Understanding the competitive landscape is one of those things that gets drilled down in you during business school.
And for good reason.
If you’re looking to make strategic recommendations that set you apart from the crowd, you need to understand the competitive landscape.
In the realm of content, that means content marketers may scramble to a competitor’s website and try to mimic all the content the competitor is publishing.
Avoid this frantic state. Instead, take a deep breath.
And consider these four questions as you measure up your competitor.
How Is Your Competitor’s Website Organized?
Here, you want to think about structure and labels. Are they calling their blog space ‘articles’ or ‘blog’? Is the technical support section just ‘support’ or ‘technical support’?
Take a look at how the competitor categorizes content. This will help you get a good idea of who their target audience is.
What Do They Talk About?
This is a great way to figure out what your competitor is NOT talking about. You read that correctly. Again, the goal isn’t to mimic your competitor’s content. You are, dear content marketer, from a whole different company after all. But think about the stories the competitor isn’t discussing. Is there an opportunity to avail here? This is one way to create differentiation.
What Content Formats Are Being Used?
Are they using blog posts? Podcasts? Video? Are employees blogging? This may help you develop content formats well suited for your own target audience. Remember though, audiences digest content differently. It’s important to recognize how your audience is taking in content. But seeing how your competitor does it may inspire you to consider new avenues to sharing your own content.
How Do They Showcase Their Brand?
You can get a general idea if a company has it together by looking at how they present their brand assets. Is there a consistency in tone when it comes to content? Are the design assets aligned? Keep an eye, and ear, out for key messaging, voice and tone, images, quality of video production, and so on. Is the brand consistent? Or all over the place?
Having answers to these questions will give you a better idea of how your competitors compare to your company.
It’ll also give you an opportunity to develop a distinctness that positions your organization a step above the others.
I help companies grow by telling their stories.