Your business is awesome. It’s growing and thriving. Your customers love you, but you have those pesky competitors out there nipping at you constantly. They are stealing your ideas. They are learning from you. They suck and here are the sneaky reasons why.
Competitors Don’t Play Fair
- They Steal Your Ads and Keywords. There are several tools out there companies can use to see all of your Google Ads and what keywords you bid on historically. This reveals what you think is working and keywords which are generating traffic for you. So they can totally copy or attempt to make improvements on what you are doing.
- They Know Your Ad Budget. They won’t know it exactly, but those same tools will tell them approximately how much you are spending on an ad budget monthly. This gives them insights on whether they should even try to match yours or not.
- They Advertise to Your Visitors. Using Google Adwords Intent campaigns, your competitors can now totally create ads for people who visit your website. Is it perfect, no, but they can clearly setup competitive campaigns to show banner ads to people who would visit your site. Sneaky.
- They Monitor Your Social Media. If they are even close to being a worthy competitor, they are closely watching how you communicate in social media and the type of content that people like and engage with. They can then use this to create similar content with the hopes of getting greater engagement.
- They Target Your Followers. Again, competitors are sneaky. They can’t get specific follower data on Facebook, but other social media platforms allow them to capture this information to try and reach them. Arrrgggh.
- They Target Your Customers. If you run a storefront, did you know they can specifically target people who go into your store with ads that will appear on their phones? That’s just not nice. you work hard to get people to walk into your store, but they are sneaking in and engaging with them online.
- They Target Your Brand. Competitors are notorious for running ads that target your brand keywords to try and pull them away.
- They Undercut Your Pricing. If you are selling anything online, they know your pricing. If they have a similar product or even the same product for sale, they will try and undercut your price or use coupons to draw people away just to make the sale. Frustrating.
What Do You Do About These Competitors?
Well, of course, you can do the same thing they do. Watch and learn from their actions as well. How are they getting around you? Are they more agile? Should you play their game?
To answer these questions, if you are the leader in your space, you need to know why they are emulating you. If you aren’t the leader in your space though those sneaky tactics don’t look so sneaky and are pretty valid tools to use. But how do you combat those that may be attempting some of these?
Be original and set the pace. We love originality. As a person, we want to be involved with those companies that are unique, fun and make us feel like part of the team. This is super important and will set you apart from the others. Emma, WPEngine and MailChimp are good examples of this. They are a little quirky and it comes across in their customer experience, in their language, and how they interact with their customers.
Be the knowledge leader. Help us solve our problems with or without your product and you’ll create lifelong followers and users as people move from one company to the next. Even if you sell a physical product, provide all the insight, help and information you can online and offline. Show how much you know your stuff and give it away! Its hard for competitors to unseat knowledge leaders because it takes a lot of effort to be recognized.
Be awesome at customer service. Chick-fil-A is a great example of this. They have become the number one fast food chain because of their customer service. B2B companies like WPEngine and Rackspace excel at customer service in a space that is terrible at customer service. Its how they differentiate and keep customers coming back. Customer service is in their blood! It is really hard to lose customers if your customer service is rock solid.
How About You?
I’d love to hear your stories in the comments section! What are some of the sneaky things you know competitors have done to steal your customers?