Today, my co-worker and I gave a presentation about competitive benchmarking during customer day at our first annual LIFT conference. Of course, we threaded our presentation through with plenty of Beyoncé, but that’s not all.
We also showed our customers how to break down competitors into three major categories for ongoing analysis. Keeping these categories in mind will be incredibly useful to you as you compile your own competitive groups.
Top Competitors for Share of Wallet
Who are your brand’s top competitors when it comes to revenue? If you’re Beyoncé, you might look at other high-grossing musical artists who you know are dropping an album around the time you are, or going on tour at around the same time.
This would be a great competitive set to keep an eye on consistently in the months leading up to your big release or tour.
Top Competitors on Social
Who are your brand’s top competitors on social right now? Which brands are excelling when it comes to the following metrics, and/or picking up a lot of press?
You won’t know the answer to these questions off the top of your head, but you’ll probably have some good guesses. Make a list of who you think your brand’s top competitors on social, then validate it by looking at a report which includes all these competitors.
Engagement-Boosting Cheat Sheets
You might find that a brand you think of as a big fish on social is actually seeing a decline in audience growth, or that a brand you added to this competitive set on a whim is blowing you out of the water when it comes to impressions. Running a report which shows you how you stack up against your competitors is the only way you’ll find out for sure.
Top Aspirational Competitors
Who are the brands you look up to? Remember that these brands don’t have to be direct competitors for wallet or even on social. These are just brands you see doing cool, innovative things on social and reaping rewards from those risks. Or they’re brands with the kind of engagement you can only dream about. They don’t even have to be in your industry.
For instance, here are some brands I admire from a creative, engagement-fostering perspective.
Of course, I don’t think Simply Measured will be posting about sleep practices or movies
anytime soon, but it doesn’t mean I can’t use the wins that brands like Yogi International and The AV Club experience with Twitter cards and well-chosen visuals to spark my own social marketing genius and boost interest in my own social content.
So, why should you break your brand’s competitors out into these three separate categories for benchmarking? Because this process and analysis will help you clarify which kind of competitor each brand represents to yours, and help you put successes and failures into context.
This process creates a perspective shift and alerts you to your double or triple threats — those brands which fall into two or even all three categories.
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