When it comes to shopping for technology solutions, it’s a buyers market. There is a lot of competition and noise in a given product category. Therefore, it is imperative to stay ahead of the game and set yourself apart from the players who are competing for market share.
Here are ways to remain “top of mind” and part of the consideration set when it comes time for an IT buyer to make a selection to enhance their business technology infrastructure.
First, it is always great to monitor what the competition is doing. There are a couple tools we love to analyze the competition (note, there are a ton more tools but we’ll leave that for another post.)
- Moat – View all your competitors display ads and messaging in one place. You’ll quickly spot which calls to action, messages and products are being promoted.
- SEMRush, iSpionage & SpyFu – Identify which keywords & placements are being used by your competitors and where you might be falling short.
- Builtwith – Identify which media channels are in use by your competition based on which tags are in place.
Periodically check their website for any new product announcements or set up news alerts for your top 3 competitors brand names. Visit technology targeted websites to see if there are any brands actively promoting their products to your target audience and pay close attention to the messaging. What are they selling, and how can you differentiate your brand?
Once you have an idea of what’s going on within the competitive landscape – think of ways to “own” this space. Competitive conquesting campaigns demand a high-frequency approach to change a users consideration set. It’s necessary to surround a user to drive the thought leadership required to change your target users mind. Here are 4 ways to target your competition:
1) Keyword Targeted Display Placements
Create a keyword targeted display campaign targeting competitors product names and brand names. Display ads will serve within relevant editorial content about your competitors across the web.
2) Install Based Targeting
This requires a little bit more work but it’s extremely effective to target users who are already using your competitors’ product. To do this, build an audience of users that have identified that they are currently using a competitors’ product. This can be done through a lead form or integrated into the sales process. Another way to identify those users is to use a tool like Clearbit to automatically identify the tech stack of incoming leads.
Once the audience is created, target the audience using CRM targeting across search & display. Take this strategy a step further by expanding your highly qualified audience into a lookalike or similar audience.
3) Geo-Fenced/Event Targeting
Target your audience during key events whether your competitor is sponsoring or has a presence at this event. Use a variety of channels to ensure full coverage including:
- Mobile Ads: Geo-target users within a certain radius of the conference center
- Image and Video Ads: Show video and image ads on websites that are covering the event. Use keyword targeting with or without topic targeting to ensure highly relevant placements.
- Social Media: Advertise to followers of the event or related its related hashtags. Also be sure to include followers of event speakers to reach key influencers.
- If budget allows, consider traditional Out-of-Home (airports, billboards, mobile ads)
4) Paid Search Targeting
Finally, target users based on competitors brand names, product names, misspellings and of course any query that contains “competitors” or “alternatives.”
In summary, competitive conquesting campaigns are a great way to ensure your brand becomes part of the buyers’ considerations set. Using these four tactics you can get your message in front of an audience that might be considering your competition instead. So get out there and redirect attention away from your competition and back to your brand.