When running your business, you may think of digital competitors as something to rival – not learn from.
On the contrary – your competitors can be the best teachers.
What do they have to show you – and how can you best adapt to this information? Read on to learn the importance of knowing your competitors, and how to transform their good work into your new advantage.
Why Should You Identify Your Digital Competitors?
Gain Valuable Perspective
Having your customers submit reviews or surveys is valuable – but if that’s all, then you’re operating on a limited perspective. To truly understand how your business fares when compared to other brands in your industry, you need to know how customers are reviewing them! This gives you a varied and honest perspective beyond what you find in your own circle.
Avoid Common Pitfalls
Every business success story includes early failures. A quick online search into any company will reveal the marketing strategies they have tried in the past. See which strategies worked better than others and make note of which methods you should avoid. In business, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel – just learn from others’ mistakes!
Discover New Markets
When exploring other businesses’ past strategies and customer reviews, look for what’s missing. What gaps have they left in the market, and what do their customers wish they’d do? By identifying where your competitors are lacking, you can discover new consumer desires and potential niches to corner.
How to Identify Digital Competitors of Your Business
Ultimately, the importance of knowing your competitors comes down to widening your perspective. But how do you find your competitors and gain this information?
Search Like a Customer
First, examine the products or services your business provides. Then, pretend that you are a potential customer and consider what needs or desires your business can fulfill. From that perspective, search for a solution through Google or another search engine. If you’re the first result, then congratulations – but odds are, you’ll find your competitors ranking high on the SERP.
These are your digital competitors – and, therefore, your targets to study.
Take Advantage of Google Suggestions
Outside of directly searching for your competitors, take advantage of Google’s out-of-the-box thinking. When you search for a specific product or service, Google will take note of this and make recommendations on other items or services you may be interested in. Occasionally, these suggestions are direct competitors (which is helpful) – but they may also be indirect competitors, a sneaky opposition you won’t find through a direct search.
Indirection competitors don’t offer the exact service or product you do, but something similar; for example, Uber is an indirect competitor of taxi companies. Take note of these indirect competitors, and study how you can redirect their audience back to you or learn from their strategies.
Word of mouth is another great source of information about your competitors. Check around Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram for trending hashtags related to your business and find your competitors there. As a bonus, these sites typically offer suggestions like Google, so you can find more indirect competitors.
Keep Up to Date
Whatever the source, take notes on what you find and conduct searches like this often, to ensure that your information is up to date. Once you’ve identified your competitors, you can use what you’ve learn to advance your business – with a new, cutting edge advantage.