In an effort to prioritize user privacy, Google Maps is introducing updates that provide users with more control over their location data storage and recent activity. These changes, while beneficial for users seeking enhanced privacy, may have implications for marketers relying on location-based analytics data.
Timeline Storage On Local Device: One notable update involves the Timeline feature in Google Maps, designed to help users recall places they’ve visited. In a privacy-oriented shift, users with Location History enabled will now have their Timeline stored directly on their devices instead of cloud servers. While this empowers users with greater control over their location data, marketers may face challenges due to potential limitations on available user location data for targeted advertising.
Impact on Marketers: The on-device storage and deletion tools could restrict the pool of user location data available for ad targeting, potentially affecting campaigns heavily reliant on location-based strategies.
Updated Location History Controls: Google Maps users can now activate the auto-delete function for Location History with a default three-month lifecycle, down from the previous default of 18 months. Users have the flexibility to customize this option to retain location data for a longer duration or turn off location tracking altogether.
Impact on Marketers: Users’ increased caution about sharing location data may alter search behavior, potentially affecting the effectiveness of location-based keywords and ad copy. Ads emphasizing user privacy and control could resonate better with users, especially those highlighting opt-in features for location sharing or transparent data usage policies.
Delete Recent Activity in Location History: Google Maps will soon introduce support for managing location information related to specific places directly within the app. The blue dot icon, symbolizing the user’s current location, will serve as a quick access point to location settings. This feature allows users to delete recent activities and control their digital footprint conveniently.
Impact on Marketers: If these changes result in reduced location data, contextual targeting based on user interests and online behavior may gain importance for marketers.
As these updates roll out gradually over the next year on Android and iOS, Google Maps reinforces its commitment to user privacy. Navigating these changes will be crucial for both users seeking enhanced control over their data and marketers adapting their strategies to evolving privacy measures.
Identifying your competitors is a vital step in conducting a thorough analysis of your business. It allows you to understand what sets you apart from the competition and provides valuable insights that can be used to your advantage. This article explores the reasons why it is essential to identify competitors, the three types of business competitors, methods for identifying competitors, key information to know about your competitors, and how to leverage this information to gain a competitive edge.
Why Should You Identify Your Competitors?
- Discover Your Unique Selling Point (USP): By understanding your competitors’ offerings, you can identify what makes your business truly unique. This knowledge is crucial in developing a compelling USP that sets you apart from the competition.
- Gain Competitive Advantage: Analyzing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses enables you to identify areas where you have a competitive edge. This knowledge helps you communicate your advantages to customers and adapt your strategies to stay ahead.
- Uncover New Opportunities: Studying your competitors can reveal market gaps that your business can fill. Identifying areas where competitors are failing allows you to provide better solutions and attract customers who are dissatisfied with the current options.
- Benchmarking: Competitor analysis provides benchmarks for evaluating your business’s performance and market position. It helps you assess how well you are doing compared to your competitors and identifies areas for improvement.
The Three Types of Business Competitors:
- Direct Competitors: These are businesses that offer similar products or services targeting the same customer base. For example, a sandwich shop would identify other local sandwich shops as direct competitors.
- Indirect Competitors: These businesses offer different products or services but cater to the same customer needs or solve similar problems. For instance, a sandwich shop’s indirect competitors could be fast-food places or other take-away food providers.
- Replacement Competitors: These competitors aim to solve the same problem but in a different way. In the sandwich shop example, a local café offering a dine-in experience or a restaurant providing an upscale dining option would be replacement competitors.
Methods to Identify Your Competitors:
- Online Search: Use search engines like Google to find businesses similar to yours by using relevant keywords or phrases. Explore the search results and map packs to identify both direct and indirect competitors.
- Competitor Identifying Tools: Utilize tools like SEMrush, which can provide insights into your competitors’ online presence, keywords, and rankings.
- Keyword Research: Conduct keyword research to identify competitors who rank for and target specific keywords related to your industry or niche.
- Social Listening: Monitor social media platforms to gather information about your competitors and their customers. Identify pain points or areas where competitors are falling short and use this knowledge to your advantage.
- Customer Feedback: Engage with your customers to gather insights about their experiences with your competitors. Leverage methods such as surveys, in-store conversations, emails, or social media interactions.
- Business Directories: Check local business directories, both online and print, to find a comprehensive list of local competitors.
Key Information to Know About Your Competitors:
- Company Information: Gather details about your competitors, such as their founding date, funding sources, and annual reports. Companies House and LinkedIn profiles can provide valuable information.
- Marketing Channels and Tactics: Identify the media channels your competitors use to market their products or services. Analyze their advertising methods, email campaigns, social media presence, and any other promotional tactics.
- Target Customers: Understand your competitors’ target market by examining the demographics and psychographics of their customer base. Determine if their target audience aligns with yours or if there are opportunities to cater to a different segment.
- Customer and Staff Treatment: Assess how your competitors treat their
Social media has taken over the world and become fundamental to so many aspects of life, including business. Marketing is no different; social media has been changed by the exponential use of social media sites. New markets are available which can be a huge advantage to any business, but there are ways to use social media more effectively. Here are some tips, which can help a business develop a more effective social media marketing campaign and presence.
- High Quality
With so much content available online these days, you need to ensure your posts are of the highest quality and really valuable to your target audience. Get a competitive edge by spending more time creating valuable content that you can share with your followers. Stellar content wins shares and likes, be useful, be informative, offer more than your competitors and you will win people’s trust and devotion.
If your campaign is only tailored around promos and self-serving social media updates, your followers are likely to switch to another business who offers them more.
- Be Focused
Vague and undedicated content is of no use to people. Your followers are following you for a reason and want to see posts that are well targeted to their interests. Stick within your niche. It is a bad idea to try to post about everything; it will muddle your message, and turn people off who can to your profile with a specific intent. Post on topics in your own niche and perfect them to wow your audience.
- Dedicate Time
Social media marketing is a not a quick activity; meaningful posts take time and thought. You need to dedicate this time to your social media marketing strategy to ensure it will be effective. There is no point rushing through a few posts once a week with little interaction; this will not create the best image of your brand and business. Social media marketing experts recommend each word and each link to be thought out with specific goals in mind, be it to build your brand, offer a more valuable customer experience, make sales, or simply engage new followers with authority content.
- Connect With Key Individuals And Organizations
To be effective and influential, you need to identify the key people or organizations who can promote your business. These organizations will ensure the audience you are trying to reach will see your posts and can increase your business. Social media is one of the best platforms to connect and network with other marketers and businesses in your niche, and cross promotions are ideal opportunities to grow your customer base. Don’t be afraid to promote others, the rewards can be substantial.
- Be Accessible To Your Followers
There is no point posting content online and not enabling people to interact with you following the post. You need to ensure you are available to your followers so they can interact with you and ask questions, which give you a further chance to promote your business and become a go-to source in your niche.
- Share And Promote Other People’s Online Content
If you want people to engage with you, you need to share and comment on their content. Social media is not a one-way street; you need to share, repost, and comment on other people’s content and they will do the same for you. This further promotes your business and increases awareness of your brand.
- Pick Your Social Media Sites
Not every demographic will use the same social media sites. To be effective, you need to pick the sites, which are used most by the people that you are trying to target. For example, Snapchat is used by young people whereas all ages are on Facebook and Twitter more. 58% of all Pinterest users are women, who shop! So, any ecommerce benefits from being on Pinterest.
- Acknowledge Your Followers
If a potential customer contacts you by telephone or comes to your office, you would greet them and provide a good level of customer service. Enquiries online is no different; if one of your followers contacts you through social media, you need to ensure they are contacted with the same priority as if they came in through your office.
- Remember Your Followers Are People
It may sound silly, but it can be easy to forget there is a normal human behind each social media post, like and comment. Tailoring your social media content to these people will ensure they feel valued and included; this is what will increase sales for your business.
- Pay Attention To Competitor’s Posts
A key method of ensuring your social media marketing works is to simply read other posts. This means you will be kept up to date with the latest trends and developments, to which you can respond accordingly. It also helps avoid replication and enables you to set your posts apart from others.