Growing up, your mum probably taught you to mind your own business and in many ways, she was right. Worrying extraneously about what everyone else is up to is a recipe for a headache, but when it comes to your content marketing efforts it pays to be a bit nosy.
That's because knowing where you stand in relation to your competition can help you reshape your strategy and improve your organisation's online presence. Without a firm understanding of what key competitors and industry leaders are producing, you risk falling behind and missing out on key content marketing opportunities.
The importance of competitor analysis
One of the main reasons organisations create content is to raise brand awareness. From blog posts to ebooks and well-thought-out landing pages, content tells the story of your business, what you do and what you believe in. If this content is weak – or your key competitors is simply better – you will miss out on an opportunity to create meaningful brand associations.
This is the number one reason it's important to know how your content marketing stacks up to your rivals. To find out where you stand, examine the following about your competitors:
- The content itself – the quantity and quality of the work they produce.
- SEO – where they rank in comparison to you.
- Social media – which tactics they're using on social media, as well as how much engagement they're receiving.
- Traffic – number of visitors their site receives.
Before you get too far ahead of yourself, however, stop to think about your organisation's goals. It might not be possible to beat your competition in every area, so zero in on those that are most important to you instead. Prioritising a strong social presence, for example, will allow you to focus your time and resources and avoid stretching yourself too thin.
How to know where your content stands
So, how do you get started? While studying your competitors' analytics reports would be ideal, it isn't possible. Fortunately, you can enhance your understanding significantly with a quick, at-a-glance assessment.
Visit your rival's website and have a look around, asking yourself how their online presence stacks up to your own. Examine the quality of their site and the content on it. Is their website fast and easy to use? Does it appear professional with a clear brand? While the main aim of your competitor analysis is to compare content, it's also important to make a judgement about their overall web presence.
Next, analyse their content. What does their total body of work look like? You want to find out how advanced their content marketing strategy is as well as how committed they are to producing high-value work.
When exploring their range of content, determine:
- Total body of work,
- Engagement levels,
- Themes and trends,
- Style and tone,
- What kind of content they create.
Now, do a similar, objective analysis of your own site and gauge how you stack up. Be honest with yourself to gain perspectives around how your efforts compare to what you've just seen.
Finding the right tools for the job
While observations can go a long way, it's essential to back your assumptions with empirical evidence about your competitors. That's where the right tools come in. Comparative tools can help you measure exactly how your competition's content is performing.
Here are a few of our favourites:
The world's largest backlink database, Majestic SEO can offer a clear assessment of domain authority.
#MayTheFourth be with you and what a better day than this to announce our new experimental tool, Solo Links. With this tool you can see which domains your competitor has but you don't! #MajesticTheBiggestTheBest #SEO #GetOnIt https://t.co/04nJoiMJEC
— Majestic (@Majestic) May 4, 2018
Enter a URL to see the organic and paid search rankings for any site anywhere in the world.
Dive In! This e-book will guide you through the entire SEO workflow, explaining how to use our tools with maximum efficiency! Make sure to check it out! Be sure to check it out! https://t.co/le6mX1ekcr pic.twitter.com/2mM3lJSgX8
— SEMrush (@semrush) March 23, 2018
Use this tool to see your competitors' top shared posts on any social platform.
As many as 15 per cent of the top marketing websites use Quantcast tracking to better understand the demographics, behaviours and lifestyles of website visitors.
Do you know how to obtain consumer consent under #GDPR? Learn more about how the @IABEurope open, industry standard framework can help publishers and advertisers manage consent across the digital ecosystem. https://t.co/0nvAosBkea pic.twitter.com/9iGKVGIj1R
— Quantcast (@Quantcast) March 27, 2018
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