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What Are Your Competitors Doing to Win the Content Game This Year?

Most people view competition as a bad thing – something that distracts you from your goal. But when it comes to business, especially in the sphere of content marketing, competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, a little bit of rivalry can motivate a business to produce better content, exploit gaps in the online sphere and use formats that others aren’t using.

Moreover, analyzing your competitors can help you spot weaknesses in your enemies’ content marketing strategies. Then, you can swoop in and make your rivals’ weaknesses your strengths.

In fact, almost every company’s content marketing strategy includes assessing what competitors are currently doing and outsmarting them. Questions like what can you do better than what everyone else is doing? How can you propel to the top of a search engine results page? What content formats haven’t been used so far? are usually asked while preparing a content marketing report on competitors.

So, how can you analyze your competitor’s content marketing strategy? What kind of content are your competitors generating? To find the answers to such questions, it’s important to conduct a competitive content marketing analysis.

Photograph by agencyb via Bigstock

Competitive Content Marketing Analysis

A competitive content marketing analysis refers to examining your competitors content and their content marketing strategy in order to identify opportunities that you can use. It also helps develop insights into your own content marketing strategy. Typically, any analysis of a competitor involves three steps:

Step 1:  Listing down all the content your rivals have created in multiple formats

Step 2: Examining the quality and quantity of content they’ve generated so far

Step 3: Evaluating the topics, keywords and formats they’ve used

The steps are explained in detail below:

Step 1: Take Stock of your Competitor’s Content

According to content writing advice from The Content Marketing Institute, the first step towards conducting a meticulous content marketing analysis of your competitors involves cataloging each every content they’ve created thus far. That means doing an inventory of all the blogs, articles, podcasts, videos, webinars, e-books, presentations and e-newsletters your rivals have churned online over the years.

This step will give you an insight into the kind of content formats your adversaries have used, the type of topics they generally cover, the keywords they usually use and how much time and effort they invest in creating content.

Step 2: Examine Quantity and Quality

The second step consists of analyzing the quantity and quality of your opponents’ content. This means noting down how often they publish content – do they publish weekly blog posts or e-books once a month? – and what kind of quality content do they produce – is it engaging and valuable or just run-off-the-mill stuff?

The American Marketing Association provides a valuable content writing advice: Just because your competitors are publishing more often than you, doesn’t mean they are winning the content game. In fact, your rivals might be publishing frequently but their content may not be as high quality as yours.

You can also check the quality of your rival’s content by learning about their domain authority ranking through a tool called Moz. The higher a site’s domain authority, the more likely that that site is providing valuable content to its audience.

Step 3: Analyze Topics

The last step in creating a content marketing analysis report involves analyzing your competitors’ topics, content formats they used and identifying gaps in their content marketing efforts. The idea, according to content writing advice from Jeff Bullas, isn’t to imitate adversaries. Rather, it’s to learn from their strengths, use their weaknesses to your advantage and utilize content formats that they don’t. You need to better than the competition, not like them.

Expert marketer and New York Times bestselling author Neil Patel’s content writing advice includes analyzing whether your rivals rely on written content formats more or visual. If they rely on blogs more than infographics, for example, you can swoop in and create infographics, images and videos in order to capitalize on this weakness.

Content Partnerships

Inevitably, while conducting your competitive content marketing analysis, you will come across organizations that are vying for the attention of audiences similar to yours but they sell products or services different from yours. Although you should conduct an analysis on their content marketing strategies, but you should also be open to the idea of partnering with them. Two companies that have a similar target audience but different product offerings can harness each other’s strengths to reach a wider audience. Think about it.

Follow Competitors on Social Media

Of course, any report that assesses your business’ content marketing competition is incomplete without analyzing your enemies’ social media accounts. How many Instagram followers do your rivals have? What kind of content are they creating on Facebook? How many times do they tweet every day?

If you don’t want to do the legwork of analyzing your adversaries’ myriad social media accounts, you can always avail Buzzsumo’s competitor research report which identifies your competitor’s most shared content, gives you content alerts every time your competitor publishes something on social media and provides comparison reports between your content and your competitor’s content.

Wrapping it up

It’s difficult to make your mark in the content world due to the influx of large, medium and small-sized businesses. There’s fierce competition in every industry and it’s quite cheap to use social media, WordPress, YouTube and other forms of content formats to create and publish content in the online sphere. Therefore, doing thorough research on your opponents is more important now than ever. In 2018, you need to work smarter, not harder.

Take the above content writing advice and tips to help you produce valuable, relatable and unique content that helps you beat your competitors and become a content marketing leader within your industry.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has over 20 years of  experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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