Knowing your competitors is a great chance to determine the winning points in your industry and learn about other people`s mistakes. Read on and learn how to do it right.
Do you know your competitors? How do they communicate with customers? What products do they promote? How much do they spend on SEO? Answers to these questions will help you understand what works in your niche, what products are represented in it, and what key benefits successful cannabis-related companies possess.
You can get to know your potential customers better, establish a competitive price, and make your offer a “must-have”. Competitors are a valuable source of information that will help you increase sales and attract many new customers.
What is a Competitor Analysis?
Analysis of the main competitors in the market is a mandatory first step before developing a product’s marketing strategy. It includes a detailed study of the activities of the main players in the industry, starting from the analysis of prices, advertising, and assortment, to a detailed SWOT analysis of your competitors. Correct analysis and assessment of the cannabis company's competitive environment allow you to create a sustainable competitive advantage of the product, choose the right communication channels, and reduce operational risks.
The main goal of a competitor analysis is to obtain sufficient information about the strengths and weaknesses of your core competitors, their strategy, intentions, and to give you an opportunity to increase the effectiveness of your own actions. A comparative analysis of competitors in the cannabis industry can be carried out in great detail (up to predicting the behavior of competitors for several years to come) and is capacious enough to solve short-term problems. You company is in need of a competitor analysis when you strive for:
- Development of marketing strategy, product positioning;
- Sales plan to forecast;
- Assortment and product policy development;
- Commodity pricing;
- Product development – a selection of properties and key product characteristics;
- Development of a product promotion strategy.
Why Is It Important to Do a Competitor Analysis?
You might have products with great demand and reasonable prices, but customers may still choose to buy the same products elsewhere. It means that your competitors are offering them something more beneficial. To retain customers, you need to analyze competitors’ market behavior, find how they attract buyers, and then offer some unique advantage. You should also be aware of the market, even when business is going well. This is proactive work. For example, Seabedee highlights that competitor analysis helped them to save money eliminating running unnecessary ad campaigns. By conducting the competitor analysis, your cannabis business will:
- Find new channels for promoting and attracting customers.
You are surely using several sources to drive traffic and are satisfied with the result. But your competitors may know secret places with more customers, and fewer offers. For example, until recently, only a few used Instagram for sales and we are now witnessing a real boom.
- Understand the needs of Your target audience.
Explore the interests and complaints of your competitors’ customers from the comments they share. You may find a lot of new and interesting information for yourself. Customer reviews are a valuable source of information from which you can quickly create a customer avatar.
- Improve the unique selling proposition (USP).
You are interesting to customers when you offer something that others do not. It can be a product, a service, a set of services, or even a price. If you do not know the competitors’ offers, you may not realize that you have the same USP. Customers will know this and draw their own conclusions. Most likely not in your favor.
- Avoid costly mistakes.
The most budgetary way to learn is on other people's failure stories. Therefore, your competitors are a valuable source of knowledge. For example, look at what posts the audience does not associate with, and exclude them from your content plan.
- Define your place in the market.
You cannot improve your business market situation if you do not understand its current position. Analysis of competitors helps to find out weaknesses and strengths, as well as your place in the cannabis niche.
- Strengthen content marketing.
Learn what works for your competitors and implement it for yourself. The main thing is to adapt, not copy. These may be new topics for the blog, types of posts on social networks, ideas for engagement (contests, games, quizzes), free webinars, or e-books.
- Define your value to the customer and improve the way it is delivered.
Are you sure that you are building a dialogue with consumers correctly? See how other market players do this and develop an effective model or improve an existing one.
How to Conduct a Competitor Analysis.
You will not have to spend much time on this if you already know who your direct competitors are in the market. However, if you are just launching new products or establishing a new company, you should dedicate some time to identifying the key players. You may use tools such as SEO analysis of their websites, traditional SWOT analysis, or conduct a market research to see the big picture. Once it is done, you are ready to conduct a competitor analysis. The following approaches will give you a hand in understanding your direct competitors and their market behavior:
- Subscribe to your competitors’ pages
Examine-in which social networks they are present and determine where the activity is higher.
- Analyze the websites
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Analyze the structure. Is it clear and convenient? What sections are there? Which ones are you missing? Can you quickly find the right page or product? If not, consider the reason for the inconvenience of navigating the site.
Figure out if your competitors use Google AdWords remarketing to retain the customers.
- Analyze the blog
Today, almost every cannabis business has a blog to educate their buyers. That is why you should analyze articles, paying particular attention to:
- Type of content – video and description, articles, podcasts, infographics;
- Frequency of publications – once a week, once a month, every day;
- The quality of the material – view articles, study the volume, formatting, disclosure of the topic;
- Audience reactions – the number of views, likes, reposts, comments;
- Advertising in articles – are there any appeals that promote how much the banners correspond to the subject of the article;
- Relevance – how published entries relate to a niche.
- Sign up for the newsletter
If you found a subscription form on the site – go for it. Test how quickly the letter arrives, especially if you were promised a bonus: a book, pdf report, video. If you are subscribing to the newsletter, keep track of what they send you in emails, how often, and whether there are any promo codes.
Competitor Analysis Tools to Keep You Ahead of the Game
The next step is to make a deep competitor analysis in terms of SEO, PPC and ad campaigns. There are some tools to help you analyze the online activity of your competitors and the channels they use to drive traffic.
- Moz SEO toolbar
An extension for the Chrome browser that gives you access to many SEO metrics on the page. For example, Page Speed, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, Domain Authority, Trust Rate, etc.
Among the main functions:
- SEO data – general audit, analysis of positions in search results and backlinks, recommendations for increasing organic traffic;
- Paid traffic – the study of keywords for advertising, analysis of competitors;
- SMM – a list of the most popular posts, comparison with competitors, audience interaction with posts;
- Content and PR – brand mentioning, choosing the best channel for promotion, identifying trending topics.
A free tool for total cost estimates, daily page views, number of visitors, and site revenue. In addition, you will receive detailed traffic statistics, including data from the Alexa service, the latest general links on the social network Facebook, the country where the webserver is located, IP address, and monthly and annual income.
It helps to improve search traffic, research competitors, and monitor niche. The service shows why your business opponents occupy such high positions and what you need to overtake them.
The service was created for deep search analytics of competitors, analysis of the market share that the site occupies in a niche, automatic clustering, and text analytics.
If you analyze competitors in detail, you will figure out what they are doing to take up their positions. Take the information collected about each of them and determine what needs to be improved on your own website or business overall. Not only can you enhance the site’s usability, content, optimization, and your social networks, you can also improve the quality of customer interaction in order to beat the competitors. Competitor analysis has an important feature - even if you do not analyze competitors, then be sure that one of them analyzes you. Therefore, from time to time it is necessary to make this analysis and implement the key features in your strategy.