Marketing competitive analysis checklist for SMBs and startups

Marketing competitive analysis checklist for SMBs and startups

When it comes to marketing planning, don’t overlook the importance of marketing competitive analysis activities. You can learn a lot from them if you look at what they’re doing and investigate the various marketing strategies of products and services used by other players in your niche. They target similar audiences, and the information you reveal may be very useful when developing your own strategy.

You are gaining insights by looking through their messages, website structure, keywords, PPC efforts, PR strategies, links structure, content strategies, and so on. After all, some of the ecosystem’s companies have been around for a while and have most likely learned a lot through trial and error. Smart marketers capitalize on this knowledge.

How many competitors should you review?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. The numbers can range from 5 to more than 30. So, the short answer is that it depends. While compiling the initial list of potential competitors try to answer the following questions:

  • Is there a lot of competition in your field?
  • Are there titans in this niche, or is it dominated by SMBs? How many giants are there? Where are the giants geographically located?
  • Are there any young start-ups that manage to show rapid positive trends despite limited resources?

Begin by examining players in your company’s budget and scale who are succeeding in creating a buzz in the industry, or who are presenting interesting trends in traffic and engagement metrics. Keep in mind that studying giants will not provide you with valuable insights into viable strategies for competing.

Analyse competitors pitch, key messages, and target audience.

Start by looking up the competitor company on Google, read the title tag and description, visit their homepage to review taglines and other key messages. Take note of competitors’ pitches and determine whether the emphasis is on features, benefits, common pains, or other elements. You need to find it out what instant impression visitors get at first glance. Make a list of your key takeaways. Examine the “About us” section on the website and the “About” section on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms.

Assess competitors’ content and note interesting ideas.

Content comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and forms across multiple channels: when analyzing competitors’ marketing activities, look at their blogs, company news, social media posts, press releases, videos, webinars, customer testimonials, newsletters, and so on. Try to spot patterns and learn about the content’s quality. Determine which topics your target audience is most interested in and which communication channels work best for increased engagement. Examine the SEO parameters of the content, such as blog backlinks, popularity of blog pages, and so on. Content revision is also an excellent way to extract popular keywords and important SEO terms, which you can then incorporate into your content calendar.

Please keep in mind that this step does not replace proper keyword research.

Use digital success metrics and website/app analytics.

If content is king, then quality traffic and measurable indicators are the emperors. Examine your competitors’ traffic metrics as a key indicator of marketing success. Alexa and Similarweb are two popular tools you can use. Both are free to a certain extent. These tools analyse the traffic that a website receives, including traffic sources, referring sites, and, to some extent, paid media.

Expect to see conflicting data from various traffic analysis tools. However, marketers are aware that there will always be gaps between different measurement tools, so simply accept it.

What else?

A few more parameters to considered when assessing your competition:

  • Events and exhibitions

Do your competitors participate and promote industry events? Do they sponsor events or speak at events? Host webinars or meetups? This is

especially important when creating a marketing plan and event calendar and deciding which events to attend or exhibit at.

  • PR and influencer strategy

What kind of public relations noise do they make? Have they collaborated with industry thought leaders? Influencers? What about complementary players?

  • Customer reviews, feedback, and comments

Customer journeys are increasingly digital, which is why online reviews matter and can either accelerate or slow conversion rates, even for B2B, though it undoubtedly has a greater impact on B2C marketing.

Summing up.

This checklist contains only the fundamentals to get you started. You don’t have to follow these exact steps but should rather modify your actions to fit your specific needs. Contact us if you are looking for a digital marketing agency that will effectively develop and implement your marketing strategy.

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