Spy Game: How To Keep An Eye On Competing Home Builders
Competition is fierce in the home-building industry. Every business is trying to launch the next best thing in terms of promotions, models, well... basically everything.
So what can you do to keep on "winning" and turn a little healthy competition into an even bigger bottom line?
We've got the details on how you can monitor what other builders are doing online and how you can use this information to stay ahead of the game.
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- spy tools you can use to track your competition
- how to monitor competing builders on social media
- the value in subscribing to their newsletters
- plus, examples for using these tools in your business to generate more traffic and sell more homes
*Cue Mission Impossible Music*
It's time to do a little spying on competing home builders to see what they're doing and what's worth paying attention to. The tips you're going to learn about are easy to follow and will help inspire your sales and marketing teams to do everything better than the rest.
Let's start with some not-so-top-secret spy tools you should be using.
Take a Peek at Keywords, PPC & Advertising Campaigns
SpyFu is a great tool for researching the search marketing history of your competitors. When you look up a domain, you'll be able to see their PPC keywords, how many clicks they're getting, a full look at the AdWords campaigns they've run, the list goes on and on...
If your business isn't currently using at least one competitor keyword research tool, here's your motivation to start. There are many others available online, so do your homework and pick one that will help you find the information you're looking for.
You have the successes and mistakes of your competitors at your fingertips. Now you can do more of what they're doing and set your sights on ranking for their keywords. More traffic and leads are yours for the taking!
Another tool worth implementing is WhatRunsWhere. You're able to look at the strategies your competitors are using in their display and native advertising campaigns and the creatives that are performing the best. You can then become the master of the "swipe and deploy" and reach larger audiences with highly-effective ads.
A note about using the swipe-and-deploy method: this is NOT to say you should copy what they are doing exactly. You want to see what's working and make it your own.
The best way to keep track of all the promos and latest content your competitors are putting out is as simple as subscribing to their blog. All the "evidence" will be sent right to your inbox for you to look through.
Like what you see? Put your own spin on it and make it better. Let's say a competitor is launching a promo where they're offering a free basement upgrade for homes purchased during a certain period of time. Why not send out your very own promotional email telling your list you'll match your competitor's incentive? This is a great example of effective email marketing for home builders.
If they like your home model better, this email can be the difference between a lost sale to the "other" guys and more profit for you. There's plenty of motivated home buyers out there looking for the best deal, so give them an easy reason to choose you.
Do Some Social Snooping
Keep track of your competitors' social accounts to see the kinds of content they're sharing and how others are interacting with them. Like their Facebook and LinkedIn pages, follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Create Twitter lists and monitoring streams using marketing automation software such as HubSpot. When a post receives a lot of positive reaction and engagement, make note of it.
If a competitor is running a successful contest, ask your marketing team to start planning one too - but give it your own unique spin, one true to your brand. If it's a model feature they're writing about, make sure whoever is in charge of writing your content is consistently promoting your most popular models.
Website Watching 101
It may sound simple enough, but the best way to see what a competitor has to offer is to look at their website. There are, of course, a lot of awesome tools you can use to help you dig a little deeper. SimilarWeb will give you access to traffic insights on your competitor websites. You'll be able to see where their leads are coming from and follow traffic trends.
Another great piece of website research software is called Majestic SEO. With this tool in place, you can constantly keep an eye on the backlinks of your competitors and look for ways you can get in on the action. Soon, you'll be well on your way to directing more of your traffic with backlinks from those same places.
One free (and very effective) way to spy on your competition is with Google Alerts. Every time your competitor is mentioned online, you'll know about it via a report sent straight to your inbox. You can also monitor which keywords they're using for a real-time spy report you can forward to your marketing team so they can stay ahead of the game.
Staying "in the know" when it comes to competing home builders is easy when you know which areas to focus on.
Take advantage of keyword research tools you can use to see what other builders are ranking for and compete for the same traffic. Check out the advertising campaigns they're running and use their success as inspiration for your own high-converting ads.
Subscribing to other builder newsletters is a great way to get the details on their latest content and promotions delivered right to you. Try matching, or better yet, beating their incentives. Potential home buyers that subscribe to multiple builder newsletters will be drawn to your brand.
Don't forget about the power of social and the insights you can gain from the competition. Follow their channels and monitor the type of content they're posting. Make note of what works well and see if you can put your own spin on it for your own social media success.
Lastly, always be browsing their websites. Use backlink tools to show you where a competitor's traffic and leads are coming from and brainstorm ways you can bring that link juice to your own site.
Follow these tips and you'll be able to handle anything your competition throws at you! Happy "spying"!
Photo credits: binoculars, window, hacker
About Casey Cleary
Casey is passionate about marketing and using his skills to plan, implement, and run social media campaigns. He also creates and promotes content and plans digital strategies. He loves split testing and tweaking programs for maximum conversions! Also... #GoOilers!