A competitor analysis should be comprehensive; it goes beyond checking your competitors’ social media and comparing their followers count with yours.
Businesses today bank on each other’s lack; even those servicing niche markets find ways to outmaneuver the competition. And for good reason – some invest in looking into their competitor’s online reputation score.
In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:
- The importance of competitor analysis in online reputation monitoring
- Strategies for outranking your competitors’ online reputation score
- Online reputation management tips
- The role of Rize and its online reputation management software
The Importance of Competitor Analysis in Online Reputation Monitoring
Competitor analysis refers to studying your competition’s standing in the industry concerning your business.
One of the advantages of putting together an analysis is that it provides a fair picture of your competition. As a result, you can gather actionable data for your business — build on and imitate what your competitors did right while learning from and avoiding blunders and pitfalls.
However, an excellent competitive analysis does not come easy; it demands planning, research and industry expertise. For instance, an industry expert like an online reputation management consultant would admit that a newly launched mom-and-pop shop shouldn’t measure itself against the big leagues of its stomping ground.
With proper online reputation management (ORM) and honest introspection, a newly launched business would gauge against relatively new, successful companies of the same size. While conducting an analysis does take a long time to complete, it’s worth it, and here are more reasons.
Identify Unserved and Underserved Market Gaps
Finding these market gaps is all about identifying problems and then looking to offer solutions. Conducting research and listening to your market is how you find your competitors’ weaknesses or what’s lacking in your industry.
For a simple example, let’s say you have a cafe for a business, a competitor across the road and both of you are doing well. But during peak hours, you notice how long the lines can get on both sides of the road, and customers tend to leave after a few minutes of waiting.
Your problem – which is also an opportunity – would be losing customers because of the long waiting time, so a solution could be to open a take-out counter.
Another opportunity could be when you consider opening up for delivery because your cafe regularly gets inquiries on your Facebook page, “Do you deliver?”.
You can use competitor analysis tools to conduct competitor mapping for more comprehensive research. It’s how you determine where your competitors fit on a matrix concerning pricing, quality or customization.
For example, if your research shows that most local competitors charge premium prices for high-quality products, the market’s bargain section stands underserved.
Benchmarking is a systematic process of building points of reference that you can set as a goal or measure your growth against.
Still taking the cafe as an example: You can develop a benchmark by examining your competitor’s Facebook posts. For the past one to three months, check how well their posts performed by gathering and averaging the number of engagements such as likes, comments and shares they have.
From there, you can set a benchmark for social engagement to keep up with or, better yet, overcome.
Another case is online reputation marketing: You can benchmark your competitor’s reputation using online reputation management tools and build a strategy to surpass them.
Determine Your “Why”
It’s inevitable to have consumers compare similar products between businesses. While some business owners would argue their products are better, closely priced products in an industry, have pretty much the same quality.
To further take the cafe business as an illustration: If a customer is presented with two cups of coffee, one from you that costs $2 and your competitor’s $2.50, there wouldn’t be notable differences between the two because you likely have the same quality of beans with decent paper cups; the difference all boils down to the “why.”
So other than sparing themselves a couple of cents, why should a customer buy your product over the other?
One of the best online reputation management tips we can give you is to develop a winsome “why.” It could be finding a charity to support. And if your competitor has a bad reputation, you can also consider getting expert help protect and manage online reputation of your brand.
Strategies for Outranking Your Competitors’ Online Reputation and Star Ratings
In 2021, there were 32.5 million small businesses in the U.S. alone, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), accounting for 99.9 percent of all businesses in the country. The SBA defines small businesses as those firms with fewer than 500 employees.
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of businesses fail in their first year, while about 50 percent of small businesses fail in their fifth year.
That means the other 50 percent of the competition succeeded, but how? Among other reasons, we will look at three benefits of online reputation management tools performed in an online reputation management service, which you can leverage.
1. Conduct Brand Sentiment Analysis
Some competitor analysis tools have a sentiment analysis feature; sentiments are commonly defined as positive, negative or neutral and can be tracked through reviews or any mentions on the internet like on a social media post.
It gives businesses a more accurate representation of how the public views their brand instead of just counting the number of mentions.
Your strategy may include considering the following:
- Social media mentions of your competitors across sites
- Press releases about your competitor
Since your focus is sentiment, you have to consider the following in its context: Are the mentions positive, negative or neither? Ultimately, your analysis would show you the percentage of positive sentiments of your competitor’s brand.
From there, you compare the sentiment toward your brand. Ideally, whether you discover that you have a more favorable standing than your competitor or not, you should figure out how to encourage more positive posts and handle all the negative ones.
A significant part of improving your online reputation reports, particularly brand sentiment, is listening to your audience to create a better customer experience.
Tip: A reputation management consultant can efficiently conduct brand sentiment analysis of your brand and competitors with automated online reputation management tools.
2. Online Reviews
Online reviews strongly influence a consumer’s decision to buy from your company — ReviewTrackers reports that companies with fewer than 4-star ratings are 70 percent less likely to be trusted by consumers.
To get an advantage, you should take a closer look at your competitor and check their:
- Business listings (which directories are they on)
- Overall ratings
- Common subjects mentioned in reviews
- How your competitor responds to reviews
You can start strategizing how you approach your online reputation marketing from the insights you gather.
Tip: Manage online reputation better and collect more genuine, positive reviews with an online reputation management service company.
3. Search Engine Visibility
Google is where most consumers go first when searching for companies, expecting to meet their needs.
Going back to the cafe example: If someone from your local neighborhood searches for “cafe near me” and you show up second to your competitor, they get the first chance of converting a lead — a potential loss for your company.
Reputation management consultants admit that local search engine optimization (SEO) is a major driving factor in improving your brand’s online reputation reports.
Tip: When looking for an online reputation management company, ask if they offer local SEO in their online reputation services.
The Role of Rize and Its Online Reputation Management Software
Online reputation monitoring and competitor analysis can be complex; with the help of Rize Reviews, an online reputation management company, you can take the burden off your shoulders.
Rize recently improved its online reputation services and launched an enhanced reputation audit that helps its clients understand their online reputation scores.
Our new ORM audits report gives better insights into your online reputation and competitors’, focusing on significant factors such as review volume, score and recency.
Here are some more advantages you can get from working with Rize:
- Reputation management consultants. We have in-house industry experts to serve you.
- Full online reputation management service. Our consultants fully manage everything.
- Online reputation management tips. You’ll get free initial analysis and tips upon consultation.
- Manage online reputation. Negative or positive reviews, we manage them by responding to or featuring them.
- Online reputation marketing. We offer local SEO and proactively gather genuine, positive reviews for you.
- Online reputation reports. You receive regular reports and real-time alerts to keep you updated.
- Competitor analysis tools. We are equipped with the right tools to help you to outrank competitors.
If you want a sample of our comprehensive reputation audit, reach out to our ORM consultants here.