How to use your competitors to grow your business

The chances are that your startup business has some competition, even if you think you’re entering an untapped niche. Rather than viewing competitors as threats and dangers, you should learn to treat them as valuable resources that can help you grow your business and find new customers. Below, we’ve rounded up a couple of ways to do exactly that.

Follow their followers on social media

Social media is one of the best ways to promote your new products and services and grow your brand online, and competitors’ social media channels can be invaluable for small businesses and startups wanting to grow. For example, if you’re entering recruitment, you could find other recruitment agencies on Twitter and Instagram and follow their followers. By doing so, you’re alerting people to the fact you offer similar services, and they’ll be more likely to follow you and get in touch than a randomer off of the street. Use Google Chrome tools such as Mass Follow to speed up and automate this process if you want to save time.

Copy their content marketing efforts

Find competitors that are nailing their marketing efforts, as these will be the most valuable to you on your own journey. Content marketing can be incredibly effective, so if you spot a competitor that’s publishing lots of high-quality content that’s generating traffic, comments and backlinks, take inspiration from what they’re doing. Obviously, we’re not suggesting you copy their content word for word, or even model your blog on theirs entirely, but you’ll be able to use their work to create a content marketing strategy that works for your business.

Learn from their mistakes

By keeping a close eye on your competition, you’ll be able to learn from their mistakes and save time and money when launching your own business. Perhaps they’ve had a social media faux pas, or launched a product that didn’t go down well with their customers? If you are switched on and know what they’re getting up to, you may even be able to capitalise on their mistakes and bring some of their customers over to your business.

Spot gaps in their business to tap into

Notice that a competitor isn’t offering or promoting their services to a particular industry or demographic? Use it to your advantage and hammer your marketing efforts in this area. For this to be effective, you’ll need to complete a full marketing audit for each of your competitors, but this shouldn’t take more than a day or two, and it can have a significant impact on your business and bottom line. And remember that once you’ve spotted a gap in the market, you’ll have to protect your market share by offering the best products and services so that your competitors don’t outshine you or take away your new customers.

How do you deal with your competition? Do you try to pretend they don’t exist, or are you using them as part of your marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below!