Improve your competitor analysis before, during, and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Follow this checklist to stay ahead of your competitors.
By the time you’re done reading this post, Black Friday and Cyber Monday would have drawn closer… we imagine your marketing, sales, engineering and leadership teams are feeling the rush! And why not? After all, it’s a serious money-making time for everyone.
However, you know you’re not alone. There are all these other businesses competing fiercely to get the biggest share out of customers’ wallets around Thanksgiving. Moreover, most of the commerce is probably happening digitally. The question is, are you prepared for it?
A recent study by Adobe Analytics predicts Cyber Week–which includes Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving–to drive $37.2 billion in online spending, 5.4% up from last year.
Competition will by no means be easy, so a good way to kick off such crazy events is by looking outside of your own strategy and perform competitor analysis.
But where do I begin? The first step in competitor analysis is knowing who you’re up against. Identifying your competitors is key to not waste time over researching and maybe missing those who are actually capturing your potential customers.
Once you’ve identified your true opponents, it’s time to start your Black Friday-specific research. This is why we put together this competitor research checklist!
Start your Black Friday 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 their list, and get a chance to fill in that gap and get ranked for it.
To complete your SEO competitor analysis, actively monitor their rankings against your targeted keywords. If your competitors are ranking higher for your targeted keywords, you should visit their landing page to see what they’re doing. Identify strengths you can take as inspiration for your own page, as well as think about what you can be doing better.
Visit your competitors promo landing pages regularly to check for flash deals, products, and how they’re catering to your audience. Find influencers who are collaborating with them to see what message they’re delivering and what their audiences look like as well. 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 blog and social media. Take a look at how their audience is interacting with those contents and 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. This is a free, user-friendly tool to 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 try hard to acquire new backlinks and increase chances of fresh acquisition. Online backlink checking tools could help you identify those sources. For easy tracking, you could again use tools like Stillio 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.
Landing pages aren’t a one time job during these massive online events. Products go out of stock, prices change, or you may even want to offer a flash deal.
Therefore, you should be looking at your competitors’ pages even as the sale is happening, both from their site as well as clicking on SERP results.
You might be thinking this is tedious, especially as you’re trying to focus on your own sales. But luckily there are tools like Stillio that allow you to automate competitor monitoring. Just set screenshots for these pages at the interval of your liking, and get the images saved directly on your account to check out when you have time. You can also choose to capture the entire sitemap of a competitor, so you don’t miss out on anything.
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. Again, you’ll be looking at your own activity, so make sure to follow their social media channels yourself to get notifications and be alert when they share new content.
After these events, you’ll end up with loads of competitor analysis data. Will this go to waste after Black Friday is over? No! The job of a marketeer is never done, and that’s why you need to make use of these learnings for your future strategies.
1. Rethink your Paid Media strategy
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 as well as in your SEM campaigns. With easy reference to the Stillio screenshot archive you created throughout CyberWeek, you can conveniently work with your team to create more effective Google, Meta, or 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 this research should also help you 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.
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 Cyber Week, 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.