Running a successful content marketing strategy takes more than just publishing killer content, sharing across social media, and launching various email campaigns to promote your business.
While all of these things are necessary for growing your business, the truth is, there’s lots of competition out there.
And to ignore the content marketing strategies of your competition is a big mistake if you want to find out how to pull ahead of them.
If you’re looking for ways to spy on your competitors’ content marketing strategies, then allow me to share with you these tried and tested competitor research tactics. That way, you can improve or build on your competitors’ strategies, allowing you to dominate them and be number one in your niche.
1. Learn What They’re Publishing
Finding out what your biggest competitors are posting on their websites is a great way to clue into what is working for them.
This is especially true if you’re a new startup looking for ways to grow your business and compete with established companies.
After all, if your competition sees a lot of daily traffic, they must be doing something right.
But how do you find out what your competition is publishing, without wasting a ton of time scouring their websites every single day?
To start, you can subscribe to their newsletters, so you are notified anytime something new is published on their websites.
Doing this will keep you up to date on what’s trending, what others feel is newsworthy, and what you should be writing about yourself.
The problem is, if you subscribe to a lot of newsletters, you’ll find your inbox filling up with too many emails to wade through every day.
That’s where Unroll.me comes in handy.
With Unroll.me, you can combine all of your newsletter subscriptions into one convenient email that’s sent every day straight to your inbox.
You can also access your account and manage all subscriptions, deleting what no longer serves you and “rolling” new subscriptions into your daily Unroll.me email.
By learning what your competition is publishing, you can discover how often they post content, what type of content they prefer, and how they’re promoting their content to drive traffic to their sites.
2. Monitor Social Media
Keep in mind that some of the content your competition publishes will only appear on social media.
After all, some of your target audience may frequent social media over all other platforms, and your competition is likely to know this because those people are their target audience too.
Keeping tabs on what is being posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, to name a few, is going to give you insight into what type of content your target audience likes to see most.
For example, images, infographics, videos, Q&A sessions, and even webinars are just some of the ways businesses try to drive more traffic to their website to secure more conversions.
To achieve this, all you have to do is start following your competition on various social media platforms and regularly checking out what they’re posting.
You can also use the following tools:
- FadFeed. Take away your family and friend feed items on Facebook and leave only the advertisements so you can focus on your competition’s ad strategies.
- Facebook Info & Ads. This new feature in Facebook lets you check out all active ads for a specific Facebook page, along with the date the page was created, and any historical changes made to the page’s name.
- Buzzsumo. Monitor your competition’s top content (including articles, infographics, and videos) as well as the number of social shares each piece of content receives.
- Fanpage Karma. Analyze your competition’s social media profiles, manage interactions with followers, and even publish your own posts from this comprehensive platform.
- Twitter Audit. Discover which competitors have a true Twitter following, and which have fake followers. Doing this will reveal your real competitors.
Remember, content marketing is more than just blog posts; it includes marketing your brand on social media too.
If you can figure out what works for your competition in social media, you can fine tune your content marketing strategy, make improvements, and grow your following.
3. Monitor Their Site Speed (And Yours Too!)
Site speed and mobile optimization are a few of the best ways to boost your search rankings.
It also ensures a smooth user experience that encourages people to engage with the content you work so hard to publish on your site.
To find out how fast your competition’s website is (and yours as well), use a free online tool like Google PageSpeed Insights:
With this tool, you’ll see how fast your competition’s desktop and mobile sites are compared to yours.
If you find that your site is lacking in speed and performance, follow the recommendations Google gives you to improve and watch your rankings rise.
You can also leverage a CDN to deliver your site’s content to people based on their geographic location.
Doing this speeds up the content delivery process and creates a better user experience.
4. Check Your Competition’s Keywords
One of the best ways to beat out your competition is to rank higher than them in search results.
To do this, you need to ramp up your keyword research efforts and make sure that your content ranks in the right search results for the right people.
After all, it doesn’t matter how many people come to your website if you don’t have what they want.
And if you don’t have what people want, you’ll have high bounce rates, very little content engagement, and low conversion rates.
That said, you can use SEMRush to uncover your competition’s content marketing strategies and improve your own content marketing plan.
Check out the kind of data you’ll see:
- How much traffic is organic and paid
- Their top backlinks so you can target them and get some for yourself
- Which organic keywords rank the best
- Main organic competitors that are likely your competition too
- Their top paid keywords and competition so you can work on your ad strategies
- Sample ads that generate them a lot of revenue
- Landing pages that see the most traffic
- And so much more
Use this data to learn more about your competition, inspire your own content marketing strategies, and push ahead to the top.
In the end, content marketing is a never-ending process if you want to continue to scale your business and your success.
However, understanding your competition and what works best for them will help you make the needed changes to your strategies to beat them long-term.
So, take the time to compare yourself with your biggest rivals using the above-mentioned tips and tools.
If you do, you’ll have an advantage over everyone else that’s “too busy” to look deeper into their content marketing strategies.
As a result you’ll end up the being the one everyone is researching because you’ll be their biggest competition.
Author: Alexander Adams