When you set off to gain a leg up on the competition you’re benefitting from all the hard work they’ve already put into their campaigns.

Swiping their ideas and improving them allows you to skip past the tedious (and costly) research phase so that you may dump all your effort into product development and marketing.

The competition will remain in the industry but your slow chipping at their business will allow you to gain a greater piece of the market. In time you may overcome their position and become the leading authority.

The following are a few different ways to gain an edge in business.

Peer In and Jack their Advertising Campaigns

Testing advertising can be a lengthy, expensive process and takes away from your time that could go toward helping customers, developing products, pushing out content, or networking.

Tools like SpyFu can be used to peer into an advertising campaign to which you may jack their keywords and copy. This information can then be used to hit the ground running with your own advertising since you know that they can only possibly be using it if it’s an earner.

Resource: Read our guide on using SpyFu.

Out-do them at the Content Game

Each new piece of content your business creates is another opportunity to find placement in the search engines. Add in the bonus of long-tail searches and you will quickly realize that a TON of content will become a driving factor in your Web traffic.

There are a couple of ways to get the leg up on content:

  • Employ a few freelancers to create additional blog posts or ebooks
  • Use voice-to-text tools to quickly create short posts
  • Create a page that use RSS feeds to keep track of the industry
  • Play off their content and make a rebuttal

Basically: create more content.

A lot of site owners can only pump out just one post a day but if you make the investment you could do dozens; in time, with each new piece, you’ll grow your traffic and this means money.

Place more focus into the Brand

First of all, discover your unique selling point.

Once you have an idea of what makes you different you can begin driving home the fact that you’re unique in the industry and it’s through this difference that you can entwine people into your brand.

Everything you do should have some form of branding:

  • The tone and style of the content you produce
  • Adding logos and overlays to your ebooks or video
  • Creating a strong by-line creating guest posts
  • Using a unique website theme

Anyone can create a product, provide a service, or product content.

Placing your brand front-and-center, providing great customer service & interaction, and building authority through association is what will let your business be one of the first thoughts when an individual seeks your expertise.

Snatch their disappointed Customers

Where the competition drops the ball – you can catch.

The larger a business grows the more problems it will face and one of these always happens to be customer support.

Disgruntled and disappointed customers begin searching for alternatives and it’s at that moment you should snatch them up.

Try doing this:

  • Read comments left on a business’s Facebook page or in their blog comments
  • Monitor the competition on Twitter and see if they fail to respond to feedback
  • Read product and service reviews on review websites

Make a list of common complaints and begin to address those issues by creating content around those questions and comments. Try to become a helpful source of information based around the issues that the competition doesn’t bother fixing. There’s a chance that their customers will do a Web search and find your content and it’s at that point they may make the decision to go with your business.