Business today can be extremely competitive. The more knowledge you have on different industries and businesses, the better prepared you are to jump on potential opportunities. Here's how you can learn more about what your competition is doing right and apply it to your own business.
Make a list of the competition.
The first step is to make a list of all your competitors. They should be direct competitors that you know are doing well in your space. Create a folder on your computer labeled “company name” with subfolders for ad creatives, front-end landing pages and back-end landing pages. Start taking screenshots of these ads and landing pages. You may even want to buy your competitor's product so you can find out if they are offering an upsell or a downsell.
Remember, if your competitor is successful then it has probably spent a ton of money A/B testing every element of its website, ads and landing pages. If you notice that your competitor is utilizing live chat and retargeting ads, then you might want to model that same strategy.
Speak with former employees.
Learn more about your direct competitors by speaking with their former employees. Employee turnover is at an all-time high and people tend to bounce around to different industries. Search LinkedIn for people who used to work at the company. As long as they don't have a non-compete or confidentiality agreement in place, this is an amazing strategy. Offer to pay a former employee for an hour of their time and ask them questions to learn about your competitor's marketing and sales strategy. You will learn the ins-and-outs of the biggest companies in your space.
Before your call with your competitor's former employee, write out a list of questions you'd like to ask them such as: “What marketing channel did you acquire most of your customers from?” and “Did you cross-sell or have any up-sells in place?” I highly recommend this strategy for business owners who want to learn more about the big players in their space.
Use tools like WhatRunsWhere, SimilarWeb and SEMrush. WhatRunsWhere will show you which of your competitor's display ads are performing the best and which sites they are running on. SimilarWeb is another great tool to get a better understanding of where your competitor's traffic is coming from. The beauty of this free tool is that it is like having access to your competition's Google Analytics. All you need to do is to plug your competitor's domain name into the search bar and you can see how much of its traffic is coming from Facebook ads, paid search, SEO and other websites. The best tool on the market for both paid search and SEO is SEMrush, which allows you to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for, what ad copy is working for them, what their landing pages look like and where their backlinks are coming from.
Study your competitor's sales funnel.
Another quick way to learn more about your competitor's strategy is to study its entire funnel. Also known as funnel hacking, this involves evaluating the end-to-end funnel by clicking on one of its ads, going to the landing page and filling out its form. Your competitors have tried and tested every step in their funnel so you will learn a lot.
These strategies have paid dividends for me and my companies. Your successful competitors have already done all the hard work. You can very quickly learn what works for them by studying their entire funnel, testing their ads and landing pages and speaking to former employees. Once you start modeling what they're doing, your business will grow like a hockey stick. As Tony Robbins said, “The surest way to achieve success is to model someone who is already successful.