Competitor Targeting: How to Win Your Competitors’ Audiences

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Competition, whether you like it or not, is a crucial part of every market.

It forces businesses to break new ground, keep up with ever-evolving consumer behaviour and stay ahead of the curve. However, this can also be extremely terrifying.

How do you defend your market position and get in front of your target audience? What would you do to differentiate yourself from your competitors and direct their customers to your products instead?

Understanding the competition in your niche gives you the upper hand in increasing market share, gaining more clicks and choosing the right competitor to beat. This is where competitor targeting comes into play. 

Continue reading below to learn more, expand your digital marketing strategies and aim for new heights!

What Is Competitor Targeting?

competitor targeting animation

Competitor targeting is knowing who your competitors are and establishing strategies to target their customers for your own gain. You focus on their audience and find ways to draw them to your products or services.

It is considered an efficient strategy because you already know the consumers who are likely to invest in your brand. 

If you can tap into the right audience, you can achieve your marketing objectives and calibrate your tactics based on the results. Whether you want to increase your conversions, boost Twitter followers or get more clicks, you know who to connect with without breaking the bank. 

Learning to target your competitors’ audiences across multiple channels will help you stay on top of your game. You never know, you might even beat them at their own game, steal their market share and climb to the top. 

What Are The Benefits of Competitor Targeting?

Find The Right Audience

One of the biggest challenges of running your own business is knowing what kind of audience you need to invest in and attract. You can’t just cast your net wide open, see what it grabs and expect that to double your investments. If you want to find the right audience, you have to do the rough work yourself.

Luckily, competitor targeting helps you find qualified leads easily. Taking advantage of your competitor’s brand name with the same services will attract audiences that are ready to convert. 

And remember, being in the digital era makes it easier to be remembered when your name appears side-by-side with a more well-established company! This gives you the chance to provide alternatives to their customers, helping you expand your reach.

Stay Ahead Of The Competition

It’s getting harder to stay ahead of the competition, but if you know who you’re competing against, you know what to do next. 

For instance, if you look closely at their Facebook pages, you learn about what kinds of posts usually trend in your niche. It will give you an idea of how to maximise engagements on various platforms and make posts that convert. 

Simply put, competitor targeting will help you focus on things that matter the most to your target audience. Fewer costs, more returns. 

Competitor Targeting Strategies You Should Know

Let’s take a look at the best strategies you can use in competitor targeting, especially in digital marketing. 

Google Ads

Google apps logo on phone screen

In the digital marketing world, competitor targeting is mainly done through Google Ads. It is a paid advertising platform under pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns where a business targets keywords that most users usually search for. 

The idea behind this competitor targeting strategy is simple: identify your biggest competitors and bid on their branded terms. 

Chances are, users who search for these branded keywords are ready to purchase something. They become higher-value leads that can be converted into paying customers.

For example, if you own a coffee shop in Singapore, you would target keywords that include competitor names. In this way, your ads will be displayed to audiences when they search for a certain coffee shop they want to visit. You get the chance to convince potential customers that what you offer is also worth a try. 

However, this can quickly go wrong if you cross several lines. Aside from Google penalising you, it can result in lawsuits if you’re not too careful. 

There are strict trademark rules you should keep in mind when using brand names in ads. For example, if you run an e-commerce store, you can’t just say ‘Better Than Amazon’ and get away with it. You’re using their trademarks illegally which might lead to ad restrictions and even worse retaliation from brands you’re competing with. Try to play nice!

YouTube Ads

youtube ads

We’ll let you in on a little secret: did you know that you can play your video ads before your competitor’s Youtube video? This is made possible by the YouTube Ad Placements Category. You can feature your ad in front or in the middle of your rival’s videos for as long as they are monetised.

Make sure that your advertisement is entertaining! Don’t just assume that users would watch the entire thing since the platform gives them the option to skip ads after five seconds. 

For instance, you can try incorporating engaging storylines and bright visuals to keep them on the hook. Also, include the name of your company in the first five seconds of the ad. That way, even if they skip, they can still be aware that your product exists. 

Keep in mind that there are two main ways when setting up competitor targeting in YouTube ads:

  • Customer Affinity Audiences – It allows you to create a customer affinity audience that targets audiences who already have a strong interest in your product.
  • Competitor Channel Targeting – Pick the YouTube channels where you prefer your ads to be shown.

Social Media Platforms

social media logo

The rise of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook makes it easy for businesses to know what brands customers are invested in. They like their pages, retweet their newly launched products and use their preferred brand’s hashtags on Instagram. 

A quick look at how social media works will tell you how customers engage with different brands. 

Let’s delve deeper into some e xamples of competitor targeting on social media sites:


Even though Facebook does not offer keyword targeting, its targeting abilities open new possibilities to widen your reach. 

For one, you can take advantage of Facebook Ads to target your competitors’ customer base. Make sure that you do your research first and determine what type of posts customers typically engage with to get the best results. 

Another feature you can use is to enter the name of your competitor’s page in the ‘Interests’ section. For example, if you’re creating ads for a local coffee shop, you can target audiences near your area who are interested in Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Dunkin’ Donuts. 

Some of you may argue that this might be unproductive since you can’t directly target the fans of your competitors’ pages. However, this allows you to get a close approximation of people who might purchase your product or service.

This is recommended for new businesses that want to dip their toes in digital marketing and determine their competitive advantage in the virtual space. 


According to Twitter statistics, there are approximately 217,000,000 active users as of writing. This is why businesses worldwide use the platform to expand their customer base and find their biggest competitors to beat. 

To help you get started, follow these steps:

  1. Target users based on their bio, keywords and accounts they follow. A feature called tailored audience targeting also helps you create marketing campaigns by uploading your own CRM lists. 
  2. To download your competitors’ followers, use a tool like Followerwonk or Audience. 
  3. If you’re ready to create your own Twitter ad, upload all the usernames into the audience targeting section. 

You can also browse your competitors’ organic tweets and find the tweet that generates the most engagement. Twitter Ads’ conversation topics targeting is a helpful tool in reaching users who have engaged with the subjects relevant to your brand. 

Yelp Ads

Lots of business owners set up Yelp accounts so customers can leave reviews and help them assess their services. The good news is, you can directly advertise your brand under their accounts and sway their customers into trying your products. 

Yelp is considered to be the best site for competitive targeting. This is because customers who visit the platform is doing research on which product is worth their money. You have the chance to promote a positive review and highlight your brand’s qualities to make you stand out. 

It also automatically targets users who may be interested in your business based on various factors. This includes their locations, what they’re searching for and what kind of business you’re in. Imagine the amount of time you’ll save searching for keywords that will give you the most attention!

Geofencing Ad Campaigns

If you’ve noticed, the strategies discussed above mainly focus on the online presence of your competitors. However, with geofencing ad campaigns, you pay attention to their physical location and show ads to people near them.

Geofencing is the practice of putting virtual barriers around a specific area. It delivers ads and exclusive deals to people who enter and exit the designated boundaries. This will help you connect with customers who are visiting your competitors’ brick-and-mortar stores. 

Imagine you run a restaurant and you want to increase foot traffic. You can launch a geofencing ad campaign and draw a virtual boundary around your top competitors. Since your target audience is likely visiting these locations, your geofence ad will drive in new customers and produce a satisfying ROI.

Final Thoughts

Competition, especially in the business world, isn’t always terrible. This is especially true when you’re finding it harder to find ideal prospects, connect with new customers and boost your sales. However, when you search for your competitors and their audience, you can re-calibrate your marketing tactics and win the market. 

Remember, you can’t just sit back, relax and wait for customers to come to you. Now that everyone is investing in digital marketing tools, it can be hard to keep up if you don’t start as soon as today.

Roots Digital is here to drive business success and give you a competitive edge. Let’s talk and improve your marketing strategies to get in front of your target customers. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and learn about our SEM services or Google Ads Management Services!


What is competitor targeting?

Competitor targeting is the process of identifying your competitors and targeting their customers to increase your market share or sales. Simply put, you find your top competitors and find ways to drive their audience to your brand. 

How do you target a competitor’s audience?

Targeting a competitor’s audience can be done in different ways. This includes using PPC marketing, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Yelp advertising and geofencing, among others. 

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About Roots Digital

Roots Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency and SEO agency headquartered in Singapore, specialising in eCommerce Marketing and lead generation.

Some of our core digital marketing services include SEO servicesSEM services, Google Ads management servicesGoogle Analytics services and more.

Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in working with us. Connect with us via our service enquiry form. You may schedule a call for more information and to know more about our digital marketing services.

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Picture of Ian Ong
Ian Ong
Marketing Director @ Roots Digital, a digital marketing agency in Singapore. Aka the guy responsible for growing the digital marketing agency.
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