“The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.”
In Marketing everyone is ‘in it to win it’, where wit, creativity and presentation are the key to success – yet, you don’t have to invent the wheel again, quite the contrary, you simply need to modify it.
Many businesses usually neglect their competitors, on some occasions even completely ignoring them. But is that really the way to go about it? Well, research tells us that the answer is quite simple, no.
By studying and keeping a good eye on your competition you’ll be more aware of your surroundings, which will allow you to more accurately shape your marketing strategy. This is due to the fact that you’ll be lifting the marketing fog of war surrounding your field and industry. In retrospect, by closely examining what your competition does, you’d be able to incorporate their tactics into your own ‘battle plan’, giving you a major advantage.
Let’s suppose that you want to start an Influencer Marketing Campaign, for which of course you’ll need an Influencer. It’s only natural that you’d want to choose the best one and again, why test the waters and waste time and resources, when you can simply look at examples within your field from your competitors. They’ve already done the job for you!
Examining your competitions campaigns can give you all the information you need about what attributes your influencer should possess, what works and what doesn’t.
I. Influencer Attributes
Influencers can be broken down into a few primary types and an endless amount of niche sub-types. The most common primary types of Influencers include: Travel, Sport, Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, Art, Food and Entertainment. Each one of these types will work better in some industries than others and knowing which one to pick for your campaign is crucial to your success.
Monitoring your competition’s choice of Influencers can give a good analysis into which type works best in your field. Maybe one of your competitors tried using a Travel Influencer only to have their campaign be unsuccessful, while another used a Lifestyle Influencer to climb to the top of the ranks. Take your time, research these statistics very well, and choose the perfect Influencer.
If you’ve been following our Blog, you’d know that we’ve already talked about how important the Influencers followers are during a Campaign. In fact, that’s the primary reason why you’d want to do a Campaign with said Influencer in the first place – to turn their followers into your prospects and eventually devoted customers.
It’s of the highest importance that your target audience is within the followers of your chosen Influencer – the higher the percentage (%), the better the chances of a flawless Campaign.
The number of followers can also tell you the rough price of the Influencer, for example, a mega-Influencer with one million followers will be more expensive, than a micro-Influencer with 5000-10000 followers.
If your competitors went with a pricy mega-Influencer, first of all, see if you can afford to do the same, but also try to find other alternatives. Sometimes a micro-Influencer can get the job done, just as good as a mega-Influencer.
This is the defining factor which separates popular people from Influencers. Some might say that all you need is popularity in order to do Influencer Marketing, however, research tells us differently.
The engagement between an Influencer and their followers is the building blocks of Influencer Marketing. The more invested the followers are in their Influencer, the more they will respect the Brand which hires them. This is mainly due to the pride that the followers of the Influencer feel when they get a Campaign. They feel as if they were there for the Influencer when they were no-one, sort of like watching your child grow, in a sense – this is also the main reason why micro-Influencers get better engagement, the followers feel like they are a part of a supportive community.
Monitor your competitors choice of Influencer based on the engagement their Influencer gets on a day-to-day basis. If their otherwise low engagement Influencer had a successful campaign, see what it is that helped overshadow this attribute.
Do you believe in love on first sight? Well in order to be a worthy competitor in the Influencer Marketing business, you have to. Even before you begin your Campaign, you need to show your chosen Influencer how much they mean to you – that you respect them and only want the best for them. Reassuring your Influencer that your cooperation will cause to harm to their online persona or followers is the key to openness and sincere advertisements.
Glance over at your competition, how are they treating their Influencer, and how is that impacting their overall Marketing plan? Do they comment on their posts, leave likes, promote their Influencers channel? These are very important, humane deeds that can show your Influencer that you’re doing this to grow together, rather than just pay them to redirect their followers to you.
We now know what Influencer Types are, but as I mentioned, these are very broad generalizations of what the Influencer does and can only give us an approximate estimate as to who their followers are and what they like. We’re already well aware that the more accurate the analysis we have is, the more control we have over the entire Marketing Campaign. Don’t be afraid to explore the niches and sub-classes and try to get as close to your target audience as possible. Maybe you don’t need just a simple Travel Influencer, maybe you need a Travel Influencer who is a pilot! The possibilities are endless.
Safest bet is to just again study your competitors well, see what niches and sub-types they chose. If they were successful, add them to your list, if not, learn where they went wrong.
II. Campaign Attributes
The message of a good campaign portrays all the emotions and the personality of the Influencer. Knowing how to merge your own Brand image with the Influencer’s, as seemingly as possible, is the only way to get an ultra-successful Campaign.
Examine how this ‘merge’ has been executed by your competitors, how much control they’ve given their Influencer and what that has accomplished. Tweak any of the mistakes that you think they’ve made and see how it goes. However, we do advise that you consult your chosen Influencer about the Campaign, as you’re asking them to give you PR.
Hashtags are the core of mass distribution, but you do need to learn how to utilize them properly. There are Campaign, Influencer, Holiday and many other specific hashtags to get your post to the people that really need to see it.
Knowing what hashtags your competitors use is not only advantageous for campaigns, however, regular posts could benefit from such information as well. Look for hashtags that are industry-specific and also see how your competitor’s campaign ranks within that hashtag.
Influencer specific hashtags can also attract a lot of their followers – because Instagram shows ads and posts based on the number of likes you’ve left on the featured hashtags.
When we talked about the message of the campaign we briefly mentioned that amount of control the Brand has over it. And as I mentioned giving your Influencer control is very important, but that doesn’t mean that you, as a Brand, need to be completely absent, it is a joint cooperation after all.
When checking this attribute, it is very important that you study and know both your competitor and their Influencer very well. See how they merged their personas, how that affected your competitor and if it was at all successful.
You can’t build a house without an architecture sketch. Same goes for campaigns, research, research, research, I can’t stress this enough. Getting inspired by your competition is only a natural step for healthy marketing. It’s not stealing or copying as long as you take the idea off of it, rather than the presentation.
Grab anything, from colour pallets to shapes and even emotions. Any little detail put into the campaign can act as an idea; so long as it fits your brand image and conveys your message.
Of course, the main factor is going to be the success rate of the whole campaign in general. But of course, there’s so much to learn from failure as well. Look at all the campaigns you can find within your industry, analyze the above attributes and find your perfect Influencer!
It should be noted that once you have all of this information gathered, you can find your perfect Influencer through our platform, by utilizing the many different filters available to you.
In conclusion, as the old proverb says “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Competition is healthy, it keeps us growing, evolving and learning new things, yet it’s very important to know what to look out for when studying your competitors.
If you have any questions regarding Influencer Marketing or finding your perfect Influencer feel free to send us a message over at firstname.lastname@example.org