Content marketing is a sphere that is witnessing immense developments and innovative delivery systems rather rapidly. Understandably, content marketing has become the favorite mode for businesses small and large to promote products and services to their target audience while seeking newer clientele and expansion to remote markets.
A comprehensive and realistic content marketing strategy is considered vital for the success of any organization. Well defined content marketing plans enable you to retain edge over rivals. Unfortunately, lots of organizations small and large lag in content marketing since they do not perform vital analysis.
Doing a competitive content marketing analysis is nothing very complex. Rather, a few simple steps can lead you in the right direction and help retain the winning edge. Outranking competitors and ensuring your content remains on top is the main objective of such analysis. This can be done rather easily.
Know Your Competitor
The first step towards doing a competitive content marketing analysis is by knowing your competitor. This includes knowing the various platforms on which your rival is promoting content. You need to analyze quality of your competitor’s content based on various parameters. These include:
- Relevance to the market.
- Reader friendliness.
- Updated information.
- Fake, unrealistic or misleading claims.
- Extra information that is missing from your content.
Cash-in on deficiencies of your competitor by including missing yet relevant information.
Content Delivery Channels
This is another important step towards doing a competitive content marketing analysis. Find out where your competitors are present. They may be present on Facebook, Facebook Business, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp and YouTube. Additionally, they may have e-newsletters sent by email, webcasts, podcasts and e-brochures, free e-books and other material easily downloadable from the Internet. Presence on Facebook or Twitter and other websites is not sufficient: Also check the quality of content and its relevance to the target audience. Content delivery channels usually depend upon various business ideas and models adopted by competitors. Very often, content provided through multiple channels goes unnoticed since it is uninteresting to readers. However, knowing channels through which others get their content across helps you to create or boost presence on any particular platform or add others such as LinkedIn.
Content Delivery Speed
Nowadays, mobile apps present a big advantage- or big threat- to content marketers. Those with apps downloadable on Android smart-phones and iPhones enjoy a distinct advantage: They can proliferate content very rapidly since mobile allow access anywhere. Apps also allow users to get instant alerts and view the content. Generally, smart-phone users access content during long commutes or in spare time. Hence, you need to analyze time taken by your organization to spread its content vis-à-vis that taken by others. Speed, along with high quality is of essence for any content marketing strategy to succeed.
Very often, competitors gain upper hand by posting larger volumes of content. Often, such content is very short and specific but offers a continuum to earlier or following posts. Shorter yet relevant and interesting content often attracts more viewership. More so, if they connect with previous or upcoming content. To do a competitive content marketing analysis, it is vital to identify frequencies at which your competitor is posting and the number of posts. Additionally, it is also vital to know whether these frequent posts provide more information that previous ones and are not repetitive.
In multi-linguistic cultures, some organizations offer content in different languages. For example, a company in US can offer content in English and Spanish while that in Canada would prefer English and French. Yet some other competitors could be offering content in additional languages such as Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua), Hindi, Arabic, German and Russian, to name a few. Understandably, your competitor believes that offering content in many languages increases its reach. This may not be entirely accurate and would depend largely on demographics of your location and target audience. Yet, it is information worth adding in your competitive content marketing analysis report.
Pictures and Graphics
The old axiom, ‘Seeing is believing,’ is very astute. Keep tabs on types of pictures, graphics and videos used by your competitors. Great pictures, informative graphics and interesting, amusing videos means your competitor is targeting a very well defined audience. Analyze quality of such content to upgrade your own offerings.
There is vast difference between interesting content and intelligent content. Often, content can be interesting but not intelligence driven. Sometimes, it can be the other way around. Striking balance between interesting and intelligence driven content can often prove difficult. If your rival has struck this vital balance means, they are scoring much higher hits than your content. Analyze the manner in which interesting content and intelligent information is interwoven. This will help you develop much superior content.
Visit your competitor’s content delivery channels to find frequency of updates. Higher frequency of posting content means your competitor is most likely providing updated information. Remember, content readers do not depend upon a single source. They will compare information available. And, they will depend upon organizations that offer the latest updates.
Content Analysis Software
A wide range of content analysis software is available nowadays. Admittedly, such software has several drawbacks over humans since they depend upon your inputs. However, using these software helps gain insights into various aspects of a competitor’s content which can otherwise be overlooked.
Check tags used by your competitor for promoting the content. This helps you identify target audiences and expected response. A simple search on Google with specific keywords helps you find these details. Additionally, specific software also helps this endeavor. Generally, good content marketers use seasons to create a brief spurts in audience. Meaning, they can use tags such as “Christmas”, “Valentine’s Day”, “Thanksgiving” while promoting something specific to that season. Keep tabs on these seasonal spurts targeted by competitors.
Importance of Competitive Analysis
In coming years, content marketing is a field that can define success or failure of a company or website. The reason is simple: With infinite content available on the Internet, people do not have the time or inclination to view more than two or three articles. Hence, those who excel in the field will draw traffic while laggards will eventually be forced out.
This scenario calls for all content marketers- individuals, small and large businesses to constantly upgrade the content quality and grab the highest possible audience. Metrics will also decide who earns more revenue, either in form or advertisements through Google or in form of profits for the company. Cutting edge content entails lots of hard work, in-depth research and excellent writing, photography, and production skills. It entails great editing too. Hence, the competitive analysis will help content creators to deliver stuff that gets better acceptance.
As elaborated earlier, user engagement is the key to any content. Every competitive content marketing analysis should, therefore, be geared at maximum retention of the target audience. While striving to provide astute data to content marketing strategists, analysis should also include pointers where content providers can upgrade their offerings. Further, competitive content analysis is something that has to be done very frequently, preferably every week or fortnight. With trends changing rapidly, those lagging in content marketing analysis can find themselves at severe disadvantage.