Are you a top leading B2B or B2C company or small scale entrepreneur? Any of the business types you belong to, one certainly would have competitors! A little competition is healthy and can even lead to positive innovation & creativity!
Doesn’t it sound interesting to get your brands in front of those customers or users already involved with your online rivals? In traditional means, it can be a daunting task to push up your promotional campaigns. Understanding who your competitors are and knowing their subscribers or customers makes the process a whole lot easier.
And it is always wise to choose smart work over hard work.
It is a very well-thought strategy to advertise to the customers of your target competitors. It cuts the clutter of trial and error and promises a better ROI in the long run.
But before targeting the audience, first, you need to think of a way to figure out who these individuals really are. However, at least from an online viewpoint, you can show up to your rival’s online audience. In general, marketing the pre-existing customers of your target competitors is still like a laser target and can prove to be extremely useful!
We are here to help you with it. Here are some of the simple yet best ways to target competitors’ customers with advertising. It will help you get some fresh ideas & tactics for managing the campaigns that outsmart your competitors.
#1 Target Users of Facebook whose interests include your rivals’ customers
Facebook Ads do not share your ads with keyword targeting. You do not directly target users who have liked the pages of your competitors. Facebook does, however, deliver something called interest-based targeting.
When we talk about Facebook, interests broadly range from different broad industries to specific niches. In general terms, the name of your competitor is the particular interest that you want to target. Facebook allows you to choose to target individuals based, among other things, on brands and items that they want.
Add the website URL of your competitor, or if that doesn’t work, you can type the brand name of your competitor or try a few keyword combinations to find the best way to reach your competitor’s audience – which is now your target audience.
Make sure that your Facebook ads are great. And that your competitive campaign is going to be off and running.
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#2 Distract Their Audience With YouTube Ads
You can sit through one skippable or even a non-skippable ad on YouTube, but could you be patient enough to watch two of them? Probably not, if they both talk about similar services, the former one being a bit more convincing and watchable.
You see what you have to do here – divert the potential audience who may watch your competitors’ ads. The best way to execute is to create an ad campaign that plays just before their ad on YouTube. This way, when someone searches for their brand, their ad pops up, your ad automatically plays before their video, distracting them from their original intent.
But to do this, first have to understand their advertising metrics – from the audience demographics to the clicks and conversions they are getting.
Create the best ad you can with these graphs and metrics and then target their audience. One can also try using different ad intelligence tools to see every profitable ad in the world without wasting money on testing ads that don’t work.
As a matter of fact, your ad doesn’t even have to play before theirs – it would be absolutely cool if yours plays in a different video. The bottom line is, it must convince the viewers why your products or services outrank theirs.
#3 Achieve Your Competitors’ Audiences through the Google Display Network
Google has one of the humongous display ad technology, and if you want to stand out from your competitors, try Google’s affinity audience feature. Affinity audiences allow you to target a predefined audience, the one who is more open to your advertising – appears.
The best way to target competitors is through the homepage. It helps minimize putting extra efforts and ad budget. The brand marks the actions of the people who visit and are interested in that domain name, and you can find it out by AdWords.
Let’s take the example of Shopify. The best eCommerce platform that helps you to Sell Online, on Facebook, or in person. So, if I run a similar company targeted at email marketers, Shopify visitors would form the basis of our ideal customers with our own display ads.
It helps in begging the right process by getting the right people by your brand, services & products. And ideally, you’ll begin getting business away from your competitors with the right message and experiencing breakout success.
#4 Target Audience Via Gmail Ads and Newsletters
Newsletters are a brilliant form of marketing when done the right way, with an apt set of audiences. When you are aware of the people who are showing interest in the things your competitors sell, you can rest assured that they will give your email a read- thus increasing your chances of a better ROI.
The thing you need to do here is keyword targeting – targeting the brand name of your rivals.
For instance, you want to target customers who buy Gucci’s products. So you target Gucci’s brand name in your campaigns. So the next time someone gets a mail from Gucci, your newsletter also follows into their inbox.
The method is quick, easy, and generates maximum conversions- provided the fact that the readers already subscribed for similar deals. But you have to make sure that you come up with enticing one-liners and subject lines, or else you may end up in their spam folders **forever**.
#5 Target The Twitter Followers And Potential Customers
Twitter works very differently for brands as compared to Facebook and Instagram. People may follow you in bulk on any social media platform but not on Twitter unless they are actually interested in your products or services. Or maybe they’re here because they like your tweets – who cares?
The catch is – the Twitter followers of your target competitors matter A LOT.
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But here’s a thing – generating leads is not very easy on Twitter. You have to improve your marketing and advertising game and emphasize your services to stand out. Along with that, your brand must understand the whimsical environment that Twitter brings along.
All-in-all, you have to stay active, follow recent trends, engage with the audience, target specifically a list of Twitter profiles that follow your competitors and work on your Twitter SEO. That should actually serve the purpose.
First things first, create a list of the people who follow your competitor profiles. Then start replying to their random tweets, questions. Don’t be spammy. Only reply to one Tweet person.
#6 Download & Target Your Competitor’s Instagram Followers
Different types of Instagram downloader tools helps you to download a list of followers from any profile. Look for the handles of your target competitors and download the complete list of their followers and following. Do not skip the latter part. The handles that your competitors follow are the ones that will provide you with more profiles for targeting.
After you get a list of all the profiles, create a custom audience for targeting the Instagram ads. Once your campaign is ready, publish it on your business profile in front of your targeted audience already associated with your competitors. They might be looking for other options to switch or buy the services & products. Your ad might as well grab their attention!
Isn’t it a great option?
Now is the right time to set the budget as per the requirement. Get imaginative and write a copy of your campaign. Use some fast and (relatively) simple ways for your Instagram ad to bring creativity and make it stand out from the crowd, or else they may skip it.
Story ads are a trend these days. Two of the very successful brands- Vedix and SkinKraft- managed to make it so far by virtue of their awe convincing Instagram marketing skills.
#7 Use Search Engine Optimization Tools
There are thousands of SEO tools available in the market. You can take advantage of those tools that help to sneak the market, competitor’s keywords/ranking and start going to those places that you’re missing.
For instance, if you wanted to customize your site to compete with the non-brand terms, you can put their URL in and get a complete reading of all the keywords that drive traffic to their site.
For this, you must understand the SEO process a bit. Search for the pages that have the maximum traffic, high volume & top-ranks on the search engine. Look for the keywords that rank the best and cater to your website. Try to come up with content revolving around it.
Your keywords should always have a combination of mediocre to high search volume and low keyword density/ complexity. Long-tail keywords and how-to ones with low search volumes are also acceptable.
#8 Give a solution that your competitors don’t have.
We often advise people to explain to consumers how a product or service provides a solution to an issue when writing ad copies or making video marketing messages. If you’re approaching the audience of your target rivals, initiate the step a bit ahead. Propose a solution to an issue that the product or service of your competition does not have.
For example, although both Dollar Shave Club & Gillette provide a solution to excess body and facial hair, in addition to razors, Dollar Shave Club also provides a variety of other items, such as shave butter. They also deliver them for a very affordable price directly to your door.
Hence, in this case, the brand provides skin conditioning options for pre and post-shave products and a low price to fix issues Gillette does not strongly endorse in its promotions.
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When you provide a solution to a pre-existing issue related to a product, you basically advertise an evolved version of their services via your products. But the audience will only get attracted to your ads if you provide a direct reason for them to do so.
#9 Analyze Ad Designs and Results of Your Rivals
Analyze the customer engagement levels of marketing content shared by your competitors. Then check out the advertisement designs and layouts that perform well in the online world.
Moreover, as per different surveys, video advertisements or demos attract more competitors. And thus, they’re better compared to graphics & photos. Or maybe they generate more excitement than others in these color schemes.
Understand what type of audience they target and the purpose they strike behind their campaigns. For instance, video ads during Diwali aim to hit the sweet nostalgic spot and make the viewers feel more connected to the brand by reminiscing their childhood.
Are your target competitors doing so? What type of campaigns are they publishing? Do not try to copy them. Come up with something similar yet unique. Maybe you can try talking about the trends that are coming back from the 90s?
To monitor your own campaigns, record your outcomes in a journal or spreadsheet. Then make changes accordingly.
#10 Survey Customers of a Rival
Collect more and more data about the clients of your competitors. You can easily reach out to them for conducting surveys about their consumer experience. To gather valuable information for your campaign, keep the interviews concise but detailed enough to grab all the necessary info.
Check out what they like & dislike about your target competitors. Understand what they lack and know their weak points. Do any of their products/services need improvement? Does your company excel at that?
For instance, many companies suck at their customer support. So you can start training your customer support guys to take up calls more politely. Suggest your company name at the end of the survey. As a bonus, give a discount or a free preview of your product or service. Hence, you can also get a commendable chance to show the responsive customer service of your business.
#11 Target LinkedIn Custom Audiences
Just like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you can create custom audiences for your LinkedIn ads as well. You can target the customers on LinkedIn who have skills in, are interested in, or belong to a few relevant groups as your competitors. Such an audience should relate to the services that you and your competitors provide.
Your targeting should include various options like job title, geolocation, age, gender, seniority, etc. For instance, if you want to target only the employees, you can leave the employers/ bosses. This way, you can show ads only to the ones whom you want.
Targeting the audience on LinkedIn works well because the platform is very different from other social media. People here only follow the profiles in which they are highly interested. Thus, your ads get displayed in front of micro-targeted audiences.
However, you have to make sure that you frame high-quality content on your ads. Or else the audience might not even read it. Always remember that.
Bonus Tip: Target Using Google Keywords
Look for the keywords for which your target competitors advertise on Google. Also, look for the organic keywords that bring traffic to their website home page, blogging page, and pricing page.
Create and post content that caters to these keywords. Make sure you pick only the ones that have a high search volume and low difficulty. Or else you may not be able to rank your content easily.
If you are not looking for direct content marketing methods, go for Google PPC ads. In such cases, you can go for keywords with a high-difficulty, and Google will display your ads on the top whenever a user searches for the keyword. So you don’t have to work on your SEO. But you must never forget to work on the overall content, or else your Google ads might not get sufficient clicks and ROI.
While choosing the PPC keywords, try to pick the ones with high search volume and more CTR (click through ratio). Sometimes, the PPC may go a bit high (around $20 per click), but you can invest in it if it has a high CTR and a commendable search volume.
Why Should Your Competitors Have All The Fun?
Targeting a set of audience is risky, especially when you don’t understand if it will be a hit or a miss. Knowing what audience your competitors target and advertising to them not only saves your time- but also your effort and money. Understanding which set of customers is going to generate better revenues is a tedious process. Advertising to the audience of your target competitors can generate better ROI in the long run.
It is because they are already interested in the services that you provide. The catch here is to show them that what you offer is better than what your target competitors. Read and reread all the points I have mentioned above, and grab all those eyeballs in no time! Excel in the market every time with smart advertising strategies.
A technology entrepreneur and a passionate content marketer, having years of experience in fast-paced enterprises. Deepa is a product enthusiast and has brought success to her venture Globussoft. She also owns products like EmpMonitor, PowerAdSpy, Socinator, and many mobile apps in the social media automation space which have millions of users.