“Competition” is an aggressive word we usually associate with the idea of battling it out against other people in order to win the prize. In the business world, those other people are business in your industry with similar products or services, and the prize is ultimately winning the customer or client’s business. Finding ways to learn from your competition might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s a valuable tactic to use to better grow your business. Based on our experience, here are 8 valuable lessons you can learn from your competition:
- New marketing tips and tricks. There are always new ideas surfacing on how to better utilize social media and your web presence to reach a bigger audience and gain more clients. Observing how your competition utilizes new platforms or methods first of all can tip you off to cutting-edge ways to reach people, but also gives you the benefit of sitting back and watching for a while to first see how effective a new strategy is before you sink resources into implementing it yourself.
- Better SEO strategies. Similarly, using tools like SpyFu allows you insight on what keywords your competitors are successfully using. This tool (and others like it) will show you the keywords a certain website is targeting, and how well it’s working. This is invaluable information you can learn from your competition to keep your content marketing strategy relevant and timely.
- How to improve your products and services. Stay abreast of new products, services, and price points offered by your competition. You don’t have to copy everything they do (nor should you), but sometimes you will find it necessary to adjust your strategy so you don’t get left behind in the dust.
- How to make customers and clients happier. Reading reviews on a company’s products or services will give you insight into whether needs are being met effectively. Digging into why are (or are not) satisfied with a company will reveal gaps in the market you can emphasize your ability to fill.
- See opportunities in the market. Who is your competition targeting? Have they started reaching out to a yet-untapped demographic? Find out how those efforts are panning out, and consider exploring the option for yourself. Look at where other companies are advertising as well, using the placement of their campaigns as idea-generators for your own.
- Get a better idea on pricing. This is a huge one. The vast majority of people shop (whether for a product or service) based on the best deal they can find. Quality of those products and services does influence the decision, but for many consumers, the decision will come down to the price point. Learn from your competition to stay informed on what your competitors are charging for similar products and services, and realize you may have to tweak your own pricing accordingly.
- How to engage with your audience better. Pay attention to how your competition communicates with people, especially on social media. Monitoring their social profiles will not only help you improve your own social communication, but will also give you a feel for customer satisfaction.
What makes your business blueprint different. Just because you share space in the same industry doesn’t mean you and your competitors are identical. In fact, examining the competition more closely can help you better articulate why your company stands out from the crowd or appeals to a subset of the target market. This information can really help you define who you exact target is, and refine how you communicate to them.
Your competition isn’t anything to be threatened by. In fact, they can really become one of the greatest sources of insight you have into your industry and your audience. Learn from your competition instead of focusing on competing with or eliminating them.
What are valuable lessons you have learned from your competitors? How do you keep track of them? Let us know in the comments!
Dig Deeper: Find out how to work with your competition instead of eliminating them