3 ways to learn and steal winning ideas from your biggest competitors
“Anytime you find someone more successful than you are, especially when you’re both engaged in the same business – you know they’re doing something that you aren’t.” Malcolm X
“When we started our call center software the market was filled with successful competitors, but instead of fear we saw the opportunity and ability to watch and quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.” – Rahul Agarwal, Co-founder TeleCRM.
When you think about how to find inspiration, look to an unlikely source — your competition. It makes you better. Competitive analysis is defined as work to identify your competitors and evaluate their strategies, in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service.
Business success hinges on taking something that already exists and is successful and then adding your own spin to make it even better. That’s how to find inspiration
With that in mind, I’ve highlighted three areas to learn and steal winning ideas from your biggest competitors via competitive analysis.
1. LinkedIn poaching
Some organizations are sloppy with their client list, especially in social media. One step is to look at the profile of a competitor and see who they are connected to. Mike Byrnes at Byrnes Consulting suggests that it’s pretty easy to find out which connections are customers that can be targeted. Similarly, Joseph Franklyn McElroy at Corporate Performance Artists forms connections with competitors’ employees on LinkedIn and follows their activities, new connections and lost ones.
Google yourself to get to know how high up your site appears in the search results compared to your competitors.
If your page appears on the top, then there is no need to worry. But if it is not the case, then find out find out what keywords your competitors are targeting.
Use semrush’ organic keywords list here.
Look for keywords in which they are beating you.
Do content marketing for those keywords, promote them on your blog, and run ads on them.
Invest time and money in your search engine strategy.
If you are not on the first page, then you are losing outbid time!
3. Social Media
You have a social media strategy, but do you know what your competitors are already doing on those same platforms (and others)?
Consider following or liking competitors’ accounts, and let recon info come to you!
And with tools like Rival IQ, you can keep an eye on competitors to see where they are gaining followers, boosting posts or seeing high engagement.
Which channels or networks are competitors focusing on?
Which types of content get the most traction from their followers?
What is their posting frequency?
Are they posting within set themes, on particular days, or at specific times?
Now that you know what they’re doing, take inspiration from the aspects you consider successful, and improve on them to present yourself in more professional, complete, and engaging ways — all the while focusing on creative work that is uniquely yours.
Determine what doesn’t work: Capitalize on the discovered weaknesses, by implementing in ways that help you stand out by comparison.