In an overcrowded market, it can be difficult to stand out and make your audience see what makes you great.
In the tech industry especially, understanding everything you can about your competitors is really important when it comes to being able to position yourself correctly in the market and understand how to enhance your own business strategy.
A competitor analysis is a vital tool to help you collate all of the relevant information about the marketplace you’re in into one easy-to-read source, one that can be picked up by anyone in the business to get a complete understanding of your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to others within your industry.
Although we know they’re hugely important, carrying one out can be quite a time-consuming task, especially if it’s not carried out in an organised and concise manner.
In this article, we’ll be giving you our top tips on how to create a strong and cohesive competitor analysis and how it can be used to develop your tech brand into something amazing.
How to conduct a competitor analysis
- Identify your competitors
First and foremost, you’re going to need to know exactly who your competitors are. We would recommend starting with the 5 most similar to you in terms of your product offerings, pricing and experience as these will be your main competitors and the ones that you will likely get the most learnings from. You can then expand on this as time goes on and other competitors join the marketplace (although we wouldn’t advise having more than 20).
- Analyse their online and offline presence
To build out the information in your competitor analysis, you’ll need to take stock of exactly what your competitors are doing, both online and offline. Take time to analyse their presence against a selection of relevant factors. For example, if you’re looking at their social media, you might want to look at what platforms they use, how often they post, what they talk about, the engagement they get and their follower count. Try to capture as much information as you can about each of your competitors as this will help to create a full understanding of their positioning and the gaps that your business can fill.
- Find out what their customers are saying
Another great way to better understand what your competitors are up to is to see what their customers are saying. Take a look at their reviews and social media comments to see how their products and services are being received, as well as the way in which they respond and speak to their audience. Positive and negative feedback are both useful to determine how you could avoid eventualities yourself, or how you can emulate a good level of customer service.
- Do a SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats - basically the framework for how any business is performing in the marketplace. By identifying how your competitors are performing in each of these categories, you can get a much better idea of your positioning in the marketplace and the gaps that you’re able to fill. It’s also a worthwhile exercise to complete a SWOT analysis for your own brand so that you can see the comparison side-by-side. The findings in your analysis can be used to build out your product development, marketing strategy and business plan.
- Check out content rankings
One way to find out more about how your competitors are faring in the market is by taking a look at how their content is ranking on search engines. While you could carry this out manually and see who’s coming up on the first few pages organically for some of your top keywords and phrases, we’d recommend using a research tool such as SEMrush, Similarweb or SEO SpyGlass which will give you a load of data against a whole host of benchmarks such as they keyword rankings, costs and any potential gaps in their SEO strategies.
- Keep up regular maintenance
One thing you can always count on is that nothing will stay the same in the tech world for very long. For this reason, your competitor analysis should be seen as a working document that is revisited and updated as often as possible. We’d recommend revisiting and reviewing your document every 6 months or so to keep the information fresh and useful. We also advise that you ensure the document is visible to everyone in the business who could benefit from the data it provides, especially sales and marketing teams and the board.
- Build a plan to actually DO something with the data
It’s all very well conducting the research and building a detailed and structured competitor analysis, but if you do nothing with the information you gather, you may as well not have bothered. The details that you uncover could potentially change the whole direction of your business, so this isn’t a task that should be taken lightly. It’s worth making sure you have a strict process in place once the review has been completed to log the necessary actions that come off the back of it, assign them to the right people and make sure that they’re carried out.
To summarise, the information you gather while completing a competitor analysis will be an absolute gold mine of opportunity to help you with almost every area of your business, including product development, marketing and content strategy and overall business planning. While it can take time to build the structure and carry out the research, this is a hugely worthwhile task that will be beneficial across the whole business.
At CopyHouse, analysing market and competitor information is all part of our process. When we work with our clients, we take time to complete extensive research to understand their position in the market, using this to create hyper-personalised content.
To find out more about how we can work together, read more about our Content Marketing Strategy and Consultancy Service or get in touch.