how to get an easy competitive advantage strategy to beat your competitors

Easy Competitive Advantage Strategy For Small Businesses

Believe it or not, one of the best and easiest ways to have a competitive advantage as a small business is to take strategies from your competitors. In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, stealing effective strategies from your competitors is not just a good strategy—it’s essential. Monitoring your competition allows you to glean insights from what they are doing well and identify opportunities from what they could be doing better. By doing so, you can fine-tune your strategies and stand out in the crowded digital landscape. Read on for an in-depth look at the easiest competitive advantage strategy you can utilize and learn how you can start watching and taking inspiration from your competitors effectively.

Is It Okay To Steal From Competitors?

Yes, but it depends. It’s not ethical, or legal, to directly steal content from competitors. Even if you think you can go ‘under the radar’, Google’s algorithm is programmed to detect and penalize duplicate content. That being said, it’s a common practice among all industries to take inspiration from the competition, and perfectly ethical and legal to do so. As long as you aren’t directly stealing intellectual property, you’ll simply be utilizing a competitive advantage strategy that is frequent among all kinds of industries.

Take Instagram as an example. Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms to ever exist, and is still going strong to this day. The key to Instagram’s consistent cultural relevance is their ability to adapt to changing market conditions, and a major part of that is thanks to taking inspiration from their competitors. Here’s a story on one of the most prevalent examples of Instagram using this strategy: 

instagram used a easy competitive advantage strategy with snapchat

The year is 2014 and a completely new social media app is making waves across the online space. Enter Snapchat: a multimedia messaging app that allows users to send and receive photos, videos, texts, and drawings, which are known as “Snaps.” 

Snapchat brought something unique to the social media market, because the messages, or Snaps, disappeared after they were viewed. Additionally, if a Snap was screenshotted by the receiver, Snapchat would automatically notify the sender. This brought a level of urgency and privacy that was especially attractive to gen z users, who then, and even now, make up the majority of social media users

Years passed and Snapchat had become one of the most popular social media apps on the web. Why? Because they addressed a pain point that not any social media app had yet, the ability to maintain privacy while still having an online presence. 

Now this begs the question…how did Instagram react? You’ve probably guessed by now, but Instagram took inspiration from Snapchat and went to work on finding a way that they could address the same pain point and create a sense of urgency on their app. In August 2016, Instagram launched Instagram stories, a feature within the Instagram app that allows users to share photos, videos, and other forms of content that disappear after 24 hours. Sound familiar? Because it is! Just three years before that, Snapchat had come out with ‘My Story’, a feature within the Snapchat app that allowed users to compile and share a sequence of Snaps that are available for all of the user’s friends to view for up to 24 hours.

But Instagram added to Snapchat’s formula with their own unique touch. They incorporated  interactive tools like polls, questions, quizzes, as well as the ability to create drawings and add GIFs. This not only expanded on casual user experience, but gave business accounts, an audience Snapchat largely disregarded, the ability to easily make more engaging content. 

While Snapchat’s popularity has dwindled over the years, Instagram has remained standing at the peak of popular social media apps, and that can largely be attributed to their ability to notice a competitive edge and find a way to make it their own.

All that to say, how can you create a competitive advantage strategy to replicate similar results? Let’s dive into each way you can analyze your competitors to leverage your own business on the online space. 

Learning from Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses

Competitors offer a treasure trove of information. By analyzing their strengths, you can adopt similar tactics in your own strategies. Likewise, their weaknesses present opportunities for you to innovate and fill gaps in the market, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. 

Before diving into “stealing” strategies, you need a clear understanding of who your competitors are and what they are up to. This is a key part of any competitive advantage strategy. Identify your top competitors and categorize them based on industry relevance, similar audience demographics, and market share. Once identified, use these steps to ethically leverage their successful strategies:

SEO Techniques

  • Keyword Analysis: There are a wide array of tools you can find online that analyze the keywords your competitors rank for. This helps you determine which keywords drive traffic to their websites.
  • Backlink Profiles: Look at their backlink profiles to see who is linking to them. This may open opportunities to build similar backlinks or identify potential partners.
use tactycs' competitive blog tracker to boost your competitive advantage strategy

Content Strategy

  • Competitor Blog Tracker: Monitor the types of content your competitors are producing. If they have posts that generate a lot of traffic or engagement, consider how you can create similar content, but better. Tools like our Competitor Blog Tracker automatically monitors competitor blogs and sends email updates on their latest posts with actionable SEO data. The Competitor Blog Tracker can ensure you instantly leverage those golden keyword opportunities. 
  • Updating and Expanding: Take existing content ideas and add more value. This could be through more detailed research, updating old statistics, or adding multimedia like videos and infographics.

Website and UX Improvements

  • Design and Features: Examine the user experience and design elements of your competitors’ websites. If they have features that enhance user engagement, like a chatbot or interactive tools, consider how similar functionalities could benefit your site.
  • Loading Times and Technical SEO: Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to see how quickly competitor websites load and how well they perform in terms of technical SEO. Optimize your site to be faster and more efficient.

Advertising Strategies

  • Google Ads & Auction Insights: If you’re running paid search campaigns, use Auction Insights to see how your competitors’ ads are performing compared to yours. This data shows who you’re competing against in search ads and helps you refine your bidding strategies and ad copy. Once a competitor suddenly begins getting more traffic, it likely indicates that they’ve increased their ad bid. Try to match their rising bids to ensure you don’t fall behind. 
increase website traffic with tactycs' competitive advantage strategy

Adding Your Unique Value

While learning from your competitors is a smart move, your business needs to be more than just a copycat. There’s no value in directly replicating what’s been done before. Ensure that while creating your content, you use your own voice and unique touch. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Enhance and Innovate: Don’t just replicate; innovate. Look at what your competitors are doing well and find ways to do it better. Add more depth, clarity, or an angle that competitors have looked over. If you think something is missing, there will be traffic that will likely think the same. By accommodating it, you immediately address that pain point and put yourself a level up from your competitors. 
  • Fill the Gaps: Identify gaps in your competitors’ strategies. For example, if they are great at creating informative blogs but lack engaging visual content, focus on producing high-quality infographics or videos on the same topics. 

By analyzing what others in your industry are doing well, as well as their shortcomings, you can fine-tune your own strategies to stand out in a crowded market. Ethical competitor analysis allows you to glean valuable insights without infringing on intellectual property or lowering your standards. When executed correctly, this competitive advantage strategy can help you identify your audience’s specific needs and address gaps in the market, giving you a competitive edge that even your competitors will take inspiration from. The true key to leveraging these insights lies in adding unique value. By filling in the gaps that your competitors overlook and bringing your distinct voice to the forefront, you can create content that resonates with your audience. The goal isn’t merely to replicate what’s been done, but to innovate and elevate.

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