There are a lot of factors that go into whether you will win or lose the search marketing race. Many of these factors are within your control, such as the architecture of your site, the optimization of your content, the engagement of your social media, etc. But there are also external factors that you really have no direct control over.
Think of web marketing as a race. You have no direct control over how fast the other cars go around the track. What’s more, in digital marketing, you have no control over how long the race has been going before you jumped onto the track (well, you kinda do, but roll with me here.) You may have the fastest car, but if it’s faster by only a couple miles per hour and you’re starting twenty laps behind, well, it’s gonna take you a while to take that pole position.
So let’s look at the role competitors play in the success of your own digital marketing strategy. These are not things you can control, but you can learn from them.
1. Competitor’s Brand Authority
Every business — yourself included — has a certain amount of brand authority built-in. Any competitor’s authority that exceeds yours is a formidable foe. You must not only match their authority level but surpass it. However far ahead those competitors are on the race track, you need to catch them before you can beat them.
2. Competitor’s Focus/Niche
Not every competitor you face will compete with you head to head. You might only offer a fraction of the products/services they offer, and others might offer a fraction of the products/services you do. There are downsides to both.
The bigger the brand, the more opportunities they have to build authority and dominate across all products. However, niche competitors can also zero in on a single product or area and focus all their energies there to dominate it.
Either way, you have to build the authority necessary to compete with the big brand while being laser focused to dominate in your niche.
3. Competitor’s Content
Content is a big part of online marketing and is a great way to build brand authority. Even if your competitor isn’t a brand name today, if they keep publishing both valuable and helpful content, it’s only a matter of time before that earns them some digital respect.
That doesn’t mean you have to out-publish them on a quantity scale, but you’ll have to find a way to make sure you’re providing equal or better value to your audience.
4. Competitor’s Overall Presence
Look at your competition’s overall web presence. Not just rankings, but social content and engagement as well. Social media consumes a lot of time, but it pays dividends. More than ever, customers are looking to engage with brands. If your competitors are there and you’re not, they are winning the hearts and minds of would-be customers.
5. Competitor’s Depth of Marketing Investment
Online marketing investment comes in many forms: Paid ads, social engagement, content publishing, organic optimization, etc. You can learn a lot about your competition by seeing how much they are doing in each of these areas. Any competitor that invests heavily in any area of online marketing will prove to be stiff competition indeed.
Beat Them At Their Own Game
You can’t change what your competitors are doing, but you can improve upon it. And that’s just what you’ll need to do if you want to get ahead. It’s not enough to be just as fast, just as good, and just as valuable. That’s a recipe for staying right where you are on the track. Nope, you have to be better. Learn from your competition so you can beat them at their own game!