Have you taken the time to look at your competition’s online performance?

What are your direct competitor’s and indirect competitor’s digital marketing goals and objectives?

How are they optimizing their inbound marketing strategy?

What are their strengths and weaknesses, and are there opportunities that you can exploit?

You likely know who you compete with locally, and how you compare based on pricing, products, and walk-in sales. However, have you taken the time to clearly evaluate your competition based on an inbound marketing perspective?

Why Your Competition’s Inbound Marketing Success Is Important

We are not going to bore you with data and statistics that you have already seen performing your competitive analysis. Nevertheless, your online research is ultimately the reason why your competition’s inbound marketing success is important to know, evaluate, and understand. You likely discovered this article because you, as a business owner or marketing specialist, need an online marketing solution. Just like you, the typical person will use digital media to research the products and services that they need, want, or just happen to peak their interest. Online users are consuming large volumes of educational, informative, and entertaining content on a daily basis.

What is competitive market research?

“Competitive market research focuses on finding and comparing key market metrics that help identify differences between your products and services and those of your competitors. Comprehensive market research helps establish the foundation for an effective sales and marketing strategy that helps your company stand out from the crowd.”

Source: blog.hubspot.com

Today, the consumer’s journey does not start when they make contact with a salesperson. It begins when they first start researching a need, desire, value, or dream. Therefore, it is critical that you understand the stages of that journey.

  • Need– This is the first moment that the consumer perceives a goal, such as saving for retirement, buying a home, or making a home improvement. Initially, this can be just simple curiosity or wishful thinking.
  • Seek– Regardless of motive, the consumer has enough inspiration to begin researching information. This is when you must attract them using relevant and valuable content.
  • Choose– Your potential customer base is weighing their options and comparing different companies. Your content must prove that you are experienced, trustworthy, and reliable.
  • Decision– It is time to close the sale. It is important to convince your lead that you have the right product or service. You can use landing pages with special offers that include free consultations, trial offers, or discounts.
  • Use– You have closed the sale and delivered the goods or services. Inbound marketing includes reputation management as a component. Ensure that you quickly and professionally respond to online reviews and the questions, comments, and concerns posted to social media platforms.
  • Fan– Finally, the customer experience decides whether or not to enhance their engagement with your company. At this stage, the use of quality content can encourage continued sales and convert customers into promoters.

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Identifying Your Online Competition

Your online competitions will include those on the first page or search results and the companies dominating social networks. These are the places that people will go when they start researching information. When evaluating your competition’s search rank, Google is the best place to start. Google handles roughly 85 percent of all search traffic. Carefully assess how your competition’s website, blogs, social profiles, and other content ranks for your target keywords. Here is where you compete for attention and feed online users’ demand for information.

In comparison, what are your weaknesses?

Is your website design optimized for inbound marketing?

Evaluate your mobile optimization, site navigation, page loading speed, and social media integration through the use of any number of competitive analysis tools. Your website’s usability will play a significant role in determining if a person reads your content or returns to the search results.

Next, compare and contrast the quality and quantity of your content with the competition. You have likely heard the saying a million times, but content really is king. High-quality content is the only way to attract your target market through natural search and organic social media strategy. Moreover, content must be strategically developed for every stage of the consumer journey. It is important to note, that the weight of content plays a role in determining search rank. If everything else is equal, the more active website with 300 pages will rank higher than the website with just 30.

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Finally, even if you have great success attracting website visitors, you will have limited success if you do not provide consumers with conversion points. You need a well-designed conversion funnel that will guide a new visitor into becoming a prospect, lead, customer, and then finally a promoter. This can only happen when you have email sign-ups, compelling calls to action, high-value content offers, and persuasive landing pages.

Analyze Your Competitor’s Content

Analyzing your competitor’s content is a great way to fill gaps in your content strategy, as well as learn what target audience your competitor is choosing to focus on. Researching content focused on a target keyword or industry trends can give you the competitive edge in creating content your competitor may have overlooked. Search engines are always looking to answer questions a user may have. Being the first to create content on an overlooked or more unique types of content is a great way to rank and increase traffic.

Your competition’s social media presence is content you should not overlook when researching. Researching content posted on social media channels gives an insight into what products or services your competitor is promoting. Your social network is a vital tool in any inbounding marketing strategy that should not be overlooked. Developing a content marketing strategy and a sales strategy focused on remaining competitive in your chosen market by taking advantage of social channels is vital to your business’s success.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or anyone at ThinkFlame. We love to help as much as possible. Coming up with different strategies to help your business grow is what we do.

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