Fifty years ago, if you wanted to reach a broad audience, you needed a huge budget. The best options were the TV and newspaper ads. They were not only costly but not particularly effective. Even with a massive advertising investment, there was no way of knowing what worked and what didn’t.
But the internet changed all that. It’s now possible to tune your exact demographics not only to reach a large number of people but the right ones too.
Competitor research helps you build on these successes to take your marketing to the next level. You use it to see what works and what doesn’t for your competitors, helping your company stay ahead of the pack.
If you’re ready to take your marketing strategies to the next level, then check out these five ways to improve your competitor research.
Use a VPN to Analyze Competitor SEO
The first step to success is knowing who’s getting the first-page result for your targeted area. It will help you see the SEO strategies they use and their effects. With a VPN, you can change your virtual location to get organic search engine results for different markets on any search engine.
And since VPNs anonymize your IP address, you can do this research without alerting the competition. It’s a total win-win. And the best part is, that’s only the bonus part of using a VPN as it has many other privacy and security benefits for any company. Be sure to use an enterprise-grade VPN like NordLayer to reap them all.
Search Engine Marketing
Using Google Ads results in 150% more conversions compared to organic search results. The result is that businesses can make an average of $2 or more on every dollar of ad spend.
Paid search ads are great, but they don’t come cheap. Before you jump into a bidding war, you’re better off knowing what’s working in your target location. It is another area where you can benefit from a VPN.
With a VPN, you can see who’s bidding on the top spot. Also, it gives you a preview of ad copy to get a better sense of market potential and the investment you have to make.
Dive into Their Social Media
In the digital marketing world, there’s always debate about whether social media or search is more effective. Naturally, the answer is both. Once you’ve done your search research, move to social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Take time to see not only the types of content your competitor uses but how they interact with customers and how they collect customer feedback. Don’t get distracted by numbers such as shares or likes. Instead, find clues on how competitors move from engagement to conversion.
Surveys may be one of the sample market research methods. But they’re still useful and free. Take time to interact with customers, websites, and social users. Also, don’t forget about your employees and suppliers. It all helps to discover more about the competition.
Provide opportunities for them to discuss their experience, not just with you, but also with your competitors. It will reveal potential issues within your operation that you need to resolve as soon as possible. Also, it can help you chart new opportunities.
Take time to reach out to a few survey participants to get more detail via email or a phone call. Even if you do it for only 5-6 customers, you can get a much better impression of your target market.
Try Out Things for Yourself
Put yourself into the shoes of the consumer. Sign up for an email newsletter, follow social media accounts, and buy a product through one of their channels. It will give you first-hand experience of the competitor’s customer experience.
Pay attention to critical details:
- eCommerce platforms,
- follow-up support,
- other areas where they provide adequate or inadequate assistance.
It’s easy to evaluate them as a competitor when you do this. It doesn’t matter if you have a better product, service team, or anything else.
Put aside your pride and analyze the different aspects of the sales experience. Start from the beginning of the customer engagement. Go through the onboarding process and follow-up to see what’s driving your competitor’s success.
Test New Strategies and See What Works
Now that you’ve collected this heap of research and analysis try some new strategies for yourself. Take advantage of split testing, promotions, and other techniques. Check how new approaches work on different segments of your audience.
There’s no one size fits all approach. You might be surprised. The same proven competitor strategies may not work for your audience, while others may achieve explosive success. Be always ready to refine your approach and continue conducting competitor analysis. Then you’ll discover the strategies needed for your business to thrive.