The app economy is growing. There has been a big shift in focus from traditional pillars of mobile economy to app ecosystems. Apps run the world and the world knows it. The competition between app development companies is getting hotter. They compete on the basis of factors like skill sets, price, size, speed, and experience amongst others.
But what is the right strategy to stay competitive in the app landscape? How do you measure yourself against others and push yourself to do better? Let’s discuss.
Following the best practices always helps. To understand your position in the competitive market you need to use different analytical tools that are easily available. One of the best strategies to grow is to follow the leader. Keep a tap on the company that is doing well and replicate their methodologies. Find out how they solve the issues you face on a routine basis. What are their processes? Gaining competitive intelligence helps you strategize better. So how do you do that?
# Use Google Trends
You can use Google Trends to keep a tab on competition and to compare different companies. You can also be on top of happenings in your industry. The Google trends help you know all the details. You can see what is trending and grab opportunities before your competition does. You can get an idea about local queries of people of any city with the help of Google trends. You can do brand comparisons.
# Use Google Alerts
You can set up Google Alerts for your company and your competitor’s company. You will be alerted every time someone voices any opinion about your company and your brand. You will also know what people say about the competing companies and their brands.
# Use Ad Monitoring Tools
Know where your industry leader is advertising. ‘Moat’ is an ad search tool that helps you find out which ads your competitor has placed recently and where. You just need to key in the name of your competitor. Moat shows you the size of the ads placed and their placement. ‘MixRank’ is another tool that helps you find which advertisers your competitors are focussing on. You can also get a list of their best customers. The tool ‘WhatRunsWhere’ gives you more details like the creative message your competitors use, calls to actions used to improve CTRs.
# Use Keywords, Back Links, and Social Mentions Monitoring Tools
The tool ‘ispionage’ covers three main areas of search marketing: Keyword and Domain Research, Keyword Monitoring and PPC campaign building. It shows how the competitors are advertising with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft search marketing tools. You can track spending too. Use ‘SEMrush’ to monitor your competitor’s organic keyword positions. Use ‘SpyFu’ to see up to six years of data for any company you are interested in.
You can use the tools to check on backlinks. Use ‘Open Site Explorer’ to get information on page and domain authority, anchor texts and more. You can compare link profiles for up to 5 profiles. For monitoring mentions on social media and otherwise, you can use tools like ‘TalkWalker’, ‘Social Mention’ and ‘Mention’. The tool ‘Simply Measured’ provides a detailed analysis of Influencers amongst other metrics.
# Analyze Content Marketing Strategy
If possible sign up for emails on your competitor’s website. You can then analyze their email strategy. You can know about the frequency of emails, content, their optimization tricks etc. Try to figure out how they acquire customers. How they present their portfolio?
Go through the websites and read the content provided there. Skim through the blogs and the free resources like whitepapers and ebooks they provide. Assess the quality. Find out what’s popular. Do they have a newsletter? Subscribe to it. Aim to be an influencer in your industry. Up your content marketing game post your findings. When promoting apps the content marketing efforts of some successful companies go on for 3-5 years after the app is launched. See if you can have a similar strategy and leverage benefits.
# Analyze the App Development Strategy
Keep an eye on the releases. Which apps have recently come out of whose stable? Which company is working on which platform? How big is the team working on each platform? Which new technology are your competitors currently interested in?
You can find out these details directly if you share a good rapport. If not, you can employ people from other agencies to know the details or you can go through the recruitment sites to analyze what skills your competitor plans to hire by going through the job profile posted.
# Analyse the App Monetization Strategy
Download the apps developed by your competitor to find out the app monetization strategy adopted by the best of them. If he has two versions of the same app – one free cheap and the other one paid, understand why he adopted this strategy. Possibly he wants new users to try his free app, and if they get hooked he could later upgrade them to a paid version. Has he added in-app purchases and subscription services? Try and understand how it is all working out for him. Has he partnered with a company with a similar customer base and opted for integrating their offering for a referral fee? Good Idea. See if it can be implemented. Will having gated features in your app work out for you? Do the research find out? If someone is monetizing through subscriptions and has multiple payment options for it, find out if you can, the one that worked for him.
# Analyze the App Marketing Strategy
Are the app development companies handling app marketing too? Are they doing it well? If yes, you have another opportunity to learn and emulate. Download their app and note how they keep you engaged. Know their push notification strategy. Find out how they respond to user’s pain points. How fast they address the grievances. Analyze how their app is being perceived in the market. How are the users rating it? Are they supporting the app with Press releases and interviews? Study the strategy. How is the social media engagement around it? Are they into SMS marketing? Know how are they creating the buzz around their apps. It will all help you. You can pick up the best tips and tricks and use them in your app marketing.
There are competitive intelligence tools like AWARE which can provide you with a lot of important data. Competitive analysis should be a part of a company’s marketing strategy. You can make smart decisions based on data, rather than on assumptions. It helps you know where you are lagging and what changes you can make in your company to make things better. You can build on your strengths. You can respond to threats and create more opportunities for your company. The best part, you can win the customers by providing them a better solution and better experience.