3 big reasons to study your competition…

Without getting into a funk.

True, comparisons are obnoxious.

But sometimes they are necessary.

Only by looking at what others do can you find what makes you different.

That’s why you need to study your competition. But without getting into a downward spiral.

Try to observe them with a constructive spirit and don’t beat yourself up.

If a competitor is doing better than you, think about the reasons why.

What strategies are they following?

Is it something you want to do or can do?

Can you improve on what they offer?

Is your audience exactly the same as theirs or could you perhaps target a more specific group?

The most important thing is not to wallow in self-criticism thinking about how much better others are compared with you.

But to learn and find out where others stand.

That’s what we’re going to see in this post.

Are you staying?

Let’s go!

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The first and most important reason to study your competition

Because people compare before buying.

You do it too.

People want to be sure they buy the best value.

So you should study your competition to come up with your Unique Selling Proposition.

In this post I explain in detail what USP is. You’ll also find several examples so you get the idea easily.

Here, I’m just going to summarize it, but I suggest that you also read the one mentioned above to learn more about this topic, which is essential if you want to create a sales strategy that works.

The USP is the most important and unique benefit your customer will take away with the purchase.

It’s a desirable benefit that other competitors don’t offer or don’t mention anywhere.

I know, pulling that difference out can be hard.

But believe me, it’s always there, somewhere.

And you can find it by putting a lot of thought into your product or service and observing how others sell theirs.

Often, that difference may seem silly at first glance, but if you know how to enhance it with a suggestive message it can be definitive for prospects to choose you.

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An example I’m sure you’re familiar with.

M&M’s.

Their slogan which is also their USP is “They melt in your mouth and not in your hand”.

Can you imagine how many times the copywriters had to go round and round before they found that difference?

Maybe at first they passed it by because they didn’t think it was something worth highlighting.

But then decided that other chocolate brands didn’t mention it and yet it was important.

I’m sure many other sweets don’t melt in your hand either but they didn’t say so in their campaigns, so M&M’s decided that this would be their USP.

And it seems to have worked for them because they’ve kept it ever since 1954!

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The second reason to study your competition

And that you shouldn’t overlook.

Studying your competition will take you to read comments and reviews customers leave on their websites, product pages, Amazon pages and social media.

You need to listen carefully to prospects in order to move them with your message.

A problem I see often with some businesses is that they don’t listen to their audience.

They want copy that speaks to them, that flatters them, and don’t think about their prospects.

It’s like that someone in your family who always offers gifts thinking about what he likes and not about what the person who receives the present likes.

Your competitors’ customers may become your future customers, so you should listen to them with empathy.

By reading reviews and comments from competitors’ customers, you can find out:

  • What are they really looking for and can’t find
  • What they like most and what they like least about the competitor’s product/service
  • What objections they have and how to clear each of them
  • What words do they use to describe the product/service and its benefits

This information is pure gold.

And anyone who doesn’t realize that will never write good copy.

3 big reasons to study your competition… Without getting into a funk. #copywriting #marketingstrategies #marketresearch Click To Tweet

The last but not least reason to study your competition

To learn.

As simple as that.

Businesses that have been at this longer than you have a lot to teach you.

Marketing tactics, copy, design.

Study them with an open attitude, trying not to feel envy or self-doubt.

I know it’s difficult; often the needle of envy will prick our egos.

You shouldn’t feel bad about it, it happens to everyone.

The trick is to notice when you’re looking at your competitor’s website or social media with a negative attitude.

You start getting uncomfortable because you think you’re a piece of shit next to them.

That’s when you should close that window and do something else.

Try again another day, when you feel stronger, and study your competition with an open mind and be as objective as possible.

Imagine it isn’t about you, and you are simply analysing their strategies for someone else.

Observe which words they use to address their audience.

Do you like their style? Are there words you could incorporate into your message?

Look at what marketing strategies they use too.

Do they use email, social media, phone calls?

See what works best for them and consider if it’s something you’d like to do too.

But, listen: if they do certain things which would take you miles away from your comfort zone, you don’t need to do the same.

You don’t have to talk about your personal life on Instagram if it’s something you don’t feel like doing.

The great thing about these times we live in is that you can choose different ways to promote yourself.

There’s social media, but there are also blogs and emails.

Even phone calls, which can still work really well even if it’s an old technique. Or maybe because of it.

What I’m trying to tell you is that you don’t have to mimic everything your competition does.

You should know what they are doing and what results they are obtaining.

But it’s up to you to decide what strategies resonate with you and the type of business and buyer persona you want to attract.

Copying others literally is not going to get you anywhere because people will notice sooner or later and you may lose their respect.

But studying others for inspiration is what can help you find your own style, your own way of doing business.

See you around!

3 big reasons to study your competition… Without getting into a funk. #copywriting #marketingstrategies #marketresearch Click To Tweet

Sobre Elena de Francisco

Escribo copy que engancha para negocios sin fronteras. Vivo en Holanda, pero escribo donde me pille. Mi entretenimiento favorito es aplastar textos zombis que no dan resultados y transformarlos en palabras que venden.

About Elena de Francisco

I write copy that hooks into prospects minds for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, but I write everywhere. My favourite pastime is to crush zombie copy and turn it into words that sell.

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