5 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Competition in 2018

Knowing what your competition is up to is a wise business practice that can’t be emphasized enough. It gives you an idea as to which direction their marketing efforts are going and the type of message they’re achieving with their branding. It gives you an idea what types of products and services that they’re offering while allowing you to see what kind of response they’re receiving from their audience. If you’re not following the competition, it’s high time that you did because it can provide you with insight on how to approach your own business in the upcoming year.

Here are five ways to stay ahead of the competition in 2018:

1. Stay on top of industry trends.

What are the social media and internet marketing experts predicting for the year? How will the industry change in 2018? Doing your research helps you find a way to connect new trends with your current audience. It allows you an in with customers you haven’t yet reached before, too.

2. Follow the top ten influencers in the industry and see their commonalities.

There is a reason why people listen to what they have to say, buy what they have to sell, and promote their services through word-of-mouth. Find what connects these people to one another. It may not be obvious at first but once you’ve cracked the code, you’ve got one more piece of knowledge that you can use to further your own branding attempts.

3. Know what the other guy or gal is doing to set their business apart.

It’s important to look at the competition from a customer’s perspective. Don’t be afraid to visit their website, see what they’re offering, and note how they respond to their people on social media. You’ll gain valuable clues as to what to do and what not to do with your own business as you’ll see the other companies succeed and fail.

4. Track your metrics.

This may seem like a no-brainer because it’s emphasized so often, but you’ve got to make sense of those numbers. You need to know which posts are driving traffic your way. You’ll want to see how your visitors are converting to customers because of the value you bring to their lives. Working with your social media manager or SEO expert to understand why metrics are important can help you strengthen your business and catapult it into future success.

5. Make your content matter.

Don’t fill your walls and website with meaningless chatter. Think about the content you’re sharing as a way to make your customer’s life easier. Share the best information you have available and see how well it does. Build off the momentum of a post by focusing your attention on what other people share with you. They may have a specific question that needs to be answered or needs to be filled. Create content based on this feedback because it’s what your customers need.

Staying ahead of the competition is as easy as 1-2-3-4-5. Follow the steps listed above and apply them to your 2018 marketing plan. You’ll see greater results with less effort thanks to how effective these approaches are in furthering your branding efforts.

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