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  • Writer's pictureVincent Grippi

The Digital Marketer's Guide to Competitive Landscape Analysis

Updated: Feb 25

When it comes to digital marketing, one rule holds true: know your competition.

Conducting a competitive landscape analysis is an essential practice for every marketing team worth its salt. Your marketing strategy will only be as good as your research. Inadequate research can mean the difference between success and failure since you will not be able to create a well-informed strategy that helps your brand stand out and gain the competitive edge in the market place.

With so many different channels and data signals in todays digital landscape, it can be tricky to cut through the noise and compile actionable insights. In this post, we'll guide you through putting together a competitive landscape analysis that will help you level up your digital marketing strategy.

What is Competitive Landscape Analysis and Why is It Important?

Competitive landscape analysis is the process of researching and analyzing the competition in your industry. This includes identifying your competitors, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, and understanding how they position themselves in the market. This information can help businesses make more informed decisions about their marketing strategies and improve their chances of success.

Marketing teams who don't build their strategies on strong competitive data, are operating on assumptions and we all know this never ends well. By analyzing the competition, digital marketers can gain a deeper understanding of their industry, identify gaps in the market, and find opportunities to differentiate their brand from the competition.

man performing competitive landscape analysis

Competitive Landscape Analysis Objectives

The key to performing good research, is knowing what you need to look at and what you hope to learn from it.

Identify Your Competitors' Strengths and Weaknesses

Once you have analyzed your competitors' websites, content, social media, SEO, and digital advertising strategies, it's time to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Look at what they do well and what they don't do well. This information can help businesses find opportunities to differentiate themselves and create a unique value proposition.

Identify Trends and Industry Shifts

Competitive landscape analysis allows digital marketers to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and shifts in the industry. By monitoring their competition, digital marketers can identify changes in consumer behavior, emerging technologies, and new marketing strategies. It even lends to helping overcome digital marketing challenges. This information can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changes in the market.

Identify Gaps in the Market

One of the most significant objectives of competitive landscape analysis is that it can help businesses identify gaps in the market. By analyzing the competition, digital marketers can identify areas where their competitors are falling short and find opportunities to differentiate their brand. For example, if a company notices that its competitors aren't offering a specific product or service, it can create a product that fills that gap.

Understand Consumer Behavior

By analyzing the competition, digital marketers can gain a better understanding of consumer behavior. This includes identifying customer needs, preferences, and pain points. This information can help businesses create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience.

💡 Tip: Adequate data collection enables marketers to build accurate customer personas, so don't be afraid to employ multiple methods of data collection.

Benchmark Performance

Competitive landscape analysis is essential for digital marketers looking to stay ahead of the game. But how can you truly measure success? That's where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into play. KPIs allow businesses to set clear goals and measure their progress towards achieving them. By including marketing KPIs in your competitive analysis, you can track metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, and more.

This not only helps you benchmark your performance against your competition but also provides a roadmap for improvement. With the right KPIs in place, you can identify areas where you are falling behind and find new opportunities to improve your marketing strategies. So if you want to stay competitive and supercharge your marketing performance, make sure to include KPIs in your competitive landscape analysis.

Identify Opportunities to Differentiate

Finally, competitive landscape analysis can help businesses find opportunities to differentiate their brand from the competition. By identifying their competitors' strengths and weaknesses, businesses can find ways to set themselves apart and create a unique value proposition. This can help businesses attract more customers and stand out in a crowded market.

How to Conduct a Competitive Landscape Analysis

Now that we've established why competitive landscape analysis is so important, let's take a look at how to conduct a competitive landscape analysis. Here are the steps to follow:

Identify Your Competitors

The first step in conducting a competitive landscape analysis is to identify your competitors. Start by creating a list of businesses that offer similar products or services to yours. This could include both direct and indirect competitors.

Analyze Your Competitors' Websites

Once you have identified your competitors, the next step is to analyze their websites. This includes looking at their design, user experience, and messaging. Take note of any calls to action, where they incorporate blog posts, resources and do they have enticing lead magnets. Pay attention to how they position themselves in the market and how they communicate their value proposition to their audience.

Analyze Your Competitors' Content

To gain a competitive edge, it's crucial to analyze your competitors' content strategy. Take a deep dive into their blog posts, social media updates, email campaigns, and other marketing materials. Look for patterns in the type of content they produce and how they distribute it. Are they simply regurgitating the same tired messaging as everyone else? Or are they using cutting-edge tools and techniques to create unique, high-quality content?

Keep a keen eye out for competitors that are truly doing it well - this way you can measure the level of competition and identify areas where you can differentiate yourself. It's important to pay close attention to the quality of their content, and whether they are over-reliant on AI tools like Chat GPT to create it. By conducting a thorough analysis of your competitors' content, you can gain valuable insights that will help you improve your own content strategy and stay ahead of the game.

💡 Tip: To separate your content from your competitors, clearly outline and set content goals while never forgetting the "why" behind it.

Analyze Your Competitors' Social Media Presence

To gain a comprehensive understanding of your competitors' social media presence, it's important to use social listening tools to gauge audience and brand sentiment. By monitoring the conversations and engagement around your competitors' social media channels, you can gain valuable insights into how their brand is perceived by the market. Are their followers engaged and enthusiastic, or do they seem disinterested or even negative? By analyzing this data, you can gain a better understanding of your own audience and brand sentiment, as well as identify areas where you can improve.

In addition to social listening, it's also important to use tools like Google Search and Meltwater to monitor mentions of your competitors across the web. This will allow you to keep a close eye on their marketing strategies and stay ahead of the game. So, don't overlook the power of social listening and other monitoring tools - they can provide valuable insights that will help you fine-tune your marketing strategy and stay ahead of the competition.

Research Your Competitors' SEO Strategies

For digital marketing success, SEO is a critical element, and analyzing your competitors' SEO strategies can help your business improve its own SEO game. By examining their keyword strategy, backlink profile, and content optimization techniques, you can identify gaps in your own approach and uncover opportunities to outrank your competitors.

SEMrush is an invaluable tool that can help you discover your competitors' backlinks and the keywords they're ranking for. By utilizing SEMrush, you can position your website to rank higher in search engine results. However, if SEMrush doesn't fit within your budget, you can still use traditional methods such as Google to conduct your research and gather the necessary insights to help you succeed. Don't underestimate the value of analyzing your competitors' SEO strategies!

Analyze Your Competitors' Digital Advertising Strategy

It's crucial to conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors' digital advertising strategies. This includes their social media ads, programmatic ads, and search advertising. By analyzing your competitors' ad campaigns, you can get a sense of what's working and what's not in your industry. Take note of the ad copy, the creative elements, and the targeting strategies.

Are they using humor or emotional appeals in their ads? Are they targeting a specific audience, or casting a wide net? By understanding their approach, you can identify gaps in your own advertising strategy and fine-tune your messaging to better resonate with your target audience. There are a number of tools available to help you analyze your competitors' digital advertising strategies, such as Oracle Moat, SpyFu, AdBeat, and WhatRunsWhere. By leveraging these tools, you can stay one step ahead of your competition and achieve digital advertising success.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

Conducting a competitive landscape analysis is essential to building a successful marketing strategy. You need to know what you're up against if you want to come out on top, and this requires taking a deep dive into the tactics and strategies of your competitors.

But don't just start furiously Googling away without a clear objective in mind. Before you dive in, take some time to really think about what you hope to learn from this process. Once you know what you're looking for, you can start identifying the competitor strategies that are really driving results – and use this information to craft a killer strategy of your own. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to analyze your competition – your success depends on it!


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