It may seem like a drag, but if you want to one-up your competitors, or even understand who your competitors are, market research is a crucial part of business development.
While digital marketing and social media provide a huge benefit to get your brand across to consumers, it does come with the disadvantage that the same benefits are widely accessible to all your competitors, too.
If everyone has access to the same marketing tools, then how do you gain a competitive advantage? Put simply; do it better than them. I have said it before and I will say it again; knowledge is power and knowledge stems from research.
FACEBOOK AD LIBRARY
Search your competitor’s Facebook pages in the Ad Library to see what ads they have running. If they are investing in this space, it means you probably should be, too - as long as it is a feasible way to facilitate your goals. If they aren’t running any social media ads, this is your chance to reach your market in a way that they have not.
This platform gives you analytical data on your competitors’ websites, it also shows an overview of any Google Ads they might have running. They do have free accounts available, although the first tiered subscription provides many more benefits. SEMrush is also a great tool for developing your own keyword strategies, SEO and content writing.
Literally, scroll through your competitors’ social media pages (not forgetting about LinkedIn). Take note of how often they post, the quality of their content, how much engagement they receive, and whether they engage back. This can help you to shape what you want to do with your social media and the number of resources you will need to dedicate. This is the stage where you will learn to understand if it is something you can handle in-house or whether it’s in your best interest to leave it to the professionals (cough like us cough).
SUBSCRIBE TO COMPETITOR NEWSLETTERS
Does the content they share add value? Does it make you want to stay subscribed? How could you do it better?
There are plenty of free survey platforms available, like Survey Monkey. We do recommend regularly keeping up to date with your database’s interests, preferences, behaviours and more. TIP: People are much more likely to engage in a survey if there is compensation involved - don’t be shy to offer competition prizes or gift vouchers in exchange for the time it took the survey taker to participate.
BECOME A MEMBER OF RELEVANT FACEBOOK GROUPS
Find interest-based groups across social media which reflect your product or brand, keep track of any hot topics and base your business model around what your type of customer would like. You can also reach out to the group admins to see if they will allow you to distribute surveys or free trials within their group.
GOOGLE EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING
What type of people buy (product)? How often do people buy (product)? What age group is interested in (product)?
Keep tabs on anything and everything relevant to your industry. Do political movements affect your business? What about interest rates? Government grants? Or, do you simply just want to keep up to date with social media trends? Google Alerts is a great way to keep up with trending topics of any type and you can set it up to email you instantaneously as it happens.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE ALL OF THIS, WHAT TO DO WITH IT?
If you have made it this far, we believe that you’re already doing better than your competitors. Start to apply these easy market research tactics no matter where you are in your business journey and you will definitely be the one in the market edging out your competitors.
Remember, we are here to help.