Competition is great.
It drives organizations to provide better products for their customers, results in fairer prices, and it’s one of the biggest drivers of growth.
On the LinkedIn level, it drives people to keep tweaking, posting, and optimizing to maximize the campaigns that they have.
If you’re pushing for your growth, you have to know about the competition and how you can position your organization for greatness.
In this article, we take a look at how to use LinkedIn competitor analysis to determine your competition’s plays and use that information to create better campaigns.
The business landscape is not what it used to be.
Here’s something that I learned earlier on in life:
“If you don’t adapt, you die.”
Successful organizations have learned to adapt quickly to the ever-changing needs of their prospects, and you can only adapt if you understand the market and the different players in it.
Competitor analysis equips organizations with the information they need to navigate today’s markets.
But, here’s the caveat.
I’ve seen a lot of people get so caught up with competitor analysis that they fail to stay original in their own light.
Keeping a tab on the competition should not distract you from running your own organization.
It should only serve as a guide.
Use it as information, inspiration or as a benchmark, but don’t let it dictate your next actions.
You have to be proactive with the information instead of being reactive.
At the end of the day, you’re still in control of the show, and you don’t have to do everything that they’re doing.
Regardless if you’re new or old in the industry, you’ll have a list of competitors that are after the same markets as you are.
The first people you want to check out are these guys.
If you know about them, there’s a fair chance that they’re popular in the industry and your prospects know about them as well.
For competition that’s on a larger scale than you, pay attention to what you think they’re doing right on the platform.
If it’s competition that’s about to catch up, you might want to reexamine what you’re doing to compare it to their more successful campaigns.
Another place to look for your competitors is through LinkedIn itself.
Pull up LinkedIn search.
Now type in the keywords that you want to rank for.
If they did a good job with their LinkedIn SEO, they should appear higher in the LinkedIn search engine.
To learn more about LinkedIn SEO, check out our extensive guide here.
Although LinkedIn also suggests people and pages depending on other factors, you’ll find that a basic LinkedIn keyword search will help you determine who’s on top.
This quick search will help you figure out who else is competing in your domain.
However, you might have competition that won’t appear in these search result if ever they’re after different keywords on the platform.
At BAMF, we always highlight profile optimization because it is one of the most critical aspects of your marketing and branding on the platform.
Your profile helps with your LinkedIn SEO, acts as a landing page on the platform, and – if you were working to converting an inbound lead – it’s also the first point of contact.
Now, what happens if someone seems to be ranking higher than you on LinkedIn search?
You check out how their profile is optimized.
Having trouble generating a headline? Use our LinkedIn headline generator.
Also, consider how the summary was written, does it tell a story or is it just plain marketing?
Their profile gives you a lot of clues on how they want to project themselves to the world.
Someone’s activity on LinkedIn can paint you an even better picture who a person is.
You can probably size someone up based on their profile, but getting to see how they interact, engage, or put out information can help you get inside the head of your competitors.
Call it cliché, but getting into the head of the competition allows you to figure out what they’re doing.
Check out who they’re following, what types of content they engage with and if they comment often.
When you spend a little time checking out what they do on LinkedIn, you can assess if you should be increasing your interactions on the platform, too.
You can use this information to identify topics that you should be following or posting about, products or ideas that you should be focusing on, and people that you should be following.
Looking for more information about an organization?
Check out their official company page.
Learn how to optimize your company page with our detailed guide.
You can find out about their new product releases, and check out what types of posts they put out.
This way your own organization can gauge if they’re putting out the same amount of effort into the content release.
Also, if you have a premium account on LinkedIn, you can check to see more details about their organization.
If you can get ahold of marketing material that’s intended for outreach from your competitors, then that would be absolutely great for your analysis.
However, that could be extremely hard to pull off unless you knew someone that was marketed to such as a loyal customer of yours.
If you have friends in the industry that could be potential targets of outreach, you could reach out to them, but alternatively you could just move to the next section.
If you’re curious on how they onboard leads, get a friend of yours to message them showing interest.
You want to avoid doing this from your own profile because there is a high probability that they’ll find out what you’re doing and skew the results of your research.
(Make sure it’s someone that’s not connected to you. You get the drill.)
By checking out how they reply to a prospective buyer, you can assess how they communicate with and onboard clients.
This is really helpful if you’re first starting out, but it can also serve as a guide on how you can differentiate your outreach.
Another thing that you should watch out for is how long it takes them to get back to you. If you find that they reply faster, it might be worth stepping up your game in terms of response time.
Remember customer service plays such a critical role in conversions that’s why we see the prevalence of bots that assist with customer queries in most landing pages and websites today.
Just because your focus is on LinkedIn, don’t forget that competitor analysis in the digital realm also includes other platforms.
If you have the time for it, make sure that you check out how your competitors are doing on other places as well.
This makes your analysis more holistic and it also helps you understand what you’re really up against.
Remember to check out what your competitor is doing with:
There are a lot of tools that can help you out here and there are a lot of factors that you can consider.
There is the possibility that the organization that is ranking first on Google search isn’t doing as well on LinkedIn or vice versa. So, take note of this.
If you find a competitor doing well on both LinkedIn and Google search, you want to take a closer look. These are organizations that are doing things right.
Here are a couple of factors that you should consider:
There are over 250 factors that can affect a website’s ranking, but you don’t have to be an SEO expert to figure out if they cover their major bases.
We often use Facebook to complement our LinkedIn activities because if you can reach them on LinkedIn, they’re most likely to have the former.
On Facebook you want to see how many followers they have in their groups or pages.
You can even pull group members using a tool like Phantombuster if you want to.
Go to their website and create an account, once you're done install their extension and look for their Facebook Group extractor phantom.
Once you're on there, its just simply the manner of setting things up and inputting other details.
Once you're done, all you have to do is run the Phantom.
This will help you get a list of the people following them.
Also, pay close attention to the posts that they are putting out, are they repurposing posts from LinkedIn or are they coming out with new content?
Find out how you can repurpose articles by checking our guide here.
Website appeal is critical because it serves as their main portal online. You can actually run a comparison of your website with your competitors and figure out if you can match or do a better job than them.
Consider aspects such as: UI, UX, CTA placement, design, functionality, content published, freshness of content, navigation, and how they funnel leads in. These website characteristics will help you benchmark your own properties.
Check out our sexy CTA placement.
Lastly, take some time to compare your product or service offerings with your competitor.
Sometimes, people spend so much time considering the marketing, promotion, and funnels, that they fail to take into account the actual products being produced.
All the marketing in the world can’t help a product that doesn’t have any good or redeeming qualities. It’s not magic.
Competitor analysis is not the end all and be all of marketing.
But what’s critical is that it can support whatever campaigns or markets you’re currently pursuing.
Ideally, you want to stand out from the crowd. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know what the other big players in your market is doing.
By correctly harnessing the information that you’ve gathered from your competitors, you can better position your organization for growth, avoid mistakes that they’re doing, and identify trends.
Think of it as peripheral vision.
You want to focus on your goal, but you shouldn’t lose sight of what’s around you.
You don’t want to trip while running towards the goal.