4 Tips for Conducting a Competitive Audit

Understanding how you stack up against competitors is crucial. By taking the pulse of your competition’s marketing and communications, you can glean new insights to inform a successful communications strategy.One of the best places to start is a competitive audit that analyzes your organization's content and communication compared to your competitors. This process sheds light on gaps and opportunities at both the strategic and tactical level.Follow these tips to position your organization for success with a competitive audit that highlights your competitive edge:

Choose Competitors Wisely

If you’re going to invest time in understanding competitors’ communications, pick them wisely. Choose three to five organizations that will provide the most valuable information, and don’t waste time auditing a competitor you know isn’t at the top of their game. Most importantly, choose industry leaders who have a history of unique ideas.

Read Everything

Visiting competitor’s websites and social profiles isn’t sufficient. Make sure you read everything you can get your hands on including press releases, content offers, brochures, video content and press coverage. You never know where you’ll find a nugget of information that can inform your own communications strategy.

Dive Deep

Don’t just skim your competitors’ content and call it a day — dive deep into the details. Know what’s performing best by analyzing likes, comments, shares, views, mentions, follower numbers and any other analytics you can find. Taking time to understand what’s working for them will help you decide if it might work for you.

Outline Takeaways

After analyzing your competitors, and understanding the information you’ve uncovered, find time to outline strategic and tactical takeaways. Condensing to the most important information can clarify the big-picture ideas that make your competitive audit useful. Share this information with your team and leadership to ensure everyone understands how your competitors are performing and where your organization needs to improve.

Pro-tip: Revisit your competitive audit at least once a year. With digital communications evolving rapidly, it’s important to keep tabs on the changing landscape. New key players may emerge from year to year.If you’re looking for help conducting a thorough competitive audit, let us know. We’d love to help.