Do you know what your competitors are doing to market their business? Understanding where the competition stands can help you stay ahead of industry trends, but it’s not a one-time deal. Conducting a competitive analysis in marketing helps you create a strategic plan to grow your business.

Most companies have heard the age-old business advice to conduct a competitive analysis in marketing when you’re just starting out. This strategic planning tool is used to chart out the course of where you want your business to go.

But too many businesses conduct their analysis once. They tuck it away in a drawer and never really think about it again. Meanwhile, competitors are pulling ahead in all the ways that matter, leaving you to figure out how you can win more customers and grow your business.

Understanding today while looking at the future

Finding those growth opportunities means knowing what your competitors are doing now. It also means getting the right insights and strategies to stay ahead in the future. That requires regular analysis of your content marketing and social media and how it compares to the competition.

Digital marketing strategies play a critical role in driving business, even if you operate a brick-and-mortar store. So, being online in the right places while providing the right content and social media can help bring new customers through your door.

A competitive analysis in marketing should include:

  • A look at what you have done in the past that was successful.
  • A review of what you are doing today for content marketing and social media.
  • An in-depth analysis of what your competition is doing in the same spaces.
  • Key differentiators that you can highlight moving forward.
  • A clear strategy to take the next steps.

How to gain the most insight from your analysisHow to gain the most insight from your analysis

There are a few things that can stand in the way of a quality competitive analysis in marketing for your business:

  1. You don’t know how to conduct a proper analysis.
  2. You don’t know where to find good information about your competitors.
  3. Your team doesn’t have time to do the analysis themselves.

Working with an external partner that has the right experience and tools to find the information you need is essential to your success.

Employing SWOTs to your advantage

One of the most effective and longstanding tools to analyze where you stand in relation to your competitors is to conduct a SWOT analysis:

  • Strengths: Your analysis should begin with a review of what you’re doing well. What are your competitive advantages, and where do you stand out from other businesses? These important insights can guide strategic decisions for what kind of content marketing and social media marketing you do in the future.
  • Weaknesses: Sometimes it’s hard to admit where we’re falling short. However, an honest analysis should include information about where you can improve. If you know your competition always beats you in certain areas (like posting on Twitter or publishing blogs), this is the place to talk about it. Once you know your weaknesses, you can figure out ways to overcome them. In content and social media marketing, these are the areas where you will focus more energy on testing and tweaking to get it right.
  • Opportunities: What is on the horizon for your business or your industry? Taking time to regularly assess the competitive landscape allows you to stay on top of inevitable changes and make it work in your favor rather than always playing catch-up.
  • Threats: What areas present the biggest challenge for your business? Threats are most often external, which means you can’t always control them. But you can mitigate their impact by knowing what they are and preparing for them with the right strategic plan.

A competitive analysis in marketing: The bottom line

Content marketing and social media marketing are rapidly changing. To stay ahead, your business needs to regularly conduct a competitive analysis in marketing, including regular SWOT analyses. When done correctly, this forms the basis for your strategic plan and can give you an advantage.

With our customized competitor analysis reports, Tempesta Media can help you learn more about what your competitors are doing and spot trends in your industry that you might be missing. We’ll review your competitors’ social media and content marketing strategies and recommend tactics to help you get ahead and gain traction where others are lagging behind. You can also read more about 100 common mistakes companies make when launching their own content strategy to avoid these pitfalls in your journey.

Contact us today to find out more about how our competitor report and content strategy can build your business.

Madison Gridley is a customer success manager here at Tempesta Media with expertise in search engine optimization. She loves helping customers optimize their content to assist them in ranking higher on search engines. Besides her passion for content marketing, Madison loves hiking with her dog, kayaking, reading and watching scary movies! Her favorite books are "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub and "Harvest Home" by Tom Tryon.

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