook for example.
HOW DOES YOUR COMPETITION COLLECT E-MAILS?
E-mail is an old, yet effective marketing strategy to entice your customers in buying your latest releases, remind them of your existing products and most importantly, remind them constantly that you’re here for them. Go to your competitor’s website and sign up for their newsletter or other offer. See the type of info it requires, the type of e-mails they send and how they ask you for your e-mail. Having your own personal mailing contact list is crucial because you have access to all of your existing customers and the potential customers who might be interested. Huge companies never neglect the importance of constantly building their contact list and neither should you. Check what your competition’s been doing when asking for your e-mail and what it has to offer to you as their potential customer.
You can surpass your competition in many ways by taking consideration as well as in practice the abovementioned information. Here’s how:
-Borrow some of your competitor’s social media marketing strategies and see how they work for you.
-Leverage your competitor’s keywords for creating authentic quality content
-Build your website in a way that complements what your competitor’s website is lacking
-Create your pricing by researching your competitor’s price points. Just remember, never underestimate the value of your product or service. Price can create a perception of value!
-Try to reach out to the influencers who promote and advertise your competitors
Your competitors can be the biggest motivation for success. You can easily become someone’s competitor once you manage to surpass your own competition. Never settle and believe in your product, success is just around the corner!
Wishing you much success!