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In mid-2022, Frootbat, the online specialty liquor marketplace, realized their business relied heavily on one particular product–American whiskey. Of course, the company was initially aware of this potential bottleneck, but seeing Semrush data really clarified the need to diversify their keyword portfolio.
The Frootbat team set out to grow their online presence (and with it, revenue) in categories such as tequila (fastest growing), scotch, and cognac–categories dominated by their competitors (as proven by Semrush). So winning market share in these areas was crucial to their success.
“Our niche is very competitive,” shares Tom Clark, Head of Marketing and Content at Frootbat. “No one really monopolizes the rare spirits industry, particularly in the United States. So, having the ability to assess our competitor’s activities while optimizing our own business has been beneficial.”
As a result of their SEO campaign, Frootbat not only gained relevant traffic in existing categories but also grew their product offerings using insights provided by Semrush .Trends.
Read on to learn how they did it.
Frootbat’s SEO journey started with top-level competitor research. While exploring SERP rankings for their core keywords, Frootbat began to reevaluate who their largest competitors were:
“Semrush was a big influence on our understanding of who was actually the most impactful in our niche. We previously regarded some competitors as small fish, when in fact they're much larger and rank for more high-volume keywords than we assumed,” Tom explains.
The team decided to dig deeper into their strategy to replicate and surpass their success.
According to Clarke, “Share of visits and Traffic Generation Strategy data in the Market Explorer and Traffic Analytics tools have been the most insightful features for understanding how our competitors drive traffic and acquire customers.”
Organic search proved to be the leading channel for most Frootbat’s major competitors:
Semrush Traffic Trends analysis was key in understanding how others in the space drive traffic and acquire customers, as well as contextualizing who those customers are and how to best approach them.
Next, Frootbat did a competitor keyword analysis using Semrush Keyword Gap. By just entering several domains in the tool, the team got a list of keywords that brought thousands of users to their site but that Frootbat was missing:
The team began targeting these terms in their own marketing efforts, and their organic search traffic has increased by 49%, up strongly from the baseline traffic growth trend of 22.6%. They are projecting a 2X increase in revenue for the associated products.
For example, using these gap insights, the company expanded its product lines and successfully launched new ‘craft’ and ‘artisan’ lines in the bourbon whiskey and tequila spaces.
Additionally, one of Frootbat’s core best sellers was marketed using a specific product name. This product title was driving good traffic results, however, keyword gap research revealed new opportunities to expand their reach and capture more market share.
After the initial discoveries, the team wanted to continue tracking patterns in competitor behavior, spotting new trends, and analyzing where their portfolios are moving.
When it comes to watching competitors on an ongoing basis, Semrush’s EyeOn tool provided Frootbat a “behind-the-scenes look” into what some of the bigger players in the space were doing. The tool revealed other marketing channels and revenue streams they may not have otherwise explored.
Frootbat uses EyeOn’s weekly reports to monitor where things are going in their market. They watch competitor marketing activity, track new competitor campaigns, and pinpoint keywords and category niches competitors are pushing on a weekly basis.
With timely data on competitor activity, Frootbat has become prone to acting quickly in response to competitor moves. The weekly reports make it easy to pinpoint competitor actions and respond within 7 days. This is a massive advantage in an industry where new products or categories begin trending quickly, leading the market to engage in a volatile manner.
“Making sure we’re trending across as many topics as possible is paramount to the business,” says Clark.
In terms of the company’s revenue, staying on top of trending topics has shown huge results. By tracking competitor campaigns and identifying their big investments, Frootbat can engage competitively by undercutting competitors' prices or focusing on certain verticals where opportunities exist.
Monitoring rivals and tracking emerging market trends allows companies to stay one step ahead of the competition. To replicate Frootbat’s success:
As Frootbat’s success shows, fast reactions to sudden shifts in markets and competitor strategies can produce big results. To achieve a similar level of success, ongoing competitor monitoring and regular market research are key activities to place at the forefront of your strategy.