Knowing the way your indirect competition is addressing your audience will help you better communicate and engage with it. Which content has the highest number of backlinks? What are their promotional strategies with websites, content marketing and social media?
Given that you’re reaching to the same people, you will find elements that work well with your target audience, but you haven’t applied in your efforts. Indirect competitors’ events, concepts and trends can shed light on the best methods to increase audience engagement and hence improve your own strategies.
In addition, you can borrow leaves about sales hooks and purchase triggers indirect competitors are capitalizing on in content generation. They offer fertile testing ground to determine which strategies are effective for your audience and which don’t work well. You can hence optimize your own strategies accordingly to ensure your outreach efforts bear more fruit for your online marketing campaign.
How to identify indirect competitors
- Same solutions
These businesses solve similar kinds of problems for your audience. For instance, a vet services provider and pet insurance provider have the same goal: to ensure safeguarding of a pet’s health.
- Alternative solutions
These businesses deal in supplementary products compared to what you are offering. For instance, a home renovations company will be in indirect competition with companies like Lowe’s, which offers contractors to carry out home renovations.
- Same industry
These businesses deal in the same broad industry, for instance, car insurance providers may target health insurance providers as their indirect competition.
- Same business model
This one is more inclusive, and gives broader options. For instance, an insurance service curating site would work similarly to a travel service curating site, like Kayak. It gives you the opportunity to get quotes from different vendors simultaneously. These don’t offer great linking opportunities, but they can shed light on the audience’s purchase triggers and sales hooks.
- Same keywords
You’re probably interested in the broader search terms, i.e. your short-tail keywords. From the results, you can narrow down which businesses target the exact same audience as you.
For all of them, the analysis techniques are no different from what you do for direct competitors – rank according to SEO presence and authority, follow their backlink profiles and content strategies, examine social media presence and strategies and set up alerts to get information about new activity. Start with your top three indirect competitors, and then work with the rest if you want, later.