As business owners, we are constantly striving to outpace our competition, especially online. However, when it comes to digital marketing, you might be struggling to match your competitor’s strategy methodically.

The good news is that there are many ways you can start positioning yourself against them without deploying expensive methods right off the bat. Start by using these five tactics to match or even beat your competitors.

Identify Your Competition

This may seem a bit basic, but identifying who your competition is on the digital front can be more difficult than it sounds. Whether you are aware of it or not, you probably already have some competition – even if on a small scale.

To start this process you need to first do some research to find out who your big competitors are in your specific niche/ industry. You can also collaborate with a digital marketing agency to dig a little deeper and see what they are using as digital marketing sources websites, blogs, etc. In some cases, your competition may be no one else in your industry, but that doesn’t mean that what they do is not working!

Imitate Their Business Model    

Competitors might have a totally different business model from yours, what works for them might not work for you. If there’s no way you can compete head-on with them, go back to the drawing board and try imitating their strategy.

This is where digital marketing comes in. The web is the perfect medium for testing before launching, so you can see how your potential customers respond to your product or service.

Be Where They Are          

While social media has made it easier for businesses to connect with their target audience, there’s no denying that the major players like Facebook and Twitter are already saturated.

If customers are using other social media channels to get their daily dose of info, do you really want to stick with the majors?

For example, Facebook has 1.71 billion monthly active users worldwide, while Twitter has 320 million monthly active users. However, this doesn’t mean that these are the only networks that your potential clients are using. There’s Tumblr, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, Flickr, and many more social media sites that may be your next audience of customers.

Get Creative With Their Content           

Digital marketing campaigns usually start out with an idea or strategy, but what happens after? With so much information on the web already available, this is where you have to get creative and come up with a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

If customers love the pictures of your competitor’s food, try out their ingredients and post it on Pinterest or Instagram. Or if they share blog posts, write something similar to what they did but add more value or incorporate different strategies. This way, you’re still sharing their content but not outrightly copying it and claiming it as your own.

Compare And Contrast

This is the most basic of all strategies: compare what they do with what you do to find out where they excel and where you excel or can improve upon. Content gap analysis is one of the ways you can use digital marketing to your advantage.

Take note of what content is already out there and how much or little they share in comparison with yours. You can also see their layout, photos, fonts, overall presentation — do not be afraid to imitate what they’re doing right. On the flip side, take note of weak links and see how you can improve.

Look at Analytics and Biased Opinions Online

One of the best ways to research your competition online is by looking through analytics reports and biased opinions that other consumers have written about them. This will give you a clear insight into how much investment they are putting in, what their marketing tactics are, and most importantly — whether or not they’re taking business away from you.

Evaluate Your Strategy

The last step to matching your competitor’s digital marketing strategy is to evaluate it! Now, you have found some websites and blogs that your competitors and/or audience like to frequent do they link back to their website? Do they partner with a digital marketing agency? Do the sites provide any opportunities for guest blogging? What about social media? How can you use them in a way that is beneficial for your own digital marketing strategy?

By following these steps, you will begin to see your digital marketing come together. Start by using the competition as a resource for getting to know what people like and how it can be deployed effectively in your own strategy.