When it comes to B2B marketing, businesses typically make understanding their target audience a key priority and conduct extensive research to this end. This is undoubtedly a vital part of your overall marketing strategy, however, with such focus on the customer, it’s easy to overlook what competitors are doing. All too often, we neglect to analyse the differing strategies of other businesses in our niche.
If you’re purely focusing on the internal components of your company without giving much thought to what’s going on with those around you, you are missing a crucial opportunity to advance your B2B business’ marketing strategy. The information your organisation can gather from a B2B competitor analysis is invaluable and, luckily, this doesn’t have to be as daunting of a process as it may appear at first glance.
“Only 40% of marketers integrate competitive analysis insights into strategy.” – Golden Spiral
If you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your B2B competitor analysis or, you simply don’t know where to start with this; this article is for you.
The Importance of Completing B2B Competitor Research
What sets your B2B business apart from your competitors?
If you’re not looking at what your competitors are actually doing, this question will likely prove difficult to answer. Differentiating your product or service and offering new, unique value is, as we know, incredibly important in helping your B2B business attract and retain customers.
But a competitive analysis goes far beyond helping your B2B company establish a clear point-of-difference and unique selling point.
By staying up-to-date on what your competitors are doing, whether that’s on their social media, website or the like, you can gain inspiration and direction for your short and long-term marketing approach. This means monitoring and learning from what industry leaders are doing right, while also, respectively, steering clear of your competitor’s mistakes and carefully considering why they may have occurred.
In addition to this, by actively examining the activities of your competitors, you’ll be well equipped to more effectively stay ahead of the curve. This means that, over time, your B2B business will be able to make educated assumptions about what your competitor’s next moves will be, anticipating their actions in advance. In doing this, you can proactively stay one step ahead of those in your industry, giving you a winning edge.
Each of the above will, ultimately, assist your B2B business in building incredibly strong, strategic and in-touch marketing tactics, all the while reaching and, ideally, surpassing, your organisational objectives.
So, now you know why conducting a B2B competitor analysis is so important, here are some of the key factors to look out for along the way.
1. Social Media
If your B2B business is interested in engaging with existing and potential customers on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, conducting an analysis of your competitor’s accounts can be incredibly beneficial.
For starters, in cases where your competitors aren’t performing particularly well on social platforms, this could indicate that there’s the opportunity for your business to take the lead and dominate the market. Alternatively, such observation may suggest that the market for social in your given industry is weak, in that your target audience isn’t overly active or engaged on such platforms. Thus, you may, instead, choose to steer clear of social or invest less of your B2B business’ budget in this approach than you initially planned.
The conclusions you draw from this analysis will, of course, need to be made in context, so avoid generalising and, rather, read the situation to decide on the most appropriate plan-of-action.
What if your competitors are excelling on social media platforms?
If your competitors are nailing social, amassing a large following and achieving strong engagement, a B2B competitor analysis can help your business determine what works and what doesn’t on certain platforms.
This can also act as a great representation of a market’s strong presence on social, which is reassuring for B2B businesses in that when investing in such platforms, they can see that there’s potential for them to grow and flourish. In such cases, however, it’s important to consider how you’ll differentiate your brand from key competitors who’ve already established themselves as strong contenders and attracted an audience on social.
2. Website & Customer Experience
How does your B2B business’ website stack up against your competitor’s websites?
If you’re not sure or you were once sure, but haven’t checked up on your competitor’s digital domains in some time, you’d likely benefit from completing a competitive analysis.
With B2B digital marketing, prospects often end up on your website, whether they’ve been directed there from one of your channels, such as social media, searched on Google or the like. Your B2B website is your business’ online hub, so ensuring it’s up-to-date, functional, visually appealing and optimised is vital.
By assessing what your competitors are doing, you can discover new keywords to target, investigate the types of menus, webpage structures and other design features that work for them and determine where there are opportunities to make your website better.
As a starting point, find the top players in your B2B business’ niche. Then, try answering the following questions as you systematically assess each of their websites:
- What types of imagery do they use site-wide? How effective are the chosen images in conveying and communicating product and/or service details with users?
- If they have a blog, what types of topics do they cover? Could their blog be a valuable resource, providing inspiration for your own blog or B2B marketing collateral?
- What types of products and/or services do they offer and how do they display these on their website? For instance, maybe they have an individual, highly detailed page for each offering or, alternatively, just have a singular main page for this information. If this differs between competitors, from your standpoint, which approach works better?
- What are competitor’s website designs like and, more specifically, could these inspire your own website?
These insights are easily accessible and relatively straightforward to seek out; however, the interpretations drawn from such efforts can be truly invaluable in building an exceptional B2B marketing strategy. If you’re looking to thrive and become established as a strong force in your B2B business’ sector, a B2B competitive analysis can help you get well on track to doing just that.
Start Crafting Your Winning B2B Marketing Strategy
The Lead Agency specialises in B2B marketing services, helping B2B companies across a diverse range of sectors to develop effective and impactful B2B marketing campaigns.
Our team are committed to delivering carefully crafted B2B marketing solutions that drive brilliant results. With expertise in B2B lead generation, B2B content marketing, B2B social media marketing and B2B remarketing, we know what it takes to achieve success with targeted campaigns and collateral.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.