It can be tempting to feel like you're falling behind when you see your competition making headlines. But before you start panic posting, it's important to understand what's behind those headlines. To truly understand your competition, you need to analyze the content of the message and see if there is substance behind the headlines.
Little things can make for big distractions.
A few things can contribute to this kind of visibility, including pay-for-play.
For example, you may see your competition making headlines for winning an award, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are doing better than you. It could simply be a recognition of one small part of their work. Or they paid for it. Same with "top whatever" in those expensive research guides.
To get a clearer picture, you need to analyze the content of the message and see if there is substance behind the headlines. Understanding what is behind the headlines can help you better assess your position and decide whether you need to change your service or your message.
Don't assume that you always have the secret sauce.
Your clients' needs will change over time, and you must constantly re-evaluate the market to continue meeting and exceeding those needs. Take a step back and reanalyze product market fit. Make a simple chart to compare the must-have benefits—the things every competitor has and every client expects. And then look for delighters—those unexpected special touches that are your opportunity to stand out and be different.
Constantly reassessing the market and your service can give you a data-driven understanding of how you're doing compared to your competition.
Be the double chocolate mint Oreo in a sea of vanilla.
Are you targeting the right clients? Or are you trying to sell to everybody?
If your comps are getting real traction, you may need to narrow your focus.
So many of our problems can be attributed to messaging. You don't have to solve every problem for every person, and when you advertise like you do, it's uninspiring and unmemorable.
Knock the boring out of your messaging by revisiting customer problems and examining what they said they wanted vs. what they actually needed to achieve their goals. Speak confidently, use client language, and show your audience you can read their minds. This will establish you as the go-to industry expert, and everybody will want in!
User-generated content and social proof beat PR every time.
User-generated content and social proof are critical components of a successful marketing strategy, as they can help to establish trust and credibility. User-generated content, such as reviews and testimonials, provides an unbiased perspective on the company's services. This content is more impactful than traditional PR because it comes from clients with first-hand experience with the company.
When you are ready for PR, here are some tips for making the most of your efforts.
While being aware of your competition is important, it's even more important to mind your own business. With good market fit and clear messaging, you'll be able to compete effectively, regardless of what your competition is doing. So, instead of getting caught up in the headlines, focus on the impact that only you can make. Everything else will follow!
You don’t have to go at it alone. Two ways I can help: