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Why You Should Perform Competitive Analysis and How to Do It

Attempting to build a unique online business is a difficult task. Across virtually all industries, the entire process of product development, marketing, and sales will have been done before. You may be able to create a twist on an existing product or offer a different marketing angle, but much of the process will be similar to other operations.

Rather than looking at this situation in a negative light, though, it is worth finding the positives. Building a brand that customers love is an exciting journey, but you don't need to reinvent every aspect of business. Instead, you can get an edge by researching what your competitors have been doing, uncovering their successes and failures before you begin.

Why You Should Perform Competitive Analysis and How to Do It - Comparison Checklist

Why Should You Perform Competitive Analysis?

Primarily, competitive analysis will help you with your customer acquisition, marketing, product development, and sales process. You may choose to look into a specific aspect of a business, such as the ads most commonly used on Facebook. Alternatively, you could track the entire sales funnel, analyzing how businesses attract prospects, market their products, and secure sales. You can find audiences that are interested in similar businesses to your own, get a sense of the pricing structures most companies use, and uncover mistakes that are getting in the way of success.

Why You Should Perform Competitive Analysis and How to Do It - Tools

How to Perform Competitive Analysis?

It is difficult to do any significant analysis without using tools. Even though many products will require an investment, the data you gain can save money in the long run. Here are some areas where you can expect to do some digging and how to do it.

1
SEO

If you already know the keywords you want to rank for, look at the top results and think about how you can improve on the current content. There may be an emphasis on long articles, videos, tutorials, or other styles of content, so you know what Google is looking for. Using a tool like SEMrush, you can find out what keywords the top sites are ranking for. You can also analyze the backlink profile, focusing on the pages that have a high authority rating.

2
Paid Advertising

There are various tools for studying ads, with SEMrush, AdSwiper, Adsova just a few of the options. You can't be certain that a particular ad is profitable, but ads that have been running for a long time will usually be working. Analyzing the ad copy, image, and landing page of a variety of ads should help you determine what consumers are responding to within a particular niche. Facebook also includes an Info and Ads section, detailing all the ads that businesses are currently running on the platform.

3
Social Media

Social media can be used to track follower numbers, content types, and posting frequency. You can find out a lot simply by going to competitor’s social platforms and looking at what they are doing. For a deeper data analysis, you can use products like Brandwatch and Social Blade. Social listening will let you know how people talk about different brands, helping you understand the way you are perceived within the marketplace. Also, if you want to reach people who are following your competitors, you can advertise to audiences based on the people they follow.

4
Content

Content marketing is an important process, but it can be difficult to know where to focus your attention. Competitive analysis will show you the type of content that is getting the most likes and shares, making it easier to see patterns within your niche. BuzzSumo is a popular tool for content marketing analysis, with the ability to monitor social platforms, blogs, and more.

5
Sales Funnel

A comprehensive sales funnel will ensure you bring in the most revenue for each lead you acquire. You may, for example, gain an email subscriber, offer them a product, then follow up with an upsell offer. There are various funnel models you can use, so it is worth knowing what your competitors are doing. You could manually follow the path a business has set out, making a purchase and seeing the entire process. Alternatively, a tool like FunnelSpy will map out the sequences, giving you a broad view of the sales process.

Why You Should Perform Competitive Analysis and How to Do It - Analyze Common Factors

Competitive research can save a lot of valuable time and money when building a business. You could try to work out every part of the process on your own, but this is unnecessary when you can analyze what others have tried before. Of course, you don't need to completely copy entire businesses, with many lessons coming from experimentation. However, research allows you to get started on the right foot, with the possibility of then trying new things. Even the most successful companies have an eye on their competitors, so it's best to make good use of the tools and information at your disposal.

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