A competitive analysis is a critical step in brand-building in the B2B space. However, B2B market research often doesn’t exist and performing a deep review is time-intensive. It’s easy to veer into the weeds and lose track of your ultimate goal. That is, unless, you follow these five steps to a comprehensive competitive review.
1. Identify your top competitors
Consult your sales staff about the top competitors you run up against most often in the marketplace. Also pick some aspirational competitors, the ones you’d like to compete against as your brand grows. Cap your list at ten competitors to keep your analysis project, and the resulting data, manageable.
2. Pinpoint each competitor’s primary positioning
You might find a competitor’s positioning statement in their tagline or main banner of their website. It also may be hidden on an About Us-type page or in a section about their offering. Analyze each positioning approach, and try to spot any gaps your brand could occupy. If you’re working with a new brand in an established, highly competitive market, assuming a more innovative positioning could flip the market on its head and make your brand stand out.
3. Glean insights from their design aesthetic
Not only must your positioning be unique, but so, too, must the look of your brand if you’re to carve out a niche of your own in the market. Look at the aesthetics of the competition, and ask yourself what separates your brand from the others. If design is your strong suit, or is lacking across the field, it could be your key differentiator and position your brand as the innovator in the category.
4. Compare marketing efforts
Looking at the competition’s marketing, from print and digital ads to videos, may inspire your future campaigns. Determine what tactics are working or are a bust, and incorporate your conclusions into your marketing plan.
Social media may or may not be important to your marketing strategy, but it’s worth looking into if your competitors are leveraging it. Take note of what they’re posting, how often they’re posting, how much engagement they’re receiving and how their social presence ties back to their overall marketing strategy.
5. Dig into competitive SEO research
To take your competitive analysis to the next level, utilize SEO research tools, such as semrush.com, for insights on how the competition is approaching website optimization. You can get information on organic traffic, paid search and display advertising, backlinks and top keyword search queries. Use your findings to guide any future web updates.