This is how you conduct an online competition analysis for your campaign!
Optimizing your budget through a well-executed online competition analysis? Discover how to do this in this article.
As a B2B professional, you allocate a significant part of your budget to executing (Inbound) marketing campaigns that are well thought out.
The primary goal of these types of campaigns, alongside making your ideal customer increasingly aware of your brand, is almost always: generating valuable sales leads for your colleagues in the sales department.
The following may sound obvious, but to enhance the return on investment of your marketing campaign, it is wise to thoroughly examine how your main competition position themselves online.
That is why in this blog article, I describe the four key focus areas when conducting an online competition analysis.
4 questions to ask yourself when conducting an online competition analysis
Do you want to make a comprehensive competition analysis? Ask yourself the below four questions for a successful analysis!
1. Which keywords do your competitors perform well on?
Start with a keyword analysis to gain a clear understanding of your online visibility compared to your key competitors.
By conducting a thorough keyword analysis, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the search terms that you and your competitors perform well on.
As a general rule, it is sufficient to focus on the top 20 rankings. Webpages that appear in the top 20 are displayed on the first two pages of Google search results.
Because multiple studies have demonstrated that very few searchers click past page three (positions 20+), ranking outside the top 20 is not very useful.
Additionally, when conducting a keyword analysis, it is important to understand the monthly search volume for specific terms on Google. Identify keywords with a significant search volume (consider more than 100 searches per month for the Dutch language). Then, map out the keywords for which your competitor ranks in the top 10.
2. Which keywords are your competitors advertising on?
To gain insight into the priorities of your competitors, I recommend analyzing the keywords they are advertising on.
These keywords indicate the topics your competitors consider important to have a strong online presence for. After all, they are willing to pay for a high ranking on these topics. As an additional bonus, you should also examine the Cost per Click they are willing to invest in certain keywords. The higher they are willing to bid, the greater the urgency to establish visibility for those keywords.
3. How do your competitors use social media?
In a B2B environment, LinkedIn is particularly crucial for operating within the scope of your campaign.
It is helpful, therefore, to investigate how your competitors use LinkedIn. Consider the following:
- Do they have a LinkedIn company page, and if so, how many followers do they have?
- Do they regularly post updates on their LinkedIn company page, and if so, is it inbound marketing content or is it primarily focused on self-promotion?
- Are their key commercial individuals, such as the CEO, sales director, and sales team, active on LinkedIn? And if so, what type of updates do they post, and which LinkedIn groups have they joined?
In addition to LinkedIn, it may also be worth taking a brief look at your competitors' Twitter accounts. Do they have a lot of followers? Do they post frequently and consistently? Do they share inbound content, and is there a lot of engagement on their account?
With the help of this information you have a good idea of the social media footprint of your competitors, and get a better insight into the market topics and themes that you can differentiate from.
4. What type of content does your competitor offer online?
Lastly, in line with the social media analysis, it is wise to investigate which types of content your competitors produce and the topics they cover.
Carefully read their blog articles and explore the whitepapers and case studies they offer. Lastly, it is helpful to determine whether they use marketing automation software. This indicates their serious commitment to digital marketing for lead generation. You can investigate this using a useful plugin such as Ghostery.
In this article, I described four focus areas you can explore as part of your online competitor analysis. Check out more information about Inbound Marketing and learn everything about this marketing method.