Are you tired of watching your competition beat you in sales, media, or visibility? Competition is a natural part of business, but that doesn’t mean you have to be on the losing side of it. We’ve already discussed adopting your competitor’s winning strategies as a way to save time in your marketing campaigns. But on the other side of that token is another advantage to studying your competition: avoiding their mistakes.

Learning from your competitor’s mistakes saves you the time of trial and error, and the money in resources devoted to running an ineffective campaign.

Here are some weaknesses in your competitor’s campaigns that you can take advantage of to grow your audience:

Lost Backlinks

An influencer giving your company a backlink can be one of the strongest and fastest ways to improve your SEO. However, you lose that value if the page is down (maybe a¬†500 for server errors, or a 404 if the link is broken, or any other reason). If your competitor has lost a backlink, targeting the influencer who originally wrote about your competitor becomes a quick and easy way to get SEO juice. Influencers need updated content, and you want to see your name in lights (or at least in backlinks). It’s a win-win situation.

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Converting Disgruntled Customers

Identifying consumers or customers frustrated from the product or service they have received from your competitor is a great way to get in front of your target audience: They are already interested in your offering, and emotionally ready to explore alternatives because they’ve been let down. If you see someone complaining about your competitor on Twitter, Facebook, or a forum, for example,¬†offering him or her a bonus, special, or incentive to try out your business is a great way to win over new customers.

Howling at the Moon

So, this may or may not be a “losing” strategy for your competition. You don’t know their entire campaign, so it’s hard to say what they’re qualifying as effective. Nevertheless, paying attention to your competitor’s most quiet social postings–the ones where they’re just sharing their own insights, not paying to promote the post, and not engaging any audience members–means getting insights into your industry’s interests. If you’re looking to ramp up your visibility, you’ll want to avoid creating content like that of your competitor’s. Pay attention to the topic, keyword, medium, social outlet, and time of the day and week they’re publishing these kinds of posts. By using competitive intelligence, you can still eliminate some trial and error from your ideal posting schedule.

Ready to automate your competitive intelligence into actionable wins? Use our handy “Spy On Competitors” worksheet to get the most out of your competitive intelligence.