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How to do a super simple competitor strategy analysis

When it comes to a marketing report, you may dread the idea of seeing pie charts, bar graphs and numbers floating around. That’s not to mention the accompanying dry, boring analysis of these results, written in what looks to be a different language.

If you think this, you’re so very wrong.

Recently, I wrote up a competitor strategy analysis for a client, Living Goodness. The results took no longer than 30 minutes, there were no graphs, and the report reads just over a page long!

Read on to find out exactly how I accomplished this – it’s super simple, I promise.

How to do a competitor strategy screenshot 1

Seriously, this is 97% of my report – short and simple!

#1. Find your competitor

If you’re running a business and have no idea who your competitors are, you need to remedy this quickly.

Open up your internet browser in incognito mode and Google search a few keywords on what your business is about. Why incognito? Well, the search results will be personalised to your search history so you want to find a competitor that is worth analysing.

Living Goodness sells sauerkraut, so I typed into Google, “sauerkraut nz”. Google has been working on improving localised searching since around 2015. While obvious searches such as “Italian food” will bring up local restaurants, I needed to localise Living Goodness keywords so that Google knows I want to buy this product from a local store, as opposed to just needing a sauerkraut recipe.

Living Goodness ranks on the front page for “sauerkraut nz” (yay!) but so does a competitor. This will be the target of my strategy analysis.

 

living goodness google ranking

Third place on the front page of Google! Yay Living Goodness!

 

In a new document for notes, I made three subheadings:

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

You’ll need to adapt these to suit the media platforms of your client.

#2. Website

From the competitor’s website, I can see all their social media buttons on the top right. This is the first difference I note. Living Goodness’ social buttons are in the footer of every page, but that requires scrolling down to see. Placing additional social links somewhere on the homepage where they will be visible to visitors is the first thing I make note of in a section called “suggestions”.

living goodness website

There’s not much above the fold on the Living Goodness website…

I embark on a journey across the competitor’s website, making note of what they have and what Living Goodness don’t have on their website.

Along the way, I kept asking, “why?” For example, the competitor lists recent recipes on a sidebar on their landing pages. Why is this? Well, as a mere consumer searching for sauerkraut products, I can see that it will prompt me to head to the recipes page, especially if there’s a delicious concoction that catches my eye.

A sidebar can easily be installed into websites as an automated widget – this means any new recipes uploaded will reflect in this sidebar without additional action, thus providing fresh content for each time I visit their website.

#3. Social media

Next, I compared the social media platforms of Living Goodness with their competitor. I pulled up their Facebook and Instagram pages, and scrolled through like a scorned ex-girlfriend.

How often did they post? What sort of content were they posting? Did they do something different on their social media pages that Living Goodness didn’t do?

Who had more followers? Why and how? These were all very important questions that I needed to ask.

I also compared the hashtag activity because everyone knows that behind every successful Insta-famous account is a strong hashtag game (also pretty photos, of course). As this competitor sold products that were pretty similar to ours, I derived a list of hashtags that our client doesn’t use but should do.

Living Goodness’ products are very visually appealing, so their Instagram needs to reflect that.

#4. Suggestions

Of course, I didn’t want Living Goodness to copy their competitor post for post. This strategy was merely to boost their digital presence, just based on my observations of their competitor.

One important thing I had to keep in mind at all times was objectivity. I had to see Living Goodness’ competitor from the eyes of a hungry 20-something-year-old who just wanted buy sauerkraut.

This allowed me to cruise through their website and social media platforms from a fresh perspective. What would I first notice if I wanted to buy some of their products? What would annoy me if I were trying to see their stockists? If I needed to read reviews of their products, was it easily accessible?

With this frame of mind, I also turned my attention to Living Goodness’ own platforms to see what needed to be changed.

From all this, I wrote out a brief but very useful competitor strategy, using clear subheadings and bullet points. Easy to write, easy to read!

Living Goodness facebook page

I all but stalked the social pages of Living Goodness. As you can see, this is a proven and justified technique.

#5. Client meeting

I scheduled a meeting with the lovely Fiona from Living Goodness and ran through this report with her. It was important that she took the same journey I did, so in a few cases, I got her to open up the social media platforms to see exactly what I was referencing.

Next time I conduct a competitor analysis, I could include screenshots to highlight my points. As it was, Living Goodness only have one major competitor, and as I had explained my strategy clearly, it wasn’t just another boring report to be tossed aside.

When it comes to working for a client, it can be too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. This report showed that we like to keep an eye on the industry to boost the presence of Living Goodness.

 

Now are you ready?  Here’s another article about How to Compare your Website with a Competitors

social media conference 2017 auckland

Become Social Media Savvy with the Social Media Conference 2017

This September, the Social Media Conference is happening again! We are big fans of the content, even more so this year because our very own Rebecca Caroe is a speaker!

Are you looking to use Social Media to benefit your business but just don’t know how?

Social Media isn’t just for kids these days. In fact, it’s one of the biggest platforms for a business to market in today’s environment. Whether it be Business to Consumer or Business to Business, the Social Media Conference 2017 provides insights on how to utilise these skills to your business benefit.

Expand your knowledge in this field through New Zealand’s biggest Social Media conference hosted by The Online Business Academy for its fourth year.

Rebecca Caroe Social Media Conference

Rebecca Caroe (CEO of Creative Agency Secrets)

Marketing experts from all over the world come together to talk about their experiences with Social Media, how it helped them in their business ventures and how it can help you market to a larger audience through Social Media.

Listen

  • Wanita Z (Founder of the Online Business Academy)
  • John Kapos “Chocolate Johnny” (Chocolatier to Marketing Mogul)
  • Andrew Baird (Business Coach)
  • Our very own Rebecca Caroe on “The Art of Pre-suasion: Content, Keywords and Social.” 

Discover

  • Omni channel Experience
  • Social Selling through Social Media
  • How to run Live Events

Learn 

  • Be Seen, Heard and Found Online
  • Build and networking your brand through Social Media Outlets
  • Win your customers through Social Media
  • Deal with the difficult customers online

 Master 

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • And much more

Seize the opportunity to network with business owners from all over the country and develop connections for your business. Gain information that can assist with expanding your business through Social Media platforms and understand how Social Media aids with keeping up to date with the evolving business world. If you’re serious about expanding your business, you wouldn’t want to miss Social Media Conference 2017.

SkyCity Auckland
September 15th and 16th 2017
8:00am – 5:00 pm

 Use the code “REBECCA” at the checkout to get a $250 discount!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT
Social Media Conference 2016

Get early bird tickets for the Social Media Conference 2016

Do you want to learn about Social Media to CONNECT, ENGAGE AND GROW?

Then join fellow Business Owners, Social Media peeps and other amazing people who have already registered for the Social Media Conference 2016.

Accelerate your learning of:

+ Social Media Strategy
+ Developing content that will rock your Brand
+ Using live video to project your presence
+ Networking and building online communities
+ Using Google apps to grow your business
+ Using social media to Sell to an International Market like China and the USA
+ How to sell to the new generation of Millennials
+ Combining Webinars and social media for added sales results

With table topics on:

+ Snapchat
+ Instagram
+ Facebook Business
+ Facebook Advertising
+ LinkedIn
+ Outsourcing
+ Pinterest
+ Blogging
+ Podcasting
+ YouTube
+ Facebook Live
+ and much more

If you want to grow your Business using Social Media then this is the place to be.

The Speakers

  • Amanda Jordan from Google
  • Tom Walter form Tumblr flying in from Australia
  • Robert C Stern flying in from the USA and known as the King of Live Video
  • Pauline Stockhausen - Speaker at the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego
  • Natalie Cutler Welsh and Wanita Z Fourie - bringing fabulous information from the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. Both have been on TV, radio and newspapers
  • Andrew Baird – Digital Marketing and Business Growth Guru
  • Simon Young - creating magic in International Markets.

Networking

Fabulous opportunities to network. People have made significant business connections during the conference and friendships which extend beyond professional contexts.

Audience

Solopreneurs, small and medium size business owners, and people working in social media roles either within corporates or externally, community managers, bloggers, podcasters and anyone wanting to expand their knowledge and understanding of social media.

EARLY BIRD SALES END JULY 31. Book your ticket today for $560.00 which includes GST, full buffet style lunch for both days, refreshments, access to recordings of the conference speakers, prizes and much more.

Because the audience is geared towards the small/medium size business, payment plans are available. You can see the selection of plans here.

There's a large contingent of International Business Owners booking and people from all over New Zealand. The seating is limited and is selling fast. Don't miss out.

Joint Venture Case Study

Case Study: feel good joint venture for sporting website

Recently Creative Agency Secrets oversaw a joint venture campaign between our client, Rowperfect UK, the premier rowing education website, and manufacturer Crew Stop. The goal of the campaign was threefold:

  1. Raise awareness for National Learn To Row Day (4th June), a popular annual event in the USA but a concept that hadn’t yet carried over to other anglo-speaking countries that Rowperfect reaches;
  2. Encourage the use of rowing gloves and reduce the stigma amongst “hard” rowers of hand protection;
  3. Drive sales of the Crew Stop gloves stocked in Rowperfect’s online store.

Planning & Execution

Planning began in early May, when Rowperfect reached out to Crew Stop and proposed a partnership. As part of the joint venture, Crew Stop would provide gloves to give away to Rowperfect’s readership and art and assets to promote the awareness campaign, whilst Rowperfect staged a global social media campaign, tapping their 6,000+ twitter followers and 4,000+ Facebook fans.

The partnership between Rowperfect and Crew Stop made perfect sense. It allowed Rowperfect to continue to serve as a source of rowing advice and education whilst reaching the wide audience of watersports enthusiasts who had need for the Crew Stop gloves: Rowers, Scullers, Kayakers, Crossfitters, Dragon Boaters, and Waka Ama canoers.

As well as the competition to win gloves in the week that lead up to the weekend of the 4th of June, Rowperfect offered a discount code to new rowers and Creative Agency Secrets helped the client curate a new section on their website specifically targeted at learning to row for the first time. This new niche will be of value to Rowperfect readers into the future and allows the client to recruit new organic readers and clients. This approach aligned with ongoing project of creating new portals for the client’s key readerships: athletes, coxswains and coaches.

On the blog, Rowperfect published a series of articles about the purpose and uses of rowing gloves and advice around reducing the stigma of glove-wearing. On social media, Creative Agency Secrets coordinated the publication of posts advertising the three goals and the use of the hastag #NLTRD (national learn to row day). Rowers around the world adopted the use of the tag to share their rowing experiences.

Results

By strategically targeting followers of English-speaking rowing clubs with Facebook boosted posts, Rowperfect more than doubled their social media reach in the course of the campaign, increased awareness and engagement with their brand by adding over two hundred and fifty followers to their regular network, and hit internal sales targets.

For advice on arranging running joint ventures in your industry, or launching digital awareness campaigns, give us a call.

Will Technology Define Successful Events in 2016?

Event Technology is developing and defining the way we plan and create events in brand new ways. Loseberger is a UK company working with events. They recently published these infographics about how technology is developing and how it’s being used to make events more effective. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Event Technology: Will This Define Success in 2016?

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

How well do you really know your audience?

Do you know what their interests are, what they want and need? Sure, we’d like to think it’s all about us and our brand. But there are strategies to reach your audience in a way that will get them engaged in you and your brand that goes beyond the surface of what you think they want from you. There are tried and true ways for you to know your audience better.

What’s your common denominator?

Find out what you have in common with your audience so you can be the brand that they trust. Engage them to keep them coming back to you. If you’re a marketing communication manager, in public relations, an agency marketer or have done the Audience Industries Sequoia curriculum, you should understand what to do, how and when you need to to make sure your audience comes back to you… every time.

Get to know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Audience Industries is coming to a town near you in May and are bringing Circles with them. Really good news for you. The course is broken up into 7 modules that will help you to really get to know your audience. Audience Industries wants to show you how to bring your audience to you, over and over again. Keep them coming back by speaking their language, learning their paths and optimize your ads to deliver maximum value for your site. Because we know, it’s all about the money.

Here’s what’s in store for you if you sign up for Circles:

  • Module 1: Learn what your audience has in common with you
  • Module 2: Be the brand/business that your audience trusts
  • Module 3: Find out what your audience wants and needs
  • Module 4: Break down the elements of compelling stories and apply them to YOUR story
  • Module 5: Understand what makes your audience take actions on your site and use the information for good
  • Module 6: Get the strategies that create likes, clicks, shares… real engagement on your social media channels
  • Module 7: What you should know before you optimize your ads

Sound like something your business needs?

We thought it might. That’s why founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin are bringing Audience Industries to New Zealand for the second time. The Circles curriculum is coming to these big NZ cities this May, so book your tickets now while there’s still time:

It’s not just the Circles curriculum that’s coming to town.

If you think the Circles curriculum is good… you’re right! But Audience Industries has 3 other curricula that we think you should take a look at, too, to help you grow your business in an online world. Read more about the Audience Industries NZ Tour from Creative Agency Secrets to see just what else you can learn from Dan and Rachel. Don’t waste any more time wondering how to grow you business revenue online! Book your tickets for a city near you now.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck Creative Agency Secrets

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

If you’re a TweetDeck user, get ready for a shock: Twitter is deprecating TweetDeck.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

What’s the good news?

If you don’t know about Hootsuite already, you can set up a free account. Hootsuite is very much like Tweetdeck in its appearance and I would recommend migrating to that. You can continue to manage your Twitter conversations with Hootsuite, keep track of retweets and mentions, etc. You can also manage your other social media profiles with Hootsuite, like LinkedIn. And there’s the Autoschedule function which puts your Tweet in the queue to post when the majority of your followers are actually on and looking at Twitter so they’re more likely to see it.

Althought Hootsuite would definitely be an easy migration for current TweetDeck users, I’m a big fan of Buffer because you can set up schedules for when your posts go out. Also, they show you a graph indicating when the best time to post is using their Optimal Schedule (much like Hootsuites Autoschedule, but they don’t have a pretty graph). But you can’t manage conversations through Buffer just yet. They’ve come out with a Beta program called Respond which also looks a lot like Hootsuite but right now Buffer and Respond are two different social media management tools as opposed to Hootsuite, which is literally the two in one.

Besides that, they both allow you to connect a few social media profiles for free. If you went with either of them, it’s likely you would not have to pay for the service. But, really, check out Hootsuite, TweetDeck users, the transition will be smooth, I promise!

Shuttlerock | New Zealand Software for User Generated Content

Shuttlerock | New Zealand Software for User Generated Content

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the details in this article have been rectified per recent conversations with Shuttlerock. These new details are noted below! Thanks for your feedback, Shuttlerock!

We’ve come across marketing software created by a business here in New Zealand called Shuttlerock. It sounds sort of science fiction-y and futuristic – something you might see in a Rae Bradbury novel. In a way, it could be next gen technology in content sharing and revolutionize how businesses aggregate and manage user content to their benefit.

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Creative Agency Secrets Aucklance

What Shuttlerock does with user generated content…

If you’re a business and have social media channels, have you ever wanted to capture all your customer feedback and testimonials in one place? Sure, leaving it in the platform from which it originated is perfectly acceptable. But, what about putting it in the one place in which your put the majority of your efforts, i.e. your website. Right now, this information has to be collected manually and configured in an appealing way so that your traffic, your customers and followers, can see: Hey! Other people like this product and have gone so far as to say something about it on the internet!

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Steps Creative Agency Secrets Auckland MarketingIncluding content aggregation, Shuttlerock takes it a few steps further

Besides collecting user content for your team to sift through, sort, and put on display on your website, Shuttlerock also helps you promote your brand to get more user generated content. How? Contests and promotions, of course! We know that one of the best ways to get engagement online is to incentivize your followers to promote you and your brand. You can get them to share their visual content promoting your brand and reward them for doing it. If done right, you’ll get a flood of content that you can then share, directly on your site. Not only do you get to share their excitement with your other followers but they’ll also be excited to see that their content is being shared with the world. What better way to encourage and reward loyal followers!

Who is using it and how.

Shuttlerock operates in its home country of New Zealand and now Japan and the US. In recent Shuttlerock news, Lady Gaga used the program to allow her followers in Japan to upload their content to her website. These photos, directly from the source (her fandom), will be collected and used to create a poster for her Japanese ‘Cheek to Cheek’ album. Now, that’s innovative.

What I find interesting about it.

This program puts power into the hands of your marketing team in a way that can really make a difference for the brand. For one, your team can manage the content via apps, as well as share their own related content, which gives the brand a more approachable, human aspect that’s approachable. And, for two, they will have social proof of what is and is not working for the brand that can be shared with upper management. I find that extremely valuable for businesses to really make a dent in their market and bring exactly what their customers want based on their feedback.

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Dollar Sign Creative Agency Secrets Auckland Marketing

The cost.

So, the only thing that I’m hung up on is this bit: the flat fee of $500 per month. For big businesses with marketing budgets that would make you swoon, $500 a month is a drop in the ocean. However we can’t forget about smaller businesses with much tighter marketing budgets – to whom $500 a month is completely unattainable. Shuttlerock, there’s nothing inherently wrong with your fees. I’m just suggesting you have a tiered option for businesses big and small. It could be based on company size, or social media following, even the amount of content that gets shared. Just saying.

UPDATE: From our recent contact with Shuttlerock we’ve been informed that the fees are $5,000 per month and are focusing on enterprises… BUT! they’re currently powering their way through some key partnerships with the goal to, eventually, have options for small and medium enterprises. Until then, we’ll look on Shuttlerock with starry eyes!!

But, way to go!

In a world where brands are continuously vying for attention from consumers, having visual, word-of-mouth content directly from other individuals on your website is amazing. And, as a consumer, seeing that other people just like you or from all the way across the globe also like this particular product, it just makes it more endearing! You want it, seeing and knowing that other people want it and are willing to share their opinions about it, all over the web.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

When you’re new, or growing, and need social proof to prove your worth to the world

So, you’re starting out your business and you know you’ve got a good thing going. But something you don’t have yet from your clients: their endorsement of you and your brand or your product. Sure, they’ve told you they liked working with you and, of course, that made you feel good on the inside. But, with the interwebs, you need to have hard proof that says someone used your services and liked it enough to write it down in a social internet space. Like Google Reviews. Or Facebook. Or even just in an email and with your clients’ blessing. Okay, so, how do you do it?

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, or deduced from the title of this blog post, we’re talking about testimonials. Or reviews. Either or, they can be one in the same, if they contain ratings and words as friendly companions in whatever social app you’re using. There are multiple ways to get those testimonials so that, when a new possible client happens to Google you, lo and behold, they see other people like you and have used you and have provided their friendly feedback. Well, we rolled out with a fun and ‘give-back sort’ of way to request from our clients and those that have worked with us in the past. I think you’ll like it.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Before the holidays, our Chief in Command, Rebecca, came across a non-profit organization called StarJam. Briefly, I just want to let you know that what they do is amazing. Through music and performing arts, StarJam lifts kids with disabilities up, helps them to learn new skills, and gives them confidence. Just take a look at the photos they have on their website, every time I do I just want to be a part of that! Anyway, back to the story. Rebecca wanted Creative Agency Secrets to be able to give to StarJam. We also, you guessed it, wanted to get testimonials. Testimonials in one hand, giving to a good cause in the other… hmm. There’s got to be a good way to put these two together.

And SMASH!

It’s the holidays, right? We can send out a good will email to our clients! WE will donate money in your name to StarJam if you can write a few words on Google about your time with Creative Agency Secrets. So, we reached out to StarJam to get their permission, find out if they felt comfortable with our plan, requested a few images to use and then started crafting an email.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Key items we made sure to have in our email

  1. Make your headline engaging
  2. Make your text interesting to read
  3. Tell the reader what you’re doing or what you’re asking them to do

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials4. Hyperlink to wherever they need to go or whatever you’re referring to

5. Use images

The main thing we wanted to make sure to do was inform our followers HOW to submit a review. Some people don’t have Gmail. I know, crazy world, but we had to come up with a foolproof way to say ‘This is easy! Here, we’ll show you’.

Be Innovative with How You Get TestimonialsVoila! We created this easy to read image with everything needed to tell our audience how to do what we were asking them to do.

Then what? Well, we could wait around with baited breath. But, by this time, it was Christmas and we decided we’d come back to it in the New Year with fresh eyes and suntans.

And when we did… no reviews! We could have been sad and wallowed a bit but that’s now how you get good reviews. So we sent a follow-up email. Sort of a, “Hey, we know you were busy over the holidays, but…” reminder. Good idea, right? Of course.

But when you’ve asked the same way twice and you still get no response

You try another tactic. This time, we called, or in some cases walked over to, those who had worked with us in the past to ask them, oh so kindly, to provide us with a review while we donated to a good cause in their name. Sometimes it just takes the glimmer in your eye, the inflection in your voice, or just good ole human contact to make the connection you need.

And now we’re on the MAP!

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Tips to those using Google reviews!

  1. For one, you need 5 reviews to be able to see your star rating.
  2. For two… even if you have 5 star ratings for all 5 of your Google reviews… somehow you still only rate 4.8 stars

Number two will remain a bit of a mystery.

I hope this helps any startup businesses out there looking to get on the map as well with testimonials and reviews. As they say, right now, the BEST way to get business is by word of mouth. And online rating systems like Google, Facebook, and others are the next best things with the worldwide web!