Competitive Analysis for Digital Marketing

 Competitive Analysis for Digital Marketing

How to Do a Competitive Analysis for Digital Marketing

Competitive analysis in the world of digital marketing means defining your competitors and assessing their strategies. The goal is to determine their strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage to uncover new marketing opportunities and better position your product or service.

Here’s a step by step approach on how to do a competitive analysis for digital marketing.

  1. Equip Yourself with the Right Tools
  2. Define Your Channels
  3. Determine Your Competitors
  4. Identify the Right Metrics
  5. Sum Up Your Findings in a Report

Competitive Analysis for Digital Marketing – 5 Steps

Step 1 – Equip Yourself with the Right Tools

competitive-analysis-for-digital-marketingDigital marketing relies on data. Being able to handle this data effectively is crucial to doing a sound competitive analysis that brings you actionable insights. Marketing tools for competitive analysis save you time and enable you to zoom in on the data that matters.

Google Analytics and the Google Search Console are both reliable and accurate. You may also want to look into paid tools like KissMetrics, BuzzSumo, SEMRush, or Moz Pro.

Step 2 – Define Your Channels

Do you want to analyze competitors across channels or focus on a specific channel? The breadth and depth of your analysis will depend on which channels you focus on. Key channels include:

  • Search traffic – Google, Bing, Yahoo!
  • Email
  • Social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat.
  • Video platforms – YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, Periscope
  • Ad platforms – Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads

Step 3 – Determine Your Competitors

competitive-analysis-for-digital-marketingSearch engine rankings and social engagement are dynamic. The brand that last year may have topped the Google results may have fallen a few spots by now. Also, bear in mind that at least some of your online competitors can differ from your brick-and-mortar ones.
Group competitors into:

  • Direct Competitors – A direct competitor is a company or business that offers the same or similar products or services and targets the same customer segments as another company. These competitors are often vying for the same market share, and their offerings are seen as close substitutes by consumers.
  • Indirect Competitors – An indirect competitor is a company that offers different products or services but caters to the same target audience or satisfies similar customer needs. Unlike direct competitors, which provide similar or identical offerings, indirect competitors address the same general market needs but with products or services that may not be immediately comparable.
  • Leading Competitors – A leading competitor refers to a company or business that is recognized as one of the most significant players in a particular industry or market. These competitors often have a substantial market share, strong brand recognition, and a significant impact on industry trends and developments.
  • Industry Influencers – An industry influencer is an individual or organization that has a significant impact on a particular industry or niche. These influencers typically have a strong presence, authority, and credibility within their respective fields. They can shape opinions, trends, and decisions within the industry, often through their expertise, thought leadership, and social influence.

At the end of the day, you want to benchmark your business against the competitors that matter. If you sell sports shoes and apparel, the online Nike store probably isn’t as big a competitor as local outlet stores.

Step 4 – Identify the Right Metrics

Some metrics always matter more to your business than others, and those are the ones you want to focus on. Here are some of the key metrics you want to consider.

  • Traffic
  • Domain authority
  • Search engine ranking for your targeted keywords
  • Content posting frequency
  • Content engagement (blog, website, and social channels)
  • Audience growth on social media
  • Email subscriber list size
  • Online reviews on independent review sites

Track the metrics you choose over time. Having numbers you can look at gives you points of reference on which you can interpret your competitors’ moves and better understand their strategy.

Step 5 – Sum Up Your Findings in a Report

competitive-analysis-for-digital-marketingExport data from the analysis tools you use and compile it into a short and informative report. The report, for competitive analysis for digital marketing, should answers key questions:

  • What are your main competitors doing right now?
  • What areas do you need to focus on? E.g., generating more traffic for your site, increasing social media engagement, generating more positive reviews, etc.
  • What metrics matter the most to you?
  • What strategies that your competitors are using can inspire you?
  • What should you do more of?

Competitive Analysis for Digital Marketing – A Word of Caution

Competitive analysis for digital marketing is not something you should do once and then forget about. Rather, look at it as an ongoing process. Renew and review your data periodically. That way you’ll always know what your competitors are doing and use that to your advantage.


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