Did you know that 82% of businesses use content marketing to reach their respective target audiences?
Content is king. It helps you connect with a relevant audience, convey your messages, and promote your solutions to generate revenue.
However, creating content that offers value is not an easy process. It requires a lot of research and customer insights for you to come up with a stellar content strategy tailored to the needs and preferences of the intended audience.
Taking inspiration from your competitors is a wise approach to consider when planning your content. It helps you identify strategies that have been working for your competitors and those that have not.
Based on the information you’ve gathered, you can plan your content calendar with ease and ensure that the content you publish helps maximize your ROI.
Here are a few useful tips to audit content of your competitors.
1. Identify Your Competitors
The prerequisite for auditing your competitors’ content is clearly identifying who your competitors are. And to do that, there are a few factors to keep in mind when researching the potential contenders.
These factors include but are not limited to the solutions offered by a particular company, the audience profile a company serves, market proximity conditions, the scale at which a company operates, the company’s market share, and so on.
Considering the factors mentioned above, you can come up with an effective plan to identify and shortlist your competitors, which later paves the way for you to come up with an effective content plan.
2. Explore the Best-Suited Keywords
Once you’re through step one, the next phase is to find the keywords used by the shortlisted competitors to create content for their respective audiences.
To explore the required information, you can either research your competitors manually or take help from the leading keyword research tools available on the market. There’s no right or wrong here. It’s just a matter of convenience.
If you choose to identify these keywords manually, you will have to explore competitors’ sites one-by-one and analyze their pages to come up with solid findings.
Keyword research tools, on the other hand, make it easier for you to find the required information and make the process a little less cumbersome.
So, the choice is yours. However, it’s recommended that you go with the keyword research tools, as they’d save a lot of time for you and help maximize your efficiency.
3. Map Your Content
Once you’ve explored the keywords used by your competitors to create content, the next step is shortlisting the fitting queries among the list and mapping your content.
Content mapping helps you identify keywords used by most players in the industry to create content except for you.
There can be many reasons that have led to such a decision, as you know your business better than anyone else. But it can also be a flaw in your content strategy that has led you to miss out on low-hanging opportunities.
Content mapping helps you get answers to those questions. You’d know whether not targeting certain queries was a calculated decision or something you needed to improve on.
It helps you find potential loopholes in your content strategy and allows you to come up with new ways to grow your business.
4. Explore Buyer Personas
Once you’ve mapped your content with that of your competitors’, the next step is exploring the buyer personas.
Even when you cater to a particular market segment, you may have different buyer personas due to the diverse needs and preferences of the people comprising your target audience.
So, when researching your competitors, it’s essential to look for the buyer personas or audience profiles your competitors cater to, as the information can help improve your content strategy.
For this, it’s best that you explore your competitors’ sites manually, examine the topics they’ve covered, and assess the tone used by them to create different content pieces.
Using this information, you can explore the untapped market segments in your respective niche and identify the potential buyer personas you can target going forward.
5. Assess Content Types
Assessing the type of content your competitors produce can help refine your content strategy and attract relevant traffic to your site.
There are a variety of content types you can consider to reach out to your intended audience. However, to make the most of your efforts, it’d be best to explore content types that best align with your niche and work best for respective use cases.
So, it’s best to explore your competitors’ sites and find out what types of content they’ve been producing. This would help refine your content creation process and enable you to capture quality leads that fuel your sales funnel.
6. Determine Publishing Frequency
For content to work its magic, you have to ensure not only its relevance and value but also its consistency. This is how you get more eyeballs and stand out from the mainstream players in your respective industry.
The frequency at which you should produce and share your content with your respective audience may vary from industry to industry. So, it’d be best if you could standardize your publishing pattern in order to drive the best results.
Taking inspiration from your competitors may come in handy here. Matching the publishing frequency of your competitors, if not exceeding it, would not just help increase your online presence and reach, but it would also improve your SEO.
7. Pay Attention to the Details
While exploring competitors’ sites, you may come across different things that may help improve your content’s performance and enable you to drive the best results from it. But for that, you have to be attentive and make amends as per the findings you come across.
For example, if you notice that your competitors are using topic tags to offer a better user experience, it’s a no-brainer that you should have them.
If a particular writing style or tone is working well for your competitors, it’s best that you consider it, as it may also help increase your engagement.
If your competitors use sharing icons and it has helped them increase their content’s shareability, you should also consider leveraging the feature as it may help boost your reach.
If your competitors cater to topical depth and prefer creating a detailed page over a dozen with thin content, taking inspiration from them may help increase your content’s performance. ?
So, always pay attention to the details when assessing your competitors, as it will help you come up with a well-thought-out content plan of your own.
It’s a Wrap
There you have it. The seven useful tips to audit content of your competitors. There are many things you can learn from your competitors when it comes to content creation.
By avoiding the mistakes they’ve made, you can save yourself from facing similar consequences. And you can devise an efficient content strategy by doing things that have worked for them.
So, if you’ve been wanting to improve your content strategy, you should consider researching your competitors in great detail. And for that, the recommendations provided may come in handy.
Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.