A competitor analysis is a critical element of a marketing plan as it is crucial that your business can measure up to the competition. By carrying out a critical evaluation of other businesses in your field, you can establish the pros and cons of their marketing, and fill the gaps with your business.
The most popular ways of conducting a competitor analysis is by utilising a SWOT or PEST analysis.
For a SWOT analysis, you must put yourself in the place of a potential customer, and break down the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business that could make them want to avoid or buy from them.
A PEST analysis is a more in-depth alternative, which looks studies the Political, Economic, Social and Technological features of businesses. This predicts what your competitors next moves may be when they face a hurdle, keeping you a step ahead.
Moz’s ‘Follower wonk’ is also a great way to analyse their social media. The website allows you to see your social authority score (the higher the better) against companies in your industry on Twitter, and compare their followers and who they follow.
How It Can Improve Your Copy
Whether you love or loathe your competitors, an analysis should not be forgotten. When it comes to copy writing, an analysis presents the tone of voice and format (blog, whitepaper, article etc.) that similar industries are adopting. Although this exercise could make you cringe from all the apostrophe catastrophes, it is more than likely to give you that light bulb moment!
Think about it, if one of your competitors receives a surge in engagement from a new blog series – it could be time to take another look at your own strategy if you’re struggling in this department. If other companies are offering things that you’re not, you need to match it or offer your USP (Unique Selling Point) to mark out your place in the market.
However, it would be a big mistake (not to mention plagiarism) to change your writing style and format into a carbon copy of your competitor’s. Your brand and target audience should be at the forefront of everything you do. For example, you wouldn’t expect in-your-face sales language on the website of a luxury brand!
Do other companies have spelling and grammar errors, incorrect/missing punctuation? Stand out with untouchable proof-read copy.
Is their copy long winded and hard to make sense of? Make yours short and sweet.
Rather than changing the principles of your business to fit in, a competitor analysis is ultimately about keeping your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your industry, and keeping up with the changing needs of your target audience. The key is to spot a gap in the market and take full advantage of it, making your copy stand out for all the right reasons.