How to discover your competitors and learn from their marketing strategies

In this guide, I'll share with you some strategies to find your competitors and look into how they’re running their marketing strategies.

How to discover your competitors and learn from their marketing strategies

Studying your competitors is a sound marketing game plan.

Not only can doing so help you come up with effective, inexpensive, marketing strategies, but you can even uncover opportunities to reduce your marketing costs by learning from your competitors.


Imagine this. Instead of having to spend mounds of cash on social media audience research to determine which among the many social media platforms you should pursue, you can just look into the social media profiles that your competitors are getting the most engagement from.


Sure, the engagement they get shouldn’t be your only basis, but it gives you a hint of whether or not your target customers even exist on the platform.


With that, we’re just scratching the surface, of course.


In this guide, I'll share with you some strategies to find your competitors and look into how they’re running their marketing strategies.


Let’s dive in.


Identifying your competitors

Before you can even begin to examine your competitors' marketing methods, you need to identify who they are.


In order to uncover who your competitors are in your industry, you can use review platforms like Semrush, G2Crowd, TrustRadius, TrustPilot, etc. These sites will often show you competitors of the tool/software that you type into their search box. Not only that, there are even tools like who shows you who your competitors are based on the keywords you type into their search tool.


You can also use advanced search queries to come up with highly targeted search results when using Google. Not many people know that there are better ways to search on Google.


Most users would just type in relevant keywords and their variations, thinking that there’s nothing more they can do to get Google to bring them relevant search results.


Those who are doing Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO), however, know better. They use advanced search queries to get better search results from Google.


For example, if you are into selling women's fashion and you’re looking for sites that are selling the same things (your competitors), you can use this search query.


'Women's Fashion' inurl:'about us'


The search query above will tell Google to show sites with the word 'about us' in the URL.

In addition, within the page, the exact phrase 'Women's Fashion' should also appear.


In essence, Google will show the 'about us' pages of sites that have the text 'Women's Fashion' in them.


With this search query alone, you’d be able to see several of your competitors.


Study their content marketing strategy

Since content is king, it’s only right for you to examine what makes your competitor’s content compelling and what techniques they employ.


Whether they’re using omnichannel marketing to boost their content marketing efforts or they're into automation tools, knowing these details can help you improve your own campaigns.


In examining your competitor’s content marketing strategy, pay attention to these elements:




How long is most of the content published on their site? Does your competitor capitalise more on long-form content (write-ups that are around 500 words)? Or longer ones?



Format and style

Do they write more personal blogs and opinions, how-to and informational guides, or news and updates? Knowing this determines the tone they speak in: informal, conversational and casual, rigid and formal, or somewhere in between.



Pain points

What pain points do they often mention in their content?

Usually, the pain points they talk about relate to the type of product or service they offer.


As you determine the pain points, you'll know which offers/services they are aggressively marketing.



Other content types

What type of content do they capitalise on? Is it mostly narrative, or mixed with audio-visual objects? Do they include interactive elements?



Other topics

What other subjects do your competitors cover?

How well do they complement their main content niche and themes?


For instance, if your competitor is in the cryptocurrency industry, they might have content on cybersecurity or eCommerce, and connect the two niches with the same industry challenge faced.


When you run a content audit on your competitor's sites, you gain a better understanding of their brand and marketing positioning. This, in turn, will help you create better content, one that can help you generate traffic, leads, and sales.


If you think your competitors’ content far exceeds yours both in quality and quantity, you might want to consider hiring writers to help you bolster your content production/marketing efforts.


Audit their website

Auditing your competitors’ websites isn’t as complicated as you might think. In fact, there are free online tools that you can use to run your audits effortlessly such as Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. The tool has a 'Site Audit' and 'Backlinks' feature that you can use to view your competitors’ backlink profile and the keyword they optimised for — which you can pursue or build upon.


The idea is, as you uncover the sites that are linked to your competitors, you can study the links and cherry-pick the useful ones. Once you have a list of high-quality sites that are linked to your competitors, you can start pursuing them so you can make them your own.


Use this strategy on all of your competitors, and you’ll be able to build a link profile that contains the best of the best of your competitors. With this, you’ll have a better chance of outranking them on the SERPs.



Now that you’ve learned these techniques, it’s time to spy on your competitors (the right, and legal way, of course :) ).


As you learn about your competitors’ marketing methods, you can start making them your own or building upon them so you can come up with a marketing strategy that can skyrocket your sales.


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