How to Identify Your Competitors in 5 Steps

The backbone of a successful marketing strategy is competitive research. In order to differentiate yourself and your product from the crowd, you need to identify your competitors and their marketing tactics.

Identifying competitors and their strategies can be challenging, but how do marketers do it? To identify your competitors, research your competition, and use that information to create powerful marketing, we’ve developed a 5-step strategy.

Let’s jump right in!

Who are Your Direct Competitors?

Direct competitors are businesses that offer the same product or service as you and who target the same market you do.

Here are a few effective techniques for identifying direct competitors:

  1. Market Research

Take a look at the market for your product and evaluate which other companies are selling a product that competes with yours. Talk to your sales team and find out which competitors they see often in their sales process. From there, you’ll be able to take a closer look at those companies, their products and marketing efforts, and create strategies to outperform them.

  1. Google Search

One of the simplest ways to find your competitors is to type your product or service into a Google search and see who comes up. If you’re selling a physical product, try adding “near me” to your search string to see who has brick-and-mortar locations in close proximity to yours.

  1. Compile Customer Feedback

Your customers are a valuable resource when it comes to identifying your competitors. Ask your customer service team if they’re fielding any calls or questions about products that compete with yours. You can also look at online reviews and see what other companies are being recommended as an alternative to yours.

  1. Check Communities on Social Media

Social media and online forums can be a goldmine of information when you’re trying to identify your competitors. Look for relevant hashtags, Twitter chats, or Facebook groups where people are talking about products or services like yours. See who pops up in those conversations as a recommended provider.

  1. Online Directories and Industry Associations

Online directories and industry associations can also help you compile a list of companies in your field. Try searching for relevant keywords in Google, or look for trade associations in your industry that have a directory of members.

Who are Your Indirect Competitors?

Indirect competitors are businesses that don’t offer the same product or service as you, but their target market is the same as yours. They might be selling a complementary product, or they might be targeting the same customer base with a different item.

Some effective techniques for identifying indirect competitors are:

  1. Keyword Research

As with direct competitors, the first step to identifying your indirect competitors is to research high volume keywords by online users regarding your industry. This time, you’re looking for companies that offer a different solution to the same problem you’re solving.

  1. Google Search and Social Media

As with direct competitors, you can use Google searches and social media to find companies that are talking about solving the same problem as you, even if they’re not using the same keywords.

  1. Monitor Paid Ads

Identify your high-volume keywords in AdWords and scan them. Who is buying ads on those keywords? They might be a direct competitor, or they might be an indirect competitor trying to reach the same audience as you. This means that it’s likely that those companies are targeting the same market as you, even if they’re not direct competitors.

  1. Check Industry Reports

Another great way to find companies that might be indirect competitors is to look at industry reports. These can often identify up-and-coming companies in your field, even if they’re not yet on your radar.

5. Analyze Their Content

Once you’ve identified some potential indirect competitors, it’s time to start analyzing their content. What topics are they writing about? What solutions are they offering? How are they positioning themselves in the market? This will give you a good idea of how your company stacks up against them and where there might be opportunities to improve and differentiate yourself.

Now that you know how to identify your direct and indirect competitors, it’s time to start evaluating their strategies. Use the techniques outlined in this post to take a closer look at what they’re doing well, and where there might be opportunities for you to outshine them. With a little competitive research, you can develop strategies to make your business the top choice for your target market.

Competing against other businesses doesn’t have to be a cutthroat race to the bottom. In fact, competition can be healthy for business. It keeps you sharp and forces you to constantly evaluate and improve your products, services, and marketing strategies.

If this process seems daunting, you can always enlist the expert help of   We specialize in helping businesses like yours identify opportunities for growth and develop strategies to take advantage of them. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you succeed!

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