If you want to stay ahead of the competition, knowing what your competitors are up to in the first place is a good place to start.
Before the days of the Internet and the social web, you would have done this by calling your competitors up, posing as a customer to get the information you wanted. The other option was to physically visit their site, if it was a retail outlet to gauge their set-up, how busy they were and so on.
Now, however, you can gain much more information, both in terms of quality and quantity in a month than you could before in perhaps, 3 or 6 months. All you have to do is become a part of the online audience that your competitors market to and all the information is sent to you at the comfort of your workplace, home and even mobile.
So, here’s a list of website tools and Online Marketing channels that you can use to stay in touch with what your competitors are up to:
- Newsletter – sign up to receive newsletter from your competitor websites.
- Facebook – become a fan
- Twitter – become a follower
- Blog – subscribe to their blog posts
- Website feeds – subscribe to their website feed, if they have one. This will keep you updated on any changes made on their website (and not just the blog, for example)
- Jobs – Visit their jobs or Careers page to see if and who they’re hiring
- News – Frequent their news page to see news/events/developments within the company
Apart from knowing what your competitors are up to, another, and maybe an even more important reason is that you can learn about how your industry is shaping up and where its heading, innovations and developments. This can help generate ideas that you can explore within your own organisation to…stay ahead.
Shirish Agarwal is the founder of Flow20 and looks after the PPC and SEO side of things. Shirish also regularly contributes to leading digital marketing publications such as Hubspot, SEMRush, Wordstream and Outbrain. Connect with him on LinkedIn.