If your competitor has increased their marketing spend...
Don't Panic. Get Strategic.
You should already be having a close eye on the competitive landscape your business is in. Create a dummy email account and sign up for their newsletters, track and monitor their activity on social media. If you are prepared, you can win. If your competitor has increased their marketing spend, follow this process and you will be in good shape.
Step 1: Conduct a Competitor Analysis
Determine where the competitor is spending:
Paid Social Ads:
Are they running more Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterst ads?
Did they increase their bids on keywords and therefore are outspending you?
Are they bidding on your brand name to poach people searching for you?
Are they sending out more emails or have a more compelling email strategy?
Visibility and outreach:
Are they securing event sponsorships or footprints at trade shows?
Are they activating Guerrilla Marketing campaigns?
Is the competitor more active in the community or networking groups?
Are they increasing their office footprint or adding new offices?
Are they advertising that they are hiring for new marketing jobs?
Other: Are they running print ads in local media or engaging the press?
Step 2: Develop the Plan
Strategy 1: Increase Spend- Direct Response
- Research the people who like the competitor’s Facebook page and enter interests into spreadsheet. Create a custom audience with Facebook ad targeted based around these interests.
- Increase frequency of Instagram Ad Spend and deliver a more compelling ad. Create and test custom audiences.
- If the competitor has increased their Google Adwords spend, simply increase ours.
- If the competitor has bid on your keywords, check to see if there are any copyright infringements and report to Google if so.
- Bid on competitor keywords and keywords directly related to Austin real estate queries.
Increase Visibility in the Market:
- Sign up to attend and even host happy hours and networking events.
- Partner with other well known (non-competiting) brands to produce buzz worthy events.
- Infuse your brand with local culture by creating a unique event
- Secure speaking engagements for top employees, managers and executives.
Strategy 2: Increase Organic Marketing Efforts
- Launch a campaign as response- but never directly attack competitor.
- Analyze data, run split test and continuously refine the social media content strategy.
Search Engine Marketing:
- Improve SERP rating by utilizing some tried and true organic SEO best practices. Partner with well trafficked influencer sites to produce blog pieces on your company to gain more backlinks to the website.
- Anaylze the email campaigns of competitor accounts. What CTA are they using? Frequency? Has their content changed?
- After the analysis, develop a unique campaign with a new CTA, using data to drive it. What has worked in the past? What new CTA and content can we test to see if we can improve our open and click through rate? Build email list through CTA on paid social or a referral program.
- Present “perfectly packaged” stories to the press.
The strategy should not only match and exceed competitor advances in marketing but also identify where they are not advancing to gain advantage.
For example, if the competitor is pouring dollars into paid social ads, then you should also step up their game in social, but also engage where competitor is not spending. Perhaps initiate a much more engaging and original event strategy, which is likely to result in more quality impressions and organic press.
Step 3: Initiate Plan and Measure Results
Set up the systems to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- The strategy should be measured every step of the way to determine effectiveness.
- Each initiative should be tied with a KPI
- Weekly reports should be conducted to ensure the strategy is nimble. Knowing when to pivot or preserve is essential to gaining an edge over competition and maximize budget dollars and resources.