As the saying goes,  “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” What it means is that, while a good artists can imitate a great works of art, they cannot truly take the ideas behind them and transform them into their own. In order to become a great artist, a person must steal an idea and make it into a creation that is unique to them.

Why the philosophy of art lesson? Because as a business owner, you should be actively seeking to steal from your competitors. You can learn a great deal by spying on and analyzing your competitors. Better yet, you can steal things from them that allow you to get ahead of the game.

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t steal when studying the competition.

Steal Keywords

Which keywords are your competitors ranking for? Have they dropped or moved up in rankings for certain keywords? By studying the competition, you can find out which keywords are important to your industry, along with what people are searching for, and use them to get ahead in the SEO ranking.

Target a few keywords that the competition rank for and work to move yourself ahead of them.

Don’t Steal Blog Content

As a company who has written thousands of blog posts for clients, we have collectively read tens of thousands more. Type any search query into Google and you will be met with pages filled with blog posts on any topic, many of which seem suspiciously alike. This isn’t because there is a correct way to write about a topic, but because many content writers simply pilfer top blog posts, change a bit of the wording and pass them off as their own ideas.

It goes without saying that this is sad and completely unoriginal.

While you should be keeping tabs on what the industry is talking about, you will be far better served to produce content and ideas on topics that no one has read, rather than reproduce the same blog posts they have seen a hundred times before.

Steal Customers

Keep tabs on your customers Google reviews and social media accounts. This way, you can read through bad reviews and find out what they are doing wrong. It will also allow you to discover the questions and concerns customers have about the products or services you sell. By addressing these fears and doubts, you can convert customers before your competition has the chance to.

Don’t Steal Bad Ideas

This is where the difference between imitation and theft really comes into play. Simply mimicking your competition will result in your business making the same mistakes as the competition. Study your competitors and customer reactions to their marketing initiatives. Find out what is working and what is falling flat.

Don’t imitate ideas, steal and use them to innovate.

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