In most scenarios when Growth Hackers/Digital Marketers begin working with new clients, it usually involves a set of questions that include “Who are your competitors?” & “Which keywords do you want to rank for?” Once they have these answers most times marketers dive into a pre-set list of activities to create a strategy around them based on their past experiences.

Personally, I think the best way to approach any marketing strategy is to consider what is working and how you can build on that. My theory about growing anything for a client is to see what the competitors are doing. If they are doing a really good job of getting noticed then can you beat that without having to reinvent the wheel?

Why Use Your Competitors?

  • They got to a certain point by navigating the ecosystem.
  • If you can do a better job in comparison, you could attract new customers.
  • Save time by reverse engineering the results you see are working instead of building a strategy from the bottom up.

I am going to walk you through the different steps of how to create a nice tailored marketing strategy using competitor analysis.

Video tutorial: How to Create a Marketing Strategy Using Your Competitors

Lay the Groundwork

Let’s assume the client is a digital marketing agency based in India and we need to map the leading players in this client’s ecosystem.

  1. Create a list of industry-specific keywords that users are likely to search to find you. Come up with 25 if required.
    • Digital Marketing
    • Digital Marketing Agency
    • Digital Marketing Tools
    • Growth Hacking
  2. Download these tools (links/plugins) some of which are free while others are paid. These are essential in creating a holistic analysis.

Check out the Competition and Channels in Use

Google keywords to find competitors online

  • Digital Marketing

The results you see will indicate the competitors and the channels they are using.

This result shows that companies such as MailChimp, SPJain, Techsu are using Google AdWords to rank for Digital Marketing.

Websites like hubspot.com, neilpatel.com, and marketo.com rank high for this keyword. The keywords make it to the first page based on well-written, researched blogs/guides that have become the go-to resources for Digital Marketing.

  • Digital Marketing Agency

Creating a business listing with the keyword on Google My Business also helps get noticed in search and Google Maps. Positive customer reviews and ratings over time help rank businesses for keywords.

Companies like Ethinos, Social Kinnect, Zebra Digital, digitalF5, DMA and BC Web Wise are the top rankers for ‘Digital Marketing Agency’ in the Indian space.

  • Digital Marketing Tools

Many times a search will return what is called a ‘Featured Snippet‘ placed in a box at the very top. In case you are wondering how digitalimpact.co.uk managed to achieve that, the answer is – Can’t say for sure because it is selected by Google’s program which determines which site/blog answers the word/question searched most appropriately. The criteria for choosing one site over the other is unknown. Often times even Wikipedia pages appear in the Featured Snippet.

  • Growth Hacking

Answering questions on Quora credibly is also a great way to integrate your brand into results related to the keyword.

Another approach would be to put together a list of Competitors (minimum 5) based on client inputs and research which is a blend of local and global players. For the digital marketing agency, it looks like the appended –

  • KlientBoost (Global)
  • Web Profits (Global)
  • Single Grain (Global)
  • iProspect (Global)
  • Social Beat (Local)

Collate Data Using Online Tools

The tools/plugins downloaded earlier will help locate key metrics related to search.

SimilarWeb

This tool helps you gauge the source, distribution and various channels of traffic to a particular website.

Start with visiting the Competitor website. If you have downloaded the Similar Web plugin it will appear on the Google Chrome Menu, as indicated, towards the right.

Click on the Similar Web icon to see the traffic being generated from the KlientBoost page.

Tabs on the top in the resulting snapshot reflect varying values. This is an overview of the website and indicates what the previous month’s engagement metrics are for KlientBoost.

This tab reflects the various sources from where the site is getting traffic – Direct and Search are the biggest contributors to traffic.

This reveals the geographic distribution of the traffic. Majority of it is coming from the US.

Top Referring Sites are the source of KlientBoost’s traffic and Top Destination Sites are where the traffic is headed from KlientBoost

This indicates which of the social channels are gaining the most traction. Here it is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (in that order).

ahrefs

This tool helps determine the source of traffic and the domain authority of these referring sites. It also helps identify the type of content is doing well.

Spyfu

This tool helps determine the amount being spent on Adwords.

SEMrush

This tool is a huge help with carrying out Advertising Research. It provides key insights into the competitor’s strategy.

Positions

a) Type of keywords they are ranking for

b) # of keywords associated with it

c) What are the keywords

d) Money being spent

Ad copies

a) Title

b) Keywords associated with the Ad Copy

Ghostery

This shows you the tools being used by the competitor.

 

BuzzSumo

This nifty tool gives you insights on the competitor’s top content pieces – ones they are ranking highest for and also the most shared.

Feedly/Google Alerts

You can set up alerts or subscribe to Feedly to aggregate data from your competitor websites to monitor regularly

Based on Websites

Based on Keywords

What Is the Data Saying?

Based on the search and data collated as result, appended is a high-level summary of the channels the client needs to tap into to up their game.

  1. Personal Blogging
  2. Guest blogging
  3. Quora
  4. Slideshare
  5. Directories
  6. Social (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  7. SEO

Create Your Marketing Strategy

There are a million ways of marketing online. It is important to gauge what has worked to know where your efforts ought to be directed. Competition is a good thing especially when it gives you insights such as these. The analysis indicates the channels that must form the pillars of the marketing strategy as you proceed to fine tune it and add the actionable steps.

Get started because there is a lot that goes into outranking the competition.

 

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