How to have Competitive Intelligence in Content Marketing

It is important for any marketer to be aware of their competition.  Doing so broadens your scope of knowledge: reveals gaps in what others are doing, gives you an idea on what you can be doing better, and shows you how you may match up to the competition.

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A marketer well-versed in the competition will be able to identify significant differences between their brands: difference in goods and services, sales techniques used to close leads, techniques for gaining leads, and the total reach of the competition. Conducting a total competitive content analysis will provide a clear idea of the main objectives of other content campaigns.  It is extremely wise to gather this information prior to unleashing a new content strategy, or to modify an existing one.

So, how does a marketer go about conducting a total competitive content analysis?

  1. Discover Their Content. The first step should always include unearthing what your competitors have. Where does the content live? This can usually be found on their websites under resource tabs, support tab, website blogs, case studies published, as well as any press or media involvement.  Check the most obvious places first, and then finish by making sure no stone is left unturned.
  2. Don’t Stop at the Website. Although plenty of content can be found there, a lot of it can be found in the resources they are using.  If your competitors own content channels and accounts, they most likely have content being published elsewhere.
  3. Run an Audit. Now that you know where the content is, it is time to analyze it.  Look for the four key factors: how much content is being published, how often, which content is giving off the biggest impact, and how is it being promoted?
  4. Evaluate the Quality. The next series of questions will give you an idea of the quality of your competitor’s content: is it long-form, is it high-level, can it be recycled and presented in a new format with a greater lasting impact, is it well-written, and is it helpful?
  5. Discover the Motives. A great way to find out your competition’s best strategies is to discover how their content plays a part in their funnel.  Look for the calls-to-action, landing pages, links, and how the content is being promoted on social media as well as the traditional internet.
  6. How does your content strategy stack up against the competition?  Are their gaps in their approach?  Is there a method of yours that needs tweaked?  Paying close attention to the competition is a great way to improve your overall content strategy.