The digital age demands content. The only way for a brand to remain unique and memorable is by creating the right content for its users. This covers everything from blogs for SEO and videos for marketing to social media posts for engagement.
Every piece of content that gets published represents your brand and needs research and planning.
There is an essential step that a lot of brands ignore when considering how to do content marketing. Apart from posting relevant content, you need to keep an eye out for what others in your industry are talking about.
Here are a few ways to build your content strategy based on what your competitors are doing.
- Analyze Competitor’s SEO
Gaining insight into your competitor’s keywords can give you an upper hand. This information will show what words they rank for and what keywords are most relevant in your industry.
If you notice that your competitors rank higher on a search result for a longer time, it’s time to find out why and how. This research is also a significant step when you are starting to build your SEO strategy. Rather than looking at fresh insights, use the data that is tried and tested.
For example, if you notice that words such as ‘best car service’ rank high for your competitor, it would make sense to use a variation of the same to your advantage.
Platforms like SEMRush offer some of the best tools for this job. They can simply list a large number of words and phrases based on the URLs you enter. They also give you detailed analytics on your competitor’s SEO efforts. Their Keyword Gap Analysis tool allows you to compare keyword profiles of competitor websites and see which keywords you’re missing out on.
- Take Inventory of Your Competitors’ Content
SEO and keywords are merely data. You must pay close attention to your competitors’ actual content. There is a good chance that they use only a small range of topics and headings to reel in users. Most companies and brands have a set of ideas and topics that they choose from. These are the topics you should stay away from.
Or be on the offensive. You can create content that upsells the ideas already sold by them. These can include more than just blogs; cover social media, Youtube videos, podcasts, events, and much more.
If you notice that a particular content type seems to get more traction in a specific time and place, you can also replicate it in other forms. For example, your competitor has a ‘how-to blog’ post that receives a large volume of impressions. You can develop similar content but in a video format. Videos can reach a wider audience than blogs.
Similarly, if they are using a tool like Medium or WordPress, you can move your content to a place with better visibility for your brands, such as LinkedIn or Instagram. The options are endless, but they begin with knowledge of what’s already out there.
- Evaluate Content Quantity and Quality
You can also look at high-ranking content pieces and gauge what ensures better engagement. For example, if certain blogs, videos, or posts gain a better reach, it’s time to recreate a similar content type at your end.
If you want to learn how to do content marketing, strike a perfect balance between quality and quantity. A large volume of poorly created content is called spam and only a few pieces of content can also fail to impress. Study your competition and try to learn about the average number of posts and content pieces they go for. This should give your brand a basic framework to understand the market’s demand and supply.
- Analyze Tone and Sources
Another factor to consider is the tone of the content. The tone used by your competitors is a significant indicator of their target audience. Is the tone simple, formal, or just uninteresting? These points can help you create your own voice and messaging which is different from your competitors.
You can also use the information around sources of traffic to plan your distribution strategy. First, break them down platform-wise and then by content types. Once you know which platforms are performing best, you can also pull in a small audience there.
- Understand their USP
A golden rule to consider when we talk about how to do content marketing is to focus on your competitors’ Unique Selling Propositions (USPs). Each of them has something that sets them apart from the crowd. Your analysis should determine what that factor is. Their websites might have ‘mission statements’, which can reveal a lot of information about their USPs.
This becomes crucial if yours is a brand that works in the B2B space. If you know your niche, it’s easier to generate more content within it.
Yes, there is a chance your niche can overlap with your competitor’s. In such cases, you must dig deeper and discover a unique way to present your idea.
Finally, Integrate Your Strategy
The next and final step is to integrate all these points mentioned above with your existing content strategy. Your brand should already have a plan for content in place by the time you reach this research stage.
It helps to put information in one place like a spreadsheet or a brainstorming sheet. You can then choose the items and headings that would add value to your marketing plans.
If you are looking to get ahead of the pack, it’s essential to focus on others’ weaknesses and double up your own strategies.
Just keep an eye on the work of others. You can also look for collaborations with your competitors to make your content enjoyable.
Unfortunately, this cannot be mastered overnight, so take your time to plan this well. Attention to detail and careful planning can help you get to the top.