No matter are you starting a new business, or you already have established one. Competitive research is a must! Everyone has some “mortal enemies” and “desirable customers.” In this article, you will learn:
- How to do your Competitive research
- How to monitor your competitors on the Web
- How to get the desired customers
- How to beat your competition
So, come on, my dear Sherlock, let’s do some research! (At least, you can be a real detective for a few hours! 😉 ).
How to do your competitive research
Carefully planned and executed competitive research may save your business. What also matters is what to do with that data after.
My mentors and advisors once said:
“If you do not do your homework, you can hit bottom. Do it, and you can build an enduring business.”
Competitive research is a must for your business for several reasons:
- You will find all their data which you need to start a business
- You will skip a “trial and error” for a lot of times
- Based on the data you find, you can monitor them, and find the holes in their strategies, which can be essential for you.
Doing competitive research is not an easy thing to do. It can sometimes be very time-consuming. But, if you plan everything carefully, you can do it in a few hours.
If you already don’t know who your competitors are, try typing 10 – 20 main keywords for your industry in Google.
In the beginning, just wrote on the piece of paper the names of your competitors.
When you have done that, now it’s time for the hell spreadsheets!
Finding the names of your competitors isn’t the only thing you should do. But it’s the beginning.
Here’s the list of data of your competitors you should find out:
- Founders – It’s essential to know who your competitor decision-makers are
- Social Media Networks URLs – How are they, for God’s sake, communicating with their customers? What content are they creating?
- Distribution channels – How are they finding new customers?
- Core Value propositions – What’s the main differences between them and me? What are their Core Value propositions, and how my product/service can be more useful to my customers than theirs?
- The number of employees, headquarters, stage, and the size of the investment – This helps you to understand how big their resources are, and you can imagine what are they capable of.
- Other information (Number of customers, website visitors, etc.)
For this process, you will need about 1 – 3 hours, based on the number of your competitors.
Here’s the list of websites which can be quite useful for you, and it can save you a lot of time:
What also matters in competitive research is organization! We have prepared for you a complete Ultimate Competitor Analysis Spreadsheet!
Everything you will need, you can find in one place – in one spreadsheet!
Now, when you have done your competitive research, It’s time to see what we can do with that data
Like every founder, you want to be the best on the market. You want to hold a monopoly over some products or services. But, you’re always leading battles with your competitors.
What if I say to you that you can be, almost all the time, one step ahead of your competition? Don’t you believe me?
Well, yes, you can, and I will show you how!
Monitor competitors website changes
Yes, you can do that. There is various software that allows you to do this.
But, before we dig into every step how you can do that, let’s first explain why it’s so important.
There are a lot of use cases, but, I will mention just a two of them:
- Your Competitor can change his homepage call to action button from “Register here” to “Start your free trial now, no credit card required.”
- He can also change his meta <title> and <h1> to target a different keyword.
This information is very valuable for you because you can easily find out what’s your competitor strategy.
Competitors App is a competition monitoring tool, which allows you to monitor competitors’ website changes every single day. The best part of it – it’s all automatic. Everything you will need to do (except to insert your competitor names at the beginning), is to read the data every day. That is not more than 3 minutes per day.
After you create your competitors.app account and insert your competitors, the app will automatically start to inform you about their newest website changes. Also, competitors.app will monitor them every day, and whenever some new change becomes visible, you will be informed – both in your app dashboard and in your email inbox (So, sometimes, you even don’t need to log in to your account).
Monitor competitors’ Social Media
Monitoring your competitor’s social media is very important. Reason? That’s the place where we communicate with our customers, share content, and very often – that’s the place where we find new customers.
If you carefully monitor your competitor’s social media marketing and strategies, you can be one step ahead of them. You can see what content are they publishing, so you can see and write better, exciting, and trending articles.
How are they treating their customers, how are they rewarding them, and what’s their relationship with them.
If you monitor your competitors’ Social Media Pages very well, you can see what posts performed very well, and you can inform your team to work better with previous knowledge.
Monitoring competitors’ Social Media can be very hard and time-consuming. Sometimes, you will need to waste hours and hours, manually monitoring them.
But it doesn’t need to be so boring and exhausting. Here are some examples of how you can save your time:
- Obligate someone from your team for daily monitoring and checking your competitors’ social media channels
- Turn on post notifications
- Use competitors.app for tracking your competitors’ social media channels.
How to recapture your competitor customers?
Once you have found out your biggest competitors’ data, and while you are monitoring them on every single step on the web, it’s time for you to beat them!
With monitoring, you can find out what your competitors’ strategies are. You can be one step ahead of them.
The next step is: Interview your competitors’ customers.
Reach to them through your competitor’s social media pages. You can pick 15 – 20 people or you can scrape your competitor follower base and make a bulk email.
Ask them the following questions:
- What are your biggest pains about [the problem]?
- Do you have some solution?
- Are you using [competitor product/service]?
- What do you like best about it?
- What would you change in [competitor product/service]?
(For more details about customer development, I suggest you read “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick)
Once you have answers to the questions above, you can create more personalized content and marketing strategies with solutions to their biggest problems.