Undertaking a global competitor analysis framework can make all the difference to your brand and its place within the international market. With ambitious companies jostling for the top position, it is essential that you optimise your marketing and social strategy, to give you the best chance of success.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to gather information via social listening and examine the successes and failures of your competitors, in order to identify potential opportunities. This process can unearth intriguing insights as to what resonates well with audiences and details that could affect how your product is perceived.
Taking all of this into consideration can enable you to build and steer your marketing strategy in the right direction and maximise your brand’s chance of success.
Benefits of Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis can support a range of strategies, whether your goal is to keep ahead of your main rivals or develop a stronger product launch. Businesses and companies of all shapes and sizes benefit from gaining knowledge and insights about their market by analysing their competitors’ approach and activities.
Competitor analysis can help you to:
- Set up benchmarking to measure and drive success
- Identify and take advantage of gaps in the market
- Gain an edge on your competitors’ campaigns
- Identify your value proposition
- Gain insights on competitors’ weaknesses as well as strengths
- Discover and predict future market trends
How to Conduct Competitor Analysis
Social media monitoring and social listening are among the most vital competitor analysis methods used to gather information on competitors. When handled by experienced insights analysts, conversational data can unveil key insights about consumers’ perception and attitudes towards brands and products.
1. Identify your main competitors and their products
The first step is to undertake keyword research in order to identify competitors and their products. Who appears first on search engines and what products do they offer?
2. Apply locality
Although the whole world is at your online fingertips, it’s vital to take into account regional differences and cultural nuances when running digital campaigns. In-country native analysts will help to identify competitors on a local level.
3. Determine Share of Voice (SOV) – both globally and locally
This looks into whose voice is heard and whose brand is spoken of in the market. SOV can be used to measure reach and exposure, relative to a set of competitors. The larger the share of a brand, the greater popularity and authority it’s likely to have among consumers and potential customers.
4. Observe competitors’ content strategies
What are rival brands publishing and when? How are they using each platform and what is resonating well with their audience? Analyse each part of their content strategy to get an idea of what yields a good result and where their energy is best spent.
5. How does their content reach their audience?
The way in which competitors communicate with their audience is also important. This includes looking at how they use each avenue of communication and how they maximise engagement through these channels.
6. Analyse content engagement data
Analysing how followers and potential customers are reacting and responding to online campaigns is a vital part of competitor analysis. As well as looking at what was successful, delve into the details and nuances of what could affect audience engagement. Aspects to consider here could be trending stories and events to the time of day. Comparing engagement across multiple social media platforms is also a useful practice.
7. Audience perception of competitors’ products
We look at the influential factors that impact consumers’ opinions and how these can affect the reception and perception of the competitor brand online.
8. Social media presence
At this stage, we take into consideration how different social media platforms are used, the hashtags chosen and the frequency of the posts. This can be measured against the size of the brand’s following and how fast their audience is growing to better understand the success rate of the strategy.
9. SWOT analysis
Undertaking SWOT analysis means delving into the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of various brands and the wider market.
10. Review your findings
During this final stage, findings and insights from each part of competitor analysis can be compared side by side. Any patterns and trends will become clear as well as potential opportunities and factors that could influence consumers’ perception of your brand and campaigns.
Competitor Analysis Example
Once you have undertaken competitor analysis, presenting your findings can help to communicate your thoughts and ideas. Data visualisations can help you to understand, analyse and decide how to best approach future campaigns, but it’s vital to make sure the data has been cleaned and checked by analysts to ensure relevancy and accuracy.
The above example graph from Talkwalker compares the online engagement of three competitors across various channels. It looks at the popularity of different channels over time and which platforms are used the most in their overall strategy. At Convosphere, we regularly use Talkwalker in competitor benchmarking, but our project outputs are tailored to each specific client’s needs. Our analysts rely on several different analysis platforms for nuanced insights and a holistic overview as part of their reporting.
How Competitor Analysis Fits Into Your Marketing Plan and Social Strategy
Competitor analysis can be undertaken at any point of your marketing journey, whether you are a start-up in need of guidance on how to enter the market or an established business about to launch a new product. It can be used to bolster your social media strategy to gain more followers, or to shape and lead your overall marketing strategy.
Competitor analysis is all about gathering and analysing data that can enable you to make informed decisions and take advantage of new opportunities in your sector. They can help you identify the best way to optimise your marketing strategy, by seeing what has worked well and what hasn’t for your competitors.
Understanding competitors’ activities on social media, and the performance and perception of their campaigns, will help you identify the metrics for effective benchmark analysis.
This framework helps you to gather evidence that can have a huge impact on your brand. Regular competitor audits can also be utilised to keep your finger on the pulse and keep up-to-date with current trends and changes, so you can tweak your campaigns accordingly.
Why Competitive Intelligence is so important
When trying to maintain a competitive position or emerging as a key player in a global market, it’s vital to keep an eye on the other players in the space. Each step of the competitor analysis framework is an important part of the puzzle and needs to be carried out correctly in order to yield insightful results.
Competitor analysis has become an integral part of many organisations, especially those operating across markets, cultures and languages. With seven offices and a team of 150+ analysts around the world, Convosphere is ideally placed to run competitive intelligence projects across all social listening tools, social platforms, channels and geographies. We can deliver deep consumer insights to help you revolutionise your brand’s communication and get ahead of the game.
To find out more about the global competitor analysis framework and how it can benefit your business, get in touch today. To learn more about social listening and the other services we offer, take a look at our blog today.
With a background in brand communication and journalism, Moa heads Convosphere’s content marketing and is the editor of the blog.
Before joining Convosphere, Moa worked as a writer and brand consultant for agencies including The Future Laboratory, LS:N Global, Canvas8 and Stylus, with a focus on packaging, retail and technology trends in the UK and Scandinavia.
Prior to this, she formed part of Cision’s Scandinavian research and analysis division, where she worked on PR projects for clients across different sectors, managing a large team of freelance reporters.