9. Invite their freelancers to work for you.
This one doesn’t get talked about so often, but it’s definitely going on.
As you know, content creation is something most content marketers struggle with. And finding good freelancers is hard.
So if your competitor happens to hire freelancers (and gives them bylines, so you know who they are), then that might be an opportunity for you.
Many companies up the ante on this, of course. They actively seek to hire their competitors’ best talent.
10. Set up a listening station.
We get so focused on our competitors, sometimes we forget about their customers. Those customers are, after all, potential prospects. They’re kind of the point of all this work.
Setting up a listening station can help you understand those customers better. It can be very interested to learn what your competitors’ customers think of them. Or what they think of anything else, for that matter.
- Are there particular features of your competitors’ services that their customers really love?
- Do their customers have a common gripe about the company?
- Do their customers share any interest? Could you spin any of those interests into some content to attract these prospects?
- Do they have enthusiasm for any third parties, or causes? Perhaps there are some partnership opportunities for you.
You can set up a listening station with a few free Google Alerts. Mention is a good tool, too. It starts at $29 a month after the free trial.
A word about the accuracy of online tools
Be a little skeptical about the information you get from any online tool. Many of them are excellent (of course), but honestly, most of them are only guestimates. Excellent guestimates, but still …
Where you can, try to compare the information different tools give you. It can be interesting to see how one tool says a site is getting, say, 200,000 visitors a month, but another tool says they’re only getting about 50,000 visitors. Look for comparisons rather than relying on specific measurements.
Does this make your job harder? Yup. But it will save you some embarrassment. It’s tough when you make an expensive strategy decision based on the information from one tool, only to learn later that the data was … squishy.
Again – most of the time, these tools are great. Just be careful about “betting the farm” on what they tell you.
We don’t talk about it much, but there’s a hard truth in marketing: Most of what you do isn’t going to work.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new tactics (not only should you try new stuff, but, actually, you have to try new stuff). It does mean that you need to be prepared to attempt different things, test them, and then move on quickly if they don’t work. To “fail fast,” in other words.
The trouble is, there are hundreds of things to try. More than you’ll ever be able to get to. Using a little competitive analysis can help you winnow down the list of which tactics to try. If something’s working well for your competitors, it’s no guarantee it’ll work for you … but the odds are good it might.
Back to you
Do you do any competitive research for your marketing? What’s your favorite trick? Share your secret (even just a little bitty one) in the comments.
Published at Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:00:00 +0000