students-in-library.jpgIn the business environment, your competitor is your best teacher. By using results of competitor analysis, a business entity not only can understand its strengths and weaknesses but also identify prospects for strengthening their market position against competitors. Competitor research is usually carried out by professionals in a digital marketing agency or an in-house marketing team, who use different tools and tricks to monitor competitors, gather insights, and use them to fine-tune your digital marketing plan. Some of the top tips recommended by experts are:

1. Know your competition
Identifying the competitor(s) is probably the most elementary part of the research activity, which many people tend to take lightly. It doesn’t matter what the scale of your business is or what kind of market you are operating in; every company will face competition in some way or the other. Knowing your competition will tell you a lot about your position vis-a-vis industry preferences. To do so, you need to find out who else is focusing on the same target market and how they are resolving the problems of that market.

2. The content strategy
To improve your online presence, the most important thing to focus on is your content strategy. Your strategy should be open to changes after conducting a two-step exercise – one, knowing your competitor’s best content and then two, your industry’s best content strategy. This assessment will help you identify areas where you have to do better than the competition and how you have to update your content according to industry preferences. Imagine if your content is all about text, blogs and graphs but your industry trends have inclined towards videos and webinars. You would undoubtedly want to change your content marketing plans before you lose online visitors.

3. SEO strategy
Two websites with almost similar content can yield completely different results because of different structures of their SEO. The SEO strategy analysis begins by observing the use of keywords in different sections of the website, like page title, URL architecture, links, etc. Other than the location of the keywords, one also needs to pay heed to the choice of keywords and how relevant are they to the target traffic.

4. The social media
How a company presents itself on social media is at the heart of its digital marketing plans. Social media accounts let companies interact with online users, share content and gain insights into consumer behaviour. In competition research, a company tries to determine how their competitors are integrating digital platforms with marketing plans. The key to winning the upper hand over the competition is by understanding how efficiently they are using their resources to achieve their goals

5. Using the insights
While conducting competition research, it is essential to take note of even seemingly insignificant details. These details will help you connect the dots for the bigger picture when the analysis process is complete, and the results are analyzed. Remember, every competitor will have something or the other lesson that you can use to improve your operations. At the end of the research process, one needs to go through observations carefully and strengthen weak links in their performance.