At Bolton Remote, we help companies offshore marketing teams that can execute strategies that help put startups on the map. Of course, excellent marketing campaigns need to be planned well. In order to do that, your marketers need to research.
Market research is crucial. It’s how your marketers can come up with a persona your audience will respond to. Research also tells them which tactics will and will not work. During this process, one key segment is sometimes overlooked: the competition.
You need to know what the competition is doing. Chris Kilbourn, CEO of internet marketing agency TOFU Marketing, says this kind of research will “improve your own plans to beat the competition based on data rather than assumptions.”
By improving your marketer’s research skills and directing them to the right tools, they’ll be able to reduce the guesswork involved in market strategies:
Googling Like a Pro
There’s more to research Googling your competitors, but it’s still the first step. Google has 75.2% of the search market in the United States, after all. If there’s anyone who knows the online standing of a company, it’s this search engine.
Google has many features and apps marketers can use to make an in-depth search:
- Google Alerts – don’t just keep tabs on your own company, have your marketers set up alerts for your direct competitors. Finding out where and how competitors are getting mentioned will give marketers direction to increase online mentions for your company.
- Google’s Keyword Tool – find out which keyword are competitive in your industry, as well as related words your team can use on your site and content to gain the web advantage.
- Google Trends – over 114.7 billion searches are being made on Google every month. They have the data to know what’s being talked about in every industry, including which companies are making noise. Your marketers can see how your company is doing against your competitors.
Maximizing Research Tools
Your marketers can make focused and segmented searches to learn more about competitors. They can use these tools to gather data:
Alexa – for web ranking
See the web ranking and visitor behavior on a competitor’s site. Alexa provides information about global ranking, national ranking, and even traffic sources. Your marketers can use these stats to improve their targeting strategies.
Moat – for ad monitoring
Have your marketers optimize PPC and display ads by checking how the competition do theirs. Just search for your competitor’s name on Moat and it will show recent ads they ran and where they showed up.
SpyFu – for keyword checking
SpyFu gives an extensive overview of a competing website’s keyword use. You can see which keywords they pay for or where they rank organically. Marketers can also use iSpionage for both keyword and ad monitoring.
SimplyMeasured – for social media analysis
Your marketers need to stay on top of how your competitors are doing on social media. SimplyMeasured provides social analytics on competitors that marketers can measure, interpret, and apply.
Taking a Holistic Approach
Your marketers should be concerned with more than how the competition attracts customers. They should also look at what these companies are doing for customer support and retention.
John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing suggests what he calls The Marketing Hourglass. Have your marketers research the following about the competition:
- How are people finding them?
- How do they establish likeability and trust?
- How do they get people to try and eventually buy what they’re offering?
- How do they retain customers and encourage repeat patronage?
- How do they get customers to refer them to other people?
Your marketers can get a complete image of your competitors in multiple ways. Jim Joseph, in an article for Entrepreneur, suggests for them to act like a customer. “Take notes on the customer service techniques you are seeing, as well as how the assortment of products are sourced, merchandised and priced.”
Competitive research involves monitoring multiple companies constantly over time. It involves checking multiple social profiles, review sites, and web metrics. Use your remote advantage to make sure you don’t miss any marketing strategy they roll out, or sudden shifts in industry trends.
Hire marketers who know how to research and implement findings to create results-driven campaigns. With a remote staff, you can keep a constant eye on the competition. Visit our website at www.BoltonRemote.com and we’ll help you build a marketing team that gives you a competitive edge.
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