We’ve all been told we’ve got to do “competitive research” and how important it is to keep an eye on your competition…
May I suggest a different approach?
How about you research companies and brands who are successfully selling something DIFFERENT to the audience you want to sell to?
Especially if you’re looking to shift the clients you attract, to move into new verticals, new niches, or want to work with higher-level clients, or scale from 1:1 to membership or group programs for a wider market…
Take the time to look at who’s already successfully selling to your ideal clients!!
And look OUTSIDE your niche/product/service areas. What ELSE (other than what you offer) do your ideal potential clients want and invest their money in?
Secret Hack within a Hack:
If you’re worrying about your own messaging or offers or products being too close to someone else in your space, stop looking at things inside your own space for inspiration and use this strategy instead!
When you bring back ideas from other verticals, you have to add your own twist and make it work for your vertical so it’s way easier to borrow great ideas without copycat issues. ;)
What products and services are they buying? From what brands or companies?
And I don’t mean the businesses that are start ups or under $1 million a year who haven’t really figured out how to scale their marketing or their business.
Look at the ones that REALLY have it figured out – doing millions or billions a year in sales revenue to your audience.
Look for the guys who’ve got a stock ticker and are makin’ money (not the investment backed companies pouring millions in without return yet). ;)
By watching what they do, and say, and where they’re showing up you can learn what’s working and speed up your own results.
Example: the messaging and advertising used by Walmart is VERY different from the messaging and advertising used by Bergdorf Goodman. Or Apple vs Acer. Or BH Cosmetics vs. Too Faced vs. Chanel.
Sure, some things stay the same because fundamental marketing concepts just work. But they’re applied differently at different levels.
So, let’s look at how to do this exactly…
** How to Research Brands that Sell to Your Target Audience **
–>> Step 1: Browse Through Their Main Website & Subscribe to Their Mailing List
Look specifically at the words and phrases they use. What’s the focus? What’s the benefits or results they speak most to?
What type of images and photos do they feature? What are they using for social proof, testimonials, feedback, etc?
As you look through 3-5 of the brands or businesses successfully selling to your target audience, you’ll begin to see patterns emerging in everything from messaging, to the types of sales they run, to the offers and pricing…
–>> Step 2: Follow Them on Social Media
Look at where they’re most active on social media. And then take time to notice what they post where.
What’s their profile look like? What types of images are they using? What’s the CTA or where are they linking to?
How do they interact on the different platforms?
If you get stuck finding their profiles, look in their website footer or use a tool like https://www.social-searcher.com/
Advanced: Look for the Influencers who help spread the word about the brand using https://followerwonk.com/ and begin to build relationships with those Influencers (they’ve got access to and weight with the audience you want!).
–>> Step 3: Monitor Their News Mentions
Setup Google alerts https://www.google.com/alerts to keep an eye on new promotions, and any other interesting happenings.
Bonus Tools for Further Research:
– See what tech/etc they’re using online with http://builtwith.com
– Get info on their traffic sources and trends with http://alexa.com (try the Chrome extension)
– http://similarweb.com another way to see traffic, links, etc for a domain
– https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/ research what ads they’re running on FB/IG – look for ones that have been running a while, chances are those are converting if they’ve kept them going
Is this helpful? Got ya thinking a bit differently? Share, and leave a comment!