Competitor Targeting in Digital Marketing 

It is important for any business to know how exactly their competitors are advertising. It is the best way to be able to keep up with the competition. After all, you do not want to get left behind while your competitors take a larger share of your industry. Competition comes naturally with business and digital marketing is just another type of competition. 

Competitor targeting takes place when competitors place bids on branded search terms for the largest competitors in the industry. This means that when a consumer searches for one of the larger brands, the smaller brand that placed the ad will also appear. 

What are the Advantages to Using Competitor Targeting? 

Before you consider using competitive advertising, you might be curious what the advantages of it are. There are several advantages, with the main one being that it gives you the opportunity to convince consumers your product is better than your competitor’s product. 

You give a reason for consumers who were looking for your competitors’ products to purchase your product instead with competitor advertising. At the very least, the consumer will become aware of your product and will now know that if your competitor’s product fails, they have alternatives they can consider. 

A competitive advertising example that works well is a consumer searching for a Crest toothpaste and also seeing Colgate toothpaste appear. The consumer that was originally searching just for Crest is now made aware that Colgate also makes a similar product. This does not guarantee that the consumer will purchase the other product, of course. However, they now know it is at least an alternative if they find Crest toothpaste doesn’t work well or is too expensive.

competitor ads

Gmail Promotions for Competitor Targeting

Setting up a Gmail ads display campaign can help you place a competitive ad. This type of campaign will allow you to use your competitor’s name in the keywords section. When targeting, make sure to enter the names of as many competitors as possible for the best results. 

If you already have a Gmail ads campaign, it is recommended that you create another one. This way you can compare the results from your current campaign’s results to see how effective this different approach is. If using competitor advertising does not work that well, then you do not have to risk the success of your other campaign. When utilizing Gmail promotions, make sure that you also have a domain set up. Additionally, you should target your competitors’ domains. Be sure you also turn off the conservative targeting feature because otherwise using your competitors’ names might not work.

Target Facebook Users

One of the ways competitor advertising takes place is by companies targeting Facebook users. Even though Facebook does not offer keyword targeting, it is still possible to target Facebook users. On Facebook, you can target consumers by their interests. This is great for brands because they can easily find consumers that are looking for the products they are selling. 

In addition to interests, you can enter your competitor’s name. To do this most effectively, you should enter several of your competitors’ names. This will ensure that when your competitors’ name is searched, your brand appears reasonably high up in the results. In addition, you should also copy and paste the URL to their website. This will direct consumers to your brand whenever they are trying to visit another brand’s website. You can also add any version or abbreviation of your competitor’s name just to ensure that you are able to maximize the returns you receive from this strategy. 

competitor advertising

Target Twitter Users 

Competitors are able to target Twitter users in a similar way to how they target Facebook users. In fact, the process is almost identical. You once again target users based on their interests and include your competitors’ names in the interests. Just like with Facebook, be sure to include variations of the competitors’ names and their URLs for the best results. 

Unlike on Facebook, on Twitter, you can also target a user based on who they follow. This means that you can target any user that follows one of your competitors. This is usually a good bet because if they are following one of your competitors, then they are likely interested in the product you are selling. Once you do that, it is just up to your Twitter account to prove why they should engage with your brand instead of the competitors. On Twitter, this is referred to as follower targeting. The idea is that you can easily find consumers that are likely to purchase your products.  

Utilize Google Display Network

When you are placing competitive ads, you should consider placing them with Google so you can use their affinity audience feature. The affinity audience feature is typically used so you can target a certain audience. This means that they will see your advertisements more often. The affinity audience feature also allows you to target your competitors’ websites. This means that consumers who are searching for your competitor’s website will be more likely to see your advertisement. This is why using Google display networks is such a common practice in competitor advertising. 

A good competitive advertising example of this would be if every time a consumer searched McDonald’s, they received a Wendy’s ad. This is such a good example because they are direct competitors. Make sure that when you target a competitor through Google Display Network that you are targeting your direct competitors. It would make less sense if a Wendy’s advertisement targeted a five-star restaurant. They are technically competitors because they are in the same industry, however they are not direct competitors. 

competitive advertising examples

Targeting Customers with LinkedIn 

LinkedIn might not be the first social media platform that comes to mind for most people when they are thinking competitor advertising. However, you can target audiences on LinkedIn in a similar way to how audiences are targeted on both Facebook and Twitter. 

Much like on Twitter and Facebook, you can target consumers based on demographics such as age and gender. LinkedIn does however differ because you can target consumers based on their location, job title, and seniority level. This makes it easy to target your competitors’ business because they will likely already be active on LinkedIn looking to hire employees. 

It is important to keep in mind that when you are placing a competitive ad on LinkedIn, you are not necessarily looking for new customers. Placing competitive ads on LinkedIn is a great resource if you are looking for new employees. Additionally, it could also help build awareness of your company because some consumers might look at your site for more information. 

Place YouTube Advertisements Before a Competitor’s Video  

Placing an ad before your competitor’s videos on Youtube is another way to do competitor advertising. This is a great way to get ahead of the competition because it ensures that before a consumer learns more about your competitor’s product, they have to watch an advertisement for your product first. As long as your competitor’s channel has monetization enabled, you will be able to purchase an advertisement before their videos. 

Additionally, make sure that your advertisement video is as engaging as possible. This is important because consumers can skip the video after 5 seconds if they are uninterested. Using bright visuals and an intriguing premise can help draw consumer’s attention to your advertisement. Finally, make sure that the name of your brand or product is included in the first 5 seconds. This will ensure that even if the consumer does decide to skip the rest of the ad, they will still know the name of your brand or product. 

competitor targets

Place Yelp Advertisements on Your Competitor’s Profile 

Business owners will likely have a Yelp account so that consumers can leave reviews for their business and products. Assuming your competitors have Yelp accounts, you can actually advertise directly under their accounts. All you have to do is use the name of your competitors in the keywords. 

Yelp can be a great platform for competitive targeting. This is because consumers are likely doing research to see if their product is worth purchasing. This provides a great opportunity for you to promote a positive review you have received in the past. A great competitive advertising example of this would be a consumer looking up reviews for another company’s brand before buying. This is a great way to expose your brand to consumers who are looking for similar products. 

FAQs about Competitor Targeting in Digital Marketing:

  • How do competitors target customers? 
  • What is competitor analysis in digital marketing? 
  • How do I use Google Display Network for competitor targeting?
  • How do I market against my competitors?
  • Why is competitor analysis important in digital marketing? 

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