By the time you’re done reading this post, Black Friday and Cyber Monday would have drawn closer which means the adrenaline rush in you and your teams such as marketing, sales, engineering & leadership has got more real. And why not? After all, it’s a serious money-making time for everyone.
However, the catch here is that you’re not alone. There would be all other businesses competing fiercely for getting the most out of the customers’ wallet share around Thanksgiving. Additionally, due to the ongoing global pandemic situation, most of the commerce could happen digitally, and hence, it’s going to be a battle during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The question is, are you prepared for it?
A recent study by Adobe Analytics and BlackFriday.com has indicated a massive $17 Bn USD of online sales during this year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
A good way to prepare yourself for such crazy events is to perform competitor analysis. That’s your starting point but what do you begin with?
And the answer is, Research and Analyze! To begin with, start competitor analysis by researching who you’re up against. It’s better to know your competitors first. Tools like similarweb, Quantcast, etc. can also help to perform competitor analysis.
You need to start your competitor analysis work by identifying keywords that your direct competitors are targeting for their paid and organic search. You can use these details to identify any keyword that is relevant to you but missing on the list and there’s your chance to fill in the gap and get ranked for it.
You should then actively monitor your competitors' rankings against your targeted keywords. This will help you to understand what they are targeting with SEO. In case of your competitors rank higher for your targeted keywords then you should visit their landing page to identify SEO and shortcomings of your pages. Analyze their top-ranking pages and their associated keywords. You could employ the same for your site as well and perform an SEO competitor analysis to increase your market share.
Try to monitor and analyze communications being shared by your competitors on their homepage and other landing pages based on the campaign and the relevant keyword. You could follow their link and head towards their landing page to get a brief idea about their Black Friday deal and digital marketing strategies. You could also subscribe to their newsletter to get an idea of their promotional strategies delivered right to your mailbox.
Start tracking the content your competitors share on various channels like their blogs, social media channels, etc. You could also ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ their social media channels to get notifications when they share new content. You can also analyze how their audience is interacting with those contents and accordingly you could do the same in a more optimized way. You could also create automated snapshots of those posts from their channel page using smart competitor analysis tools like Stillio.
Now, this is where tools like Google Alerts can come in very handy. It comes free and is a great tool to observe and monitor relevant keywords and deals around your own product even from other retailers. You can also set alerts for branded keywords and prize alerts including yours as well. Adding this to your competitive analysis and competitor research checklist can help you to understand the sentiment around your keywords and your competitors’ as well.
This might be the time when your competitors might try hard to acquire new backlinks and increase chances of fresh acquisition. Online backlink checking tools could help you to identify those sources. You need to add this to your competitor research checklist. For easy tracking, you could then use Stillio-like tools to keep screenshots of these findings in a standard archive library for future reference.
By now, you already have a working list of all keywords that your competitors are using from your previous research, but your competitor could also change their Black Friday marketing tactics and their targeted keywords. For this reason, you must keep a hawk-eye on your competitors’ advertising and their targeted keywords during the sale. This can bring in more conversions even after Black Friday sale.
Now, this is interesting. Custom landing pages could be created by your competitors for targeted products and it’s a good approach to keep an eye on those pages or even to discover those pages by following the links from the SERP yourself. This will also help you to monitor all the offers that your competitors are giving away during the sale.
It might be challenging to perform competitor analysis by following and monitoring all such pages from various competitors manually but tools like Stillio are there to save your day. You could easily automate screenshot activity by using Stillio which intelligently crawls through all the URLs that you submit to it at your designated time and frequency. Also, it will create an archive for you to make your monitoring easy. Keeping a snapshot of such web pages is very effective. Otherwise, you might have to copy the texts, image,s or other content on those pages manually and maintain a directory which will be hard to manage but with Stillio, these are simple to configure, manage and track.
During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale, your competitors could drop some last-minute surprise to cash in more customers, and monitoring their social media channels closely might give you that information as to what they are up to. You could also listen to their brand mentions on social media using tools like Hootsuite. Also, you could monitor who they are collaborating with (influencers) within social platforms.
Accordingly, you could take the necessary steps so that you don’t get outdone in any aspect. Considering there are so many social platforms available and so many competitors you might have, it’s a huge list of tracking you need to do. A convenient way of tracking all these is to automate a timely snapshot of those platforms of each of your competitors by Stillio. So, have this tool in your competitor research template without a miss.
After the sales, you’ll end up with loads of competitor analysis data that you’ve gathered till now about your competition. However, the job of a marketeer is never done and that’s why you need to make use of these learnings for your future strategies.
Now that you know about the important keywords for your business which even your competitors are leveraging, you need to be proactive in making use of those relevant keywords in your content organically and also use those in your SEM campaigns. With easy reference to the Stillio screenshot archive, you can conveniently work with your strategic team to create more effective Google/Bing Ads.
The research would have also helped you to learn how your competitors reach out to their audiences and how they communicate their offerings. Similarly, you could design your next marketing strategies to include lessons from those researches conducted. Try to locate your potential audiences and have your presence on all those social media channels. Knowing where your audiences are via your competitors is a great outcome of your competitor analysis.
Learnings from these researches should also help you to get an idea of landing pages that your engineering team needs to create. You will be able to identify which products will need a landing page of their own and which ones won’t, based on data and previous learning not by assumption. You’ll always find the Stillio screenshots in the archive handy whenever you need to substantiate any decision for Black Friday competition 2021.
All these reports and learnings can be distributed to your sales team, products, engineering, business development team, and your leadership for collaborative strategic decision-making before and after such mega sales events. The icing on the cake would be to onboard a tool like Stillio to do these active and automated monitoring activities on a regular basis without you spending much time on manually capturing competitors’ information.
So, on this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have the right Black Friday marketing tactics and strategies in place and be prepared for being glorious with the help of the research that you’ve done. Also, keep maintaining this competitor research checklist to get consistently good conversions even after such events.