In many industries, competition is an endlessly growing list depending on how you compare your services to other businesses. Identifying the right potential competitors in business will help you with branding, customer relations and modifications to your services. Here are some suggestions from Agency Entourage on how to double-check if your list of competitors is the right businesses to keep a close eye on:
Identifying Potential Competitors in Business
Your best tool is the internet. A great way to check your list of competitors is to go to any search engine and type in general queries such as “dentist in Irving, TX.” With simple search inputs, you’ll get an excellent picture for competitors who have an active SEO strategy (social media posts, paid media, blogs/articles on their website, etc.) and are easy to find for potential customers. However, these simple searches can give you an expansive list of businesses, many of whom may not be a direct competitor or valuable adversary.
Narrowing down your list will require a fair amount of research to determine direct and indirect competition. Direct competition would be a business that has the exact business model that you do. For instance, a direct competitor to a CPA firm would be another CPA firm. On the other hand, an indirect competitor would be a business that has similar products or services. For example, an indirect competitor to a design and build firm would be other general contractors, architects and engineers. It’s vital to distinguish how closely related other businesses are to your company to best target your perfect customer.
Use Your Online Presence to Your Advantage
Among the list of businesses you’ve identified, do you know who has the most extensive online audience? Who has the most engaging content? Who is interacting with their customers? Social media is one of the best ways to gain valuable insight to a competitor’s online presence. Through hashtags, advertising, forums, groups and trends, there’s an ample amount of opportunities to see who is effectively getting their message across and who looks like they’re driving the most sales.
Social media is an easy tool for B2C companies, but for B2B, it may be a little bit more challenging. LinkedIn may serve as an excellent platform for most B2B companies, but other great resources are online reviews and websites. Reviews can help you gain insights into what the competition is doing right vs. what there doing incorrectly– and ultimately help you gain a competitive advantage.
A business’ website can help you determine the tools competitors use to guide customers through a sales funnel (such as email subscriptions, contact forms, eCommerce sites, etc.). Additionally, websites allow you to view an ongoing SEO strategy. In other words, if a company is actively posting blogs or articles, that means that they are routinely trying to gain an advantage online by moving their webpages to the top of search engine results. If your potential competitors in business don’t have a robust online presence, they may not be the best companies to gain insights from.
Build a Business Competitive Analysis
From a mid-size company to large corporations, a competitive analysis serves a greater purpose than identifying your potential competitors. A thorough analysis of potential competitors in business will give insights into their marketing strategies, online presence, what they’re lacking and what they’re doing right. Ultimately, this research aims to help you identify areas where you can differentiate your brand and build your customer personas.
A competitive analysis also serves a greater purpose than researching a competitor’s online presence. The analysis also helps you comprehensively double-check your list. Sometimes an analysis will show the competitors who have a louder bark than a stronger bite. For example, a company might post on social media often or publish on its website. But through a comprehensive analysis, you might determine that they aren’t reaching the right audience or their content isn’t search engineer optimized. Conversely, you may identify a company that wasn’t on your radar but should’ve been. The only way to make sure you’re focused on the right businesses is to conduct the right research, so you know everything inside and out.
Who has time to do the necessary research to build a valuable competitor list? Your Agency Entourage team does! We’re here to help you verify your competition and conduct the essential research to ensure you gain the competitive edge. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
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