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How to Take Market Share When the Competitive Landscape is Getting Crowded

Alice Rose

August 20, 2020   Strategy

As more businesses in your sector strengthen their digital position in response to radical changes in consumer behaviour brought by the pandemic, the competitive landscape is getting crowded.

Making sure that your business has the greatest possible reach amongst key audiences and the right alignment of ROI-focused goals and activity is more important than ever.

There are certain means of addressing this, improving your chances of taking more market share than your competition and, ultimately, increasing your profits.

What is Market Share?

In short: your customers. And your competitors customers.

There’s already a pool of people looking for your product or service online, and taking market share is all about getting in front of them. To do this, you need to make sure that you’ve got a strong digital infrastructure, through a good website, high rankings on Google and other search engines, as well as presence on social media channels. This makes sure that you are getting in front of those people searching for your product and are staying ‘front-of-mind’ in your customers, so that when they come to buy, they think of you. It’s important as well, because for every online space that you are not present, your competitors can be present and will take that market share from you.

What Example Does Ewemove Set?

Ewemove is an online estate agent that started working with us back in 2014/15, as a small team working from a head office and a couple of franchises. They wanted rapid, expansive growth, so we delivered.

The first step was to do a conversion rate optimisation (CRO) audit on their site; for this we used user recording software to understand how people were using and behaving on the site. We also utilised surveys and polls to see if people had any specific feedback about the online journey. From this, we re-wireframed their website, with the new design focused on improving user experience and increasing the conversion rate. All traffic, paid or organic, would work more effectively for them and generate more profit for them. While this did not increase market share reach, it meant that Ewemove were able to get more from the market share that they could reach; simply by increasing conversions.

Only once this was in place and we were seeing more people convert, did we then start sending traffic to the site. We began with narrow, targeted audiences searching for house valuations, estate agencies, selling houses and similar activities related to getting a house listed with an estate agent. When this started to generate leads, we then began to expand this search-term list to broader terms to encompass a wider and larger audience. This part of the strategy then did increase the market share we were reaching and sending to the site.

In three months we saw a massive increase in the conversion rate, from 4%, when the new wireframes went live, up to 12%. The trick with conversion rate optimisation is to realise a page is never complete; it needs constant tests and changes to see what extra efficiencies can be added to it. In this case, we were tweaking and A/B testing aspects of the landing pages, as well as testing new keywords and means of acquiring traffic. They grew from a couple of offices to having 90-100 offices, all doing digital marketing; they’re still a client today and still making more profit than ever.

How Big Does the Budget Need to be?

This strategy works with budgets of all sizes… obviously, the bigger the better, but even small budgets work with it!

What you need to realise is that with CRO, there is no media spend, the only cost is in services. It’s about looking at what you have on your existing site and improving this, but a lot of people don’t realise that their site is still part of digital marketing. For instance, if you have a form on your website and it has 20 different fields that you’re asking for everyone to fill in, from their addresses, to a phone number, and a mobile number, a fax number even and many other things, then conversion rate is going to be low. You are asking people to give you a lot without giving them anything, but audiences will typically want more than they give, so you need to reverse this.

A top tip here is: simplicity. Look at ways to make your site more streamlined and easier for people to use, from the page navigation to the number of fields in forms. Making sure call-to-actions are clear and numerous to clearly display to users what their next step is, and if you get rid of all the other buttons, then it helps to guide them along the journey that you want them to take. If you have a small budget, then there is probably a lot you can already do to improve your returns without increasing your media spend.

Is Digital Marketing a Risky Business?

A lot of people still think this, even today, when some of the most advanced technology in the world is in digital marketing. I can assure you, with the right forecasting it isn’t.

Thanks to tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, what we can now do is forecast results with relative accuracy before we even turn the campaigns on. This means if a company comes to us and we can’t turn them a profit, we will turn them away, or, at least, show them the most we can do, but suggest other paths. What these tools do is show you how many people are searching for keywords you should be targeting each month and how much it will cost to get a click from this audience to your site. This isn’t just globally, you can choose your geographical location, so if you want to target just London or just certain countries in Europe, you can.

This means you can figure out your total, or even regional, budgets needed to acquire a certain amount of traffic. If you then apply your conversion rate (or even a slightly higher one to factor in improvements to CRO), you can figure out how many sales you will get and even what your revenue could be. Therefore, you have got your forecasted spend and return before you even turned a single campaign on. To be smarter about it, it might even be best to start with a smaller budget, then see what sort of improvements and growth can be made on this through optimisation of both your paid campaigns and site conversion rate, then increase the budget if the improvements are good enough and move forward from there.

What are Key Actions to Take Away?

  1. When you work very heavily in your own business, sometimes you forget that being an outsider has its benefits. Being an outsider means that you are able to look at your business through the eyes of customers and how the market perceives your company. It’s important to exercise this to make sure that your company and site are both appearing the way they should to customers.
  2. Getting feedback from people you know who are not within your company is another great way of getting some quick and honest improvements. Make sure that you are also honest about being open to making changes and realising where their feedback may conflict with your views.
  3. Minimalism is key to website success when converting the market. Take a look at your forms, products and buying cycle on your site and streamline it by taking away the many options that you may give people, as this slows them down and gets them thinking about competitors too quickly.

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