Keeping Up With The Competition
Running a business is hard work. Team members usually put in their best work making your company as successful as they can. Keeping an eye on your competition can be something that falls behind on your priority list as you are busy putting in effort to improve your own company, but it is very important to keep up with. Knowing what your competitors are up to allows you to gauge where you stand within your industry and helps you stay one step ahead. Here are some ways that you can get started.
Determine Your Competition:
In order to monitor your competition, you first need to know who you’re competing with. Use a website like SpyFu to determine top companies in your industry that are similar in size, product, and target audience. Then determine if they are direct or indirect.
Direct competitors are the more obvious ones- these are your competitors that offer the same products or services as you, and are about the same size. Some examples of direct competitors would be McDonald’s and Burger King, or Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Indirect competitors are less obvious- they are similar in size and offer a product close to what you sell, but not quite. An example of indirect competitors would be Target and Wal-Mart. Although indirect competitors do not seem as threatening to your sales as direct competitors, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on them.
Monitor Social Media:
This is one of the easiest ways to keep tabs on your competition. Checking out their social pages is more than just quickly popping on their Facebook to see what they are up to. When you look at their pages, you should leave with key takeaways about what they are doing well, and what they are not. Start with seeing what social media channels they are on. If most of your competitors are on a certain channel and you are not, consider creating an account. If you find a channel that not a lot of your competitors are on, but you think you could create quality content for it, it is still worth considering making an account.
While monitoring their social media, take note of things like how often they post, and if they are engaging with their customers. Businesses that post good content consistently will build up a following and brand loyalty, so make sure they are not getting too far ahead of you. Additionally, Facebook has an “Insights” tab where you can compare your Facebook page to those of a few of your top competitors.
Check Their Reviews:
One of the easiest ways to monitor your competitors is by doing a quick Google search and seeing what people are saying about them. Use a social mention website such as BrandMentions to quickly search and see where their names are being mentioned. Take note of the issues that people have had with them so that you can ensure you are not making the same mistakes.
Keeping up competitive analysis is crucial if you want to be at the top of your field. Although it can be time-consuming, the benefits outweigh the time you’ll be spending researching your competition. Fully understanding where you rank will help your company reach its full potential.