Let’s face it, knowing your competition like the back of your hand is crucial. It allows you to devise a better online marketing strategy and actually improve your own standing.
Many online marketers tend to ignore competitive intelligence and miss out on ideas they could have adopted themselves. It always makes sense to understand what your competitors are doing so that you can do it better or at least do something similar.
Spying on your competition online doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s will help you get better returns on your investments in the long run – regardless of what you’re selling. So how do you really go about the competitor spying game?
In the following article we talk about a few things you can do to successfully do a background check on your competition.
#1: Begin with their Website
The first place that you start your little research is your competitors website. This is where you’ll find how professional they are, what kind of content they have and if they’re doing anything smart that you can add to your own site.
For example, you can analyze how they are serving their customers and if they are using any new ideas to serve them better. If you see something unique or creative, you can steal the idea and customize it for your own site. But make sure you aren’t blatantly copying anything – be original in your approach.
#2: Study their Blog’s Content
If your competitor has a blog then it’s an opportunity to learn about their content marketing strategy. Start off by subscribing to their RSS feed so that you can be regularly updated.
What you basically want to look into is how engaging their blog is and what they’re doing to differentiate themselves from others. Is the blog getting enough positive comments? How actively new posts are made on the blog? Does it have a strong readership and the required stickiness?
If you wish, you can even join the conversation with a nickname to see how they are interacting with the readers. The idea is to watch and learn so that you can get a thorough understanding of their blog.
#3: Look into their Social Media Activity
How active are they on social media? How are they using Twitter and Facebook to build and nurture relationships? What tactics are they using to leverage social media to the maximum?
There’s a lot of experimenting that you can do with social media to grow your online presence. By spying your competition, you’ll know what they are missing out on or what you can do better than them in terms of creating an engaging fanbase.
Don’t just limit yourself to Twitter and Facebook. Go beyond that and see how your competition is using other social media sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Foursquare. Remember, if you want to dominate the social media scene then you will have to do something radically different from your competition.
What do you do to effectively spy and learn from your competition? Do share your experience in the comments section below!