Converting competitors' customers into your own is an art form. Beyond being the best at what you do, you need to beat the competition at their own game. If you want your business to grow, you must constantly be seeking new opportunities. It's only logical that the most effective place to seek out those opportunities is among users who are already inclined to purchase your products and services. As the information economy evolves, there are several highly effective strategies for nabbing the competition's audiences.
Bidding on Competitors' Brand Keywords
One strategy involves going right to the source — include your competition's brand name in your pay-per-click ad campaign. You may have seen this plan in action when you're searching for a particular store or item and another brand name pops up. The challenge, however, is to keep your quality score high. Consumers looking for Best Buy may not be happy to see Bob's Computer Services pop up, and search engines will rank your ads and site lower for that. But for new businesses, or in markets where there is brand confusion, this can be a highly effective technique.
The first step to stealing from the competition is, as Marketing Land notes, researching everything you can about what they offer and learning what you can do differently for customers. Once you've figured that out, target customers when they're in the middle of the purchase decision-making process. Send your current, most attractive offerings directly to consumers visiting nearby competitors. For example, let's say a customer goes into their auto dealer for an oil change and has to wait. He pulls out his phone while he's waiting to check the weather. Right in the app, an ad for Pep Boys pops up, showing an oil change at a significantly lower price. Even if the person doesn't drive around the corner to see if there's an opening, chances are he'll remember it on his next visit.
Retargeting serves ads to people who have previously visited your site. Publications like Business Insider have long since marked the low number of users who convert on the first visit to a website (2–3 percent), so it's difficult to ignore the value of retargeting. It allows you to keep your brand in front of a prospect who might otherwise forget about you in a day full of work searches, cat memes and Beyoncé videos. Reach the 98 percent of visitors who bounce from your site by placing an unobtrusive piece of code on your website (a pixel) that won't affect its performance. That pixel will save a cookie to the visitor's browser than will let your retargeting provider know when and where to place your ads, serving your brand message only to previous site visitors.
It's a Loop
Now that you're successfully converting competitors' customers, you're going to want to keep monitoring them to see what makes them tick. Today's consumers are completely unwilling to put up with the mediocre. They will simply search out the next best thing. Keep them with you by always staying one step ahead of that search.