Smart Marketing Basics



Quick Competitive Exercises That Will Keep Your Small Business Brand in Shape

Keeping up with the latest competitive maneuvers in your marketplace is important to keeping your small business at the top of its game.  Traditional tools, such as using a SWOT analysis, to assess your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, can be very helpful in identifying course-corrections or strategy-shifts that you need to act upon.  However, the level of effort required can be time-consuming, relegating this activity to the bottom of the small business manager’s “to-do” list.

While a deep dive analysis can be important to your business health, you can quickly monitor what’s going on in your industry by simply using your browser.  At a minimum, you can quickly check the pulse of your market by doing some searches that could identify companies that could potentially impact your business down the road. 

On a regular basis, say once or twice a month, do a Google search on your main search keyword phrases, and then see who is coming up.  

  • Are your search rankings changing? 
  • Are there new players coming up that you haven’t seen before? 
  • Has a key player slipped on the page one results of Google? 

Let’s say that your organization is a technology company providing document management software to the legal industry.  You might have one of your main keyword phrases be “legal records software” or something similar.  Even though you may have optimized your site for this keyword phrase, and use it in your press releases, web page content, etc., it’s important to monitor the ever-changing competitive landscape. 

Additionally, it’s important to do a search on your company name and product names, and see if anyone of your competitors is doing “paid search” campaigns, such as pay-per-click advertising, on your own branded terms.  And lastly, don’t forget Twitter, the social media micro-blogging service that provides a real-time tracking engine for hot topics.  Twitter Search provides another easy and free tool, where you can input your keyword phrases and branded terms to see what is going out there in the social universe.  You can easily learn more about:

  • Who is being tweeted about and why? 
  • What articles are being published about my competitors? 
  • What do people have to say about my brand?

By using these easy competitive analysis exercises, you can avoid competitive surprises and keep your small business brand in tip, top shape!

For more smart marketing plays for your small business, download our free Smart Marketing Playbook article series.

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