A marketer’s goal is to create unique and engaging content that resonates with the target audience. Learning what the competitors are publishing is a vital step to achieving that quintessential objective.
Let’s understand how you can use the following quick and easy steps to research and analyze competitive content.
Advantages of Analyzing Competitive Content
First, let’s answer the one basic question: what are the benefits of analyzing competitive content?
Thorough competitive content analysis helps you learn about the content pieces working best for your top competitors. It’s a process that also helps unearth the content gaps in your industry. Here are some reasons why you should be performing a competitive content analysis regularly.
- Competitive analysis helps you know how your branded content is doing vis-a-vis your competitors.
- It lets you figure out the current content demand and create audience-centric and engaging branded content.
- Learning about the ongoing industry trends paves the way to add freshness to branded content. Plus, you can develop a path-breaking content voice that stands out in the content clutter.
Without further ado, let’s look at the key steps in a strategic competitive content analysis process.
1. Start with a Competitor List
A list of competitors lays the foundation for doing a competition content check. So let’s see how to do it:
- You need to find all the companies selling the same products and services. These are your direct competitors.
- Next, look for brands targeting the same audience but not selling the same products and services.
- Finally, enlist media companies that are producing content in the same niche.
Once you have a list of competing businesses, you can start looking at the content they’re producing, stuff that’s helping them get prospects into their sales funnel.
2. Browse Through Their Website Content
Most businesses publish content on their site as blog posts, infographics, and videos. Flipping through these content pieces gives an idea of the type and quality of competitive content.
- Start by learning about the different content categories on competing websites. Categories give marketers a peek into the scope of content topics on a competitor’s website.
- Next, you need to note down the length of the content pieces. Does your competitor rely more on long-form content pieces (5000 words or more) or shorter articles (900-1400 words)?
- Notice the type of visuals your competitors are using. Are they designing images in-house or sourcing them from other sites?
- Checking the frequency and publishing schedule of competing businesses offers a host of insights into how much content you need to publish.
- Make a list of the key content formats your competitors are publishing. For instance, you need to check if their content marketing is skewed towards blog content, infographics, or podcasts?
3. Map The Content Voices in Your Industry
You might find yourself shooting in the dark when starting to build a content voice for your business. That’s because you can’t develop an original content voice without knowing what other businesses are doing? Hence, you need first to study the core emotional values of competitive content.
- Take a look at the website home pages of your top competitors. What messages do you find? How are these messages different from each other?
- You can create a table to record these distinct brand positionings.
- Now you can add a row to include the core values of your branded content.
Mapping industry voices is an easy way to develop a key value proposition for your branded content.
4. Create a Repository of High-Performing Competitive Content
The next step is to find out what’s working best for your competitors. You can use an SEO tool like ahrefs to download your competitors’ top pages.
- Remove non-content pages from the list to get the content pieces driving traffic for a competitor’s website.
- You need to combine the content pieces from all your competing businesses into a single list.
- Now, segregate them based on their content type. For instance, put all the blog posts in a single list, videos in another, and so on.
A bucket of high-performing content helps to know what type of content resonates with the audience. Next, you need to strategize how to out-perform these content pieces. For example, you can pick up a content piece and see how you can improve it by creating additional value for the audience. Or you can give it a new angle that would be of interest to your prospects.
5. Check for Top-Performing Keywords
A strong SEO strategy is an integral part of successful content marketing. That’s why you need to keep tabs on your competition’s best keywords.
- Make a list of keywords driving the most traffic to competition websites. Then, tabulate metrics like search volume and difficulty against each of these keywords.
- Put these keywords in different content categories to define high-priority content ideas.
Analyzing competition keywords is vital to getting your content strategy off the ground. It helps you decide which keywords you wish to target first. Plus, the process helps define the topic ideas that will help you rank for those keyphrases.
6. Analyze Their Social Media Presence
And finally, you want to check all the social media handles of competing businesses.
- Look for posts with the highest views and engagement.
- Next, you need to analyze which social media platform is working best for your top competitors.
- Check the frequency and format of content on these pages. You can pay close attention to the non-traditional and out-of-the-box content formats like Instagram polls that competing businesses might be using to engage with their audience?
- Plus, a bunch of social media post ideas can help strengthen your personal profiles and business handles on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Today’s truth is that social media platforms have become massive. It’s where most online users are active. As a result, many businesses get a large part of their total leads from these platforms. That’s why knowing what your competitors are publishing on these channels is so critical.
Over to You
Creating informative and valuable content opens the door for businesses to build a loyal customer base and soar to new heights. And if you want to race ahead in your content game, you need to look around and see what other companies are doing. It’s about staying inspired all the time and serving the very best content pieces to your target audience. That way, you can build solid and lasting relationships with potential and existing customers.