When it comes to marketing — especially digital marketing — being aware of your competitors is a vital aspect of just about any analysis. With overlapping fields, practice areas, and fortes — as well as several firms operating within the same metropolitan areas — understanding how to build a comprehensive competitor analysis can give your firm, group, or other professional services organization the upper hand when it comes to strategizing broad-scope marketing initiatives and ultimately rising above the competition.
Opening Moves: Understanding the Key Factors of Competitive Analysis
An assessment of any business’ competitors seeks to identify the strengths and weaknesses of competing operations so that your professional service can improve its efforts. This draws in pools of varying data and review items, including current market trends, target audiences, geographical scope, and beyond.
For newer firms, a competitive analysis can provide insight into the demand for their provided services in a particular area. Those that are more established can utilize competitive analysis to stay abreast of their competitors’ marketing efforts and even online activity.
All in all, some of the most important aspects of competitive analysis for a professional service include:
Identify the Other Player(s): Listing Your Competitors
A direct competitor is an entity that offers the same services in the same geographical area or online space. This is as true for legal practices, architecture firms, and healthcare organizations as it is for home service professionals or eCommerce sites.
Indirect competitors are those that have similar offerings in the same market, which means that your organization and your competitor may appeal to the same audience. These other firms are important as they touch on the same niche market you want to hone in on. Observing how these indirect competitors present themselves and reach potential clients can help you gain insight into new, more nuanced approaches for everything from your PPC campaign to social media platforms.
Board Evaluation: Conducting Online Research
This will yield the lion’s share of the competitor information required to complete the analysis. However, instead of limiting your search to a competitor’s name, consider searching for your organization. Google will generate a list of “similar” law firms in your area. This is a relatively straightforward starting point but is hardly the end-all-be-all!
Searching for keywords related to your specialty can help you put together a more extensive list of local competitors — whether it’s regarding a practice area, an engineering industry focus, a tax-related service, a medical procedure…the list goes on. This data gathering process is where Google Analytics for your professional service can be particularly useful.
Visiting Competitors’ Websites and Social Media Channels
When looking at what your competitors’ websites look like, appearances certainly matter — but content matters even more. Do your competitors participate in local events in which you may be lacking? Are there scholarships in place? What about their clientele or acumen — are there any high-profile partners they’re showcasing? Are you? What do their reviews look like? What do yours? These questions and more are all crucial to ask. This leads us to our next point:
Social media is another opportunity in which you can digest their public interactions with followers, fans, friends, and beyond. Become aware of all platforms they’re on. Take note of the language they use in their posts. Doing so will give you a better understanding of what tactics are landing — and what may be lacking.
Adjournment: Determining Your Next Moves With Digital Marketing Experts
Competitor analysis is a crucial, if not a perpetual, component of effective business; but you don’t have to go it alone. Turn to our digital marketing specialists to not only gain a comprehensive, birds-eye view of the competitive landscape, but to distinguish yourself amongst others in your practice area, niche, or area of expertise with our full suite of digital marketing solutions.
For more information about how we can help, reach out to our team today!