I can’t say it enough, no one is like you and your business. You serve clients in a unique way and your company culture automatically sets it apart from others in your industry. However, everyone has competition – other businesses that do something similar to you and target an audience that looks like yours.
Comparison can be dangerous. A business owner that spends all their time comparing their work to their competition, and adjusting their strategy or goals to match, will 100% of the time miss out on what makes their brand special and unique. Comparison can kill your creativity, your innovation, and can make your brand feel like a copycat instead of a leader in your field.
That being said, there are benefits to paying attention to your competition:
First, check out your top three competitors online. Do they have a website? Is it attractive? Easy to use and navigate? Does it tell their brand story in a compelling way? How do they appeal to their audience? It’s much easier to evaluate another person’s website and brand than it is to be objective about our own. This process will reveal a couple of things: 1) what you are doing well with your own website and 2) where there is potential to do better than your competition in areas where they aren’t currently ranking well. The second, in particular, can reveal opportunities that exist that your competition is not currently focusing on.
Then do this again by searching for your competition’s brand using a search engine. How do they rank in the search engine results for their brand? Where do they rank in search in regards to industry or location-specific keywords? How often do they appear in the results? Are multiple websites talking about their brand? How much of a presence do they have? How much authority or credibility do they appear to have? Then do the same for your company and make improving your own searchability a priority based on the results.
Social Media Marketing
Let’s repeat this process with your competition’s social media marketing. While we would never encourage you to copy or plagiarize their content, paying attention to what gets good engagement on their social media marketing channels can be revealing. If your audience is similar, they may also respond well to that type of content. This is true for content that’s not performing well. Does your target audience like articles or videos? Do they respond to motivational quotes? Are they willing to engage in conversation when content is shared? This effort can be a process of elimination of what you should or shouldn’t share on your own social media channels and may inspire you to create something new or different that is better suited for your audience.
If you can approach evaluating your competitors from the viewpoint of learning what you can do better, where the opportunities may be that your industry isn’t taking advantage of, and inspiring you to build a better online presence for your audience – then this practice can be a positive tool used to become more successful. If you find yourself trapped in comparison or you use this practice to mirror what someone else is doing, forget I ever mentioned it! No one needs a copy of someone or something else. They need you to show up authentically and do your thing because that’s how you resonate with people.
Are you looking for a social media company to train your staff on online marketing strategies and equip them with the tools to maintain engagement, spark interest through Linkedin and other social media platforms, and build a solid foundation company-wide? Contact us to set up a training session for your sales team to improve your online marketing efforts.
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.