Does Your Website Stack Up?
Your website's job is to attract your target audience, convey what your company does, and capture leads you can convert into customers. Because no brand exists in a vacuum, what your competitors are doing can play a big part in how effective your own efforts are. Competitive analysis is an essential preparation step to find out what your business needs to do to stand out among its peers.
This exercise is not just for the big moments, though. Business isn't static, so the way we take care of our business can't be static either. Make it a habit to conduct a competitive analysis on a regular basis as part of a recurring marketing audit—think of it like spring cleaning for your brand.
Who are your competitors?
Identifying your competitors may seem straightforward, but don't skimp on this step—they may not be who you think they are.
Simply put, a competitor is a business that is going after the same target customer you are with a similar offering.
When Roger That conducts a competitive analysis, we ask our clients to identify their top three to five competitors. We also use third-party business insight tools like Owler and Crunchbase to see if they turn up any peers the client isn't already aware of.
Our favorite way to discover competitors, though, is to go straight to the people on the receiving end of the marketing megaphone. Your customers. Ask them who else they considered before buying from you and why they chose you. The answers might surprise you.
How do you measure up?
Once you know who your competitors are, it's time to take a detailed look at their digital presence, starting with their website and social media profiles. The goal is to get a clear comparison of how each business is attracting, capturing lead data, and building relationships with your mutual target audience.
On a website, we look at things like the url, homepage headings and subheads, calls to action, and what keywords the website is ranking for in search engines. For social media, we check which platforms your competition is using, how many followers they have, how fresh the content is, and how much engagement is happening.
A couple of questions get answered very quickly in the data-gathering stage of competitive analysis:
- Is there a strong brand voice in the company's digital presence?
- Is the value proposition clear and consistent across platforms?
From there, the comparison gets more subjective:
- What are they leading with in their value proposition?
- How effective are they at creating relationships with prospective customers?
What do you do about it?
A competitive analysis starts very structured because you're gathering data about your competitors and comparing it to the same information about your own business. But this is where the analysis gets nuanced. What can you learn from the data, and what should you do about it?
When we go through this process with our clients, often we find our client needs be much more clear on who their target audience is. Many businesses define their audience too broadly at first. Describing your best customer in detail and examining competitors' targets and tactics will help you carve out a niche that your brand resonates most effectively with.
You may find your competition uses a more technical voice than their audience uses—or readily understands. In that case, you can stand out by simplifying your brand's language to be more approachable. If your competitors are asking for a big commitment to capture leads, you can lower the barrier to entry by adjusting your own funnel and easing customers into the relationship more gently. Maybe you invite them to sign up for a free demo of your product, for instance, or subscribe to receive marketing emails.
How can Roger That help?
It's natural to have blind spots about your own business and brand. We're all guilty of making assumptions and falling into patterns that don't necessarily serve the customer as well as we could. Regularly analyzing your competition can recenter you.
Partnering with an agency like Roger That brings a honed sense for analyzing the data from your competitive analysis and connecting the dots to make a concrete action plan. Plus, we have the added benefit of fresh eyes and an impartial perspective.
Ready to find out how you stack up against your competition? Schedule a free 20-minute consult call so we can talk about our competitive analysis process!