The online business marketplace is a constantly evolving world where innovation and ideas change on a seemingly daily basis. What worked for your business six months ago might fall flat today. But have some of your competitors already figured the ever-changing market out? Does it seem like they’re always a step ahead of you and you’re not keeping up?
Here, we’ll take a look at the four best ways you can keep up with your online competitors in order to keep your sales growing. Let’s take a look.
1. Keep up with Your Competitors’ Social Media Pages
If you’re not following your competitors’ social media posts, you’re missing out on valuable information that can help direct and inspire your new product offerings and marketing campaigns. Make a list of every competitor you have within your niche, then proceed to follow them on every social media platform that they live on.
You’ll learn a wealth of knowledge just by seeing what they’re posting on a daily basis — especially if you’ve hit a rut in your marketing campaigns and need new ideas. While you probably don’t want to copy what they’re doing verbatim, you’ll be surprised by how many new ideas you’ll come up with just by seeing what they’re doing with their customers.
You’ll learn all the details about their current marketing and social media advertising strategies. Do they advertise daily? Weekly? Monthly? Are they focusing their online advertising toward niche customers or do their efforts appear to be more broad-based? How much engagement are they getting on their social media advertising posts, and which ones seem to perform the best?
Barry Newman, founder of Bear Fox Marketing (https://www.bearfoxmarketing.com/) says that you need to stay on top of the online advertising trends in order to find where your target audience is shopping. Once you see where and how your audience is shopping with your competitors, you can better tailor your online advertising campaigns toward them.
Pay the closest attention to what your industry is doing on Twitter. By searching simple industry-related hashtags, you’ll uncover competitors you didn’t even know existed. Find the ones who have the largest number of followers, then dive deep into their Twitter accounts and see what they’ve been doing for the past few months.
2. Subscribe to Your Competitors’ Email Lists and Blogs
Following social media posts is a great way to get a high-level understanding of what your competitors are doing. But if you really want to dig into the nitty-gritty, get on their blog and email lists. You’ll get great ideas that you can apply to your daily or weekly blog posts.
Beyond that, you’ll get a thorough understanding of the company cultures inside each competitor. You’ll be able to uncover and implement some of those strategies within your culture.
When you start getting email offers from the competitors you’ve subscribed to, pay close attention to what they’re offering and how they promote it. Pretend you’re a customer and go through their sales funnel. Then, think about creative ways you can implement the same strategies to improve your sales process.
3. Have an Account on Your Competitors’ Websites
Open customer accounts on every competitor website you can find. This will allow you to see new products or innovations they are planning on launching in the near future. Many times, this information is only available to customers with existing accounts.
You’ll also learn inside information on things like the new company hires, new locations they plan on opening, new offshoots of their business that could pose a threat to your business, and what their plans for Black Friday/Cyber Monday are.
By knowing exactly what your competitors are planning on launching in the near future, you can tailor product launches and promotions that surpass what they’re planning on doing. You can beat them to the punch, and do things even better.
Remember, your competitors might be doing the same thing on your site. Keep a close eye on who’s signing up for customer accounts. Remove accounts that appear to be laying in the weeds spying on you.
4. Offer Products That Are More Competitive
Now that you have a better understanding of what your competition is doing, it’s time to locate or develop products that are more competitive than what they are offering. This could be as simple as offering similar products at a lower cost.
Or, it could be as complex as finding a completely different (and better) solution that solves the same problem their product is intended to solve. Either way, you’ll no longer need to play a guessing game regarding your product offers and marketing campaigns.
Keeping up with Your Competitors Isn’t Difficult When You Know What to Look For
Remember, to keep up with your competitors online begin by following them on social media, signing up to their email lists and blogs, getting accounts on their sites, and finding products that are more competitive than theirs. Then spend a few minutes each day, staying up to date with their activities.
By implementing these four strategies, you’ll not only keep up with what your competitors are doing, but you’ll be able to do things even better than them.