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6 Steps to Identify Your Competitors

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

The first step for competitor research is to define who your competitors are. It involves going beyond the big brands to all organizations that can potentially affect your success. However, that doesn't mean that you have to take a blind approach to analyzing your competition.

Competitor research is a research process that specializes in identifying and collecting information about your rivals in the marketplace. Analyzing this information is key to finding what your competitor is doing and if they are a threat to your business.

Competitor research is not as daunting as you expect. Here are some guidelines to help you identify direct competitors:

Define Competition

Every business faces competition as a part of its journey. It could be another business offering similar products or a substitute that makes your product redundant. With the rise of the internet, you are not only competing against local businesses but also with others in different parts of the globe.

A competitor is not just another business but also another product or service in development. Therefore, the first step to identifying your competition is differentiating between direct and indirect competition.

● Direct Competition: Direct competition refers to those who sell or market the same product or service as your business.

● Indirect Competition: Indirect competition refers to those who do not sell or market the same product or service but competes digitally. They generally compete for the exact keywords or content, vying for your customers’ attention.

How to Identify Direct Competitors?

When identifying direct competitors, start with your products. A complete grasp of your product is key to understanding the full scope of your competition.

Market Research: Evaluate the market and note the products that are in direct competition with yours. Your sales team may have this information already in hand. Then, take a closer look at their products and marketing strategies.

Request Customer Feedback: Your customers will already have evaluated similar businesses and products. Once their sales process is complete, you can ask them about the other businesses or products they were considering.

Explore Online Communities or Community Forums: Customers often seek recommendations from community forums such as Quora and Reddit. A glance through these social media communities can help identify direct competition.

How to Identify Indirect Competitors

Even though your indirect competitors do not have the same product, they can have as much influence as direct competitors. In addition, since their content often competes with yours, they can significantly impact your potential customers.

● Keyword Research: Keyword research can help determine which businesses or products compete for the exact keywords. Most of your customers, if not all, are using google search when looking for new products or services. Use SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRush to identify indirect competitors.

● Analyze SERP: The chances are that many of your competitors are already writing content close to your product. So to start with, identify keywords central to your product or service. Then you can just use Google to find competing content and indirect competitors.

● Study Paid Data: Use the keywords from the first two steps and scan through AdWords. The result can help you identify businesses competing with your content, i.e., indirect competitors.

Shelley's Social Media offers a "Competitor Analysis":

  • 5 competitors.

  • Spreadsheet of the data we gather

  • Competitor types.

  • Identifying your competitors positioning.

  • Determine your competitors advantage and offering.

  • A summary of how your competition markets themselves.

  • SWOT analysis.

Contact Us today

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