Competitor analysis to optimize your content strategy – WAU
Competition analysis is essential in different Digital Marketing strategies, and the content strategy could not be different. Understand how to do a competitor analysis for a consistent content strategy!
It doesn’t matter if you are starting from scratch or optimizing a content strategy: knowing, understanding and monitoring what your competitors do is essential to making decisions that really deliver results for your company.
And it is important to highlight: I am not talking about copying content that your competitors produce.
The idea here is to make the most of the gaps that exist in the production of content in your niche market.
You will end this reading with the knowledge to analyze your most important competitors and draw action plans that help your company stand out as a producer of authentic content that delivers value to your audience.
Who are your real competitors?
You certainly already have some names in mind, but this step requires a little more attention.
Defining who your competitors are in your content strategy goes beyond mapping companies that compete directly for the same market as you.
Typically, companies that sell a product / service similar to yours are also competitors in creating content. After all, your competitors are solving pains for a very similar persona, often the same as yours.
But for a complete analysis of competition in a content strategy, you need to take into account companies that create content that targets the same persona as yours, even if the products / services themselves are not direct competitors.
These are your content competitors.
And where do you start to identify your competitors?
Well, the answer is where all our doubts are usually resolved: on Google.
Do a search for the main relevant top, middle and bottom funnel terms for your persona. Which companies stand out?
Take into account your direct competitors who are late in producing content. Even with little participation in search results, they compete for the same market share as you and deserve your attention.
In this step, a tool that can help a lot is SEMrush. When doing a general analysis of the domain marketingdeconteudo.com, for example, this tool presents the main domains that compete for the keywords you rank.
This analysis shows which are the main content competitors of our domain, how many keywords it has indexed, and how many keywords other domains have in common with us.
SEMrush is a paid tool, but it offers a huge amount of information that can help analyze your competitors. Therefore, it will appear again in this post.
From these analyzes, build your list of competitors with those you really need to keep up.
Record each competitor’s content strategy
This is the most operational step in the process. The time spent on it will vary greatly depending on your competitors’ level of content investment.
It is time to dissect the content strategy, and this should be done taking into account:
- type of content;
- amount of content;
- posting frequency;
- topics covered.
You can do this through a spreadsheet in which you will record each data of a competitor to facilitate its analysis later. A simple example of a table to record your results looks like this:
Spreadsheet for competitor analysis
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Targeting content to the sales funnel stage is very important for a content strategy, however I’ll leave you out of this analysis.
A company has to have materials from all stages of the funnel for each channel and topic, so this analysis will not bring big insights.
But remember: be sure to take the funnel step into account in your content strategy!
And how to analyze each aspect of a strategy? Let’s do it by steps.
Analyze on which channels your competitor publishes content.
It is important to find out if he has more than one blog, if he publishes rich materials on his website, if he has a YouTube account, if he promotes Webinars (and where he broadcasts them), if he produces exclusive material for any social network or any other communication channel. that receives content.
SimilarWeb is a tool free which can help you understand which channels drive traffic to your competitor’s site.
It allows you to map any domain and gives information such as traffic (in an approximate forecast), time on the site, pages per access, and the most relevant here: traffic sources.
In addition to showing where the visits a domain comes from, you can also view the sources separated by area. For example, it is possible to know which specific social networks the accesses originating from social media come from.
With this, you will have an overview of where your competitor operates and what specific niches he seeks to reach.
Map the entire content production of your competitor, seeking to identify what types of content are produced for each channel. Some of the most common are:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Case studies
Each of these has a strategic objective, and understanding how your competitor distributes your content creation investments will show some of your marketing planning.
Amount of content and frequency of posting
Map how much content your competitor has on each channel and how often he posts new articles. To follow your launches it is important to follow your social networks and monitor your blog and newsletters.
In addition, this monitoring will show how your competitor is directing its investments and efforts on a monthly basis.
Try to understand what topics your competitor addresses in the content. Think from a macro perspective, selecting broader themes, and divide into more specific categories as far as possible.
Usually, companies focus their content production on topics that their product / service offers and has as its strong point.
As the topics of primary relevance become exhausted, companies begin to produce content about their weaknesses or issues that are not directly related to their product.
In this analysis, SEMrush is very useful again. It allows you to assess which keywords your competitor ranks. In doing so, it is possible to identify topics that are most covered.
Here is an example of how an analysis of this could be done at marketingdeconteudo.com:
You can organize your keywords according to the position in the search results that your competitor occupies, search volume, trend, among other options. This will show you a lot about topics covered and the quality of the content (spoiler of the next step).
Analyze content quality
With all of this data properly documented, it’s time to move on to a more analytical part of the process. You need to evaluate your competitor’s content, trying to fit them on a quality scale.
At this point, you may have an important question: what is quality content?
There is no perfect formula, but basically we are talking about content that unites Content Marketing (strategic direction and focus on the pain of the persona), SEO (understanding Google and how it reads your text), good writing and visual production (organized and appropriate to your persona).
It is important to remember that a 500 word post can have as much quality as a 3,000 word Ebook, just as top funnel content can be just as good as a bottom funnel.
Quality does not come from size, but from how well a content meets the requirements I mentioned earlier.
SEMrush can help you evaluate the quality and relevance of the content created by your competitor, after all, it shows you how Google sees the quality of a content.
Look for the ranking of your competitor’s content and try to understand what makes you appear or not among the best results for searches for keywords important to your business.
Another tip is take into account the performance of content on social networks. Do the launch publications for each material generate engagement? Do people leave feedbacks in the comments?
In our Digital Competitor Analysis Kit, we have selected tools that can help you track the impact of companies on social networks. Check it out here!
Establish a measurement standard. It can be a grade from 1 to 5, a scale that goes from low to high quality, in short: the important thing is to have a unique classification method. This will be very important in the next step of the analysis.
Understand how to create authorial competitive content
If you followed each of the previous steps, you already have a lot of data about your competitors’ content strategy.
It is time to cross them and analyze them in order to understand how you can optimize your content strategy based on your strengths and differences.
Your analysis must start from some crucial points, but it can be extended in several ways. I have listed the most important analyzes to be made and what optimizations you can make in your content strategy based on them.
Quantity of content X Topic X Quality
Perhaps the most valuable analysis in a content assessment.
Understand how deeply your competitor addresses each topic will show you how it organizes your investment priority within your strategy.
You will be able to see which topics he sees as the most important to generate opportunities, and which he considers secondary.
This analysis will show you several gaps in content topics that you can focus on to gain visibility and authority online.
And, most importantly here: you can identify themes for which your competitor generates a lot of content, but which are not being produced with great quality. This is an opportunity to invest in better content that competes for the highest place in search engines.
When looking at the results of this analysis, be sure to always compare with what you do.
Differences in thematic focus say a lot about how the company sees its competitive strengths and will provide insights on what areas you should focus your content production on.
Remember: if a competitor has a topic that is highly approached and with quality, reflect on the importance it represents for your Inbound Marketing strategy.
Clearly assessing your chances of competing for a topic can maximize your chances of generating results from your content.
Topical vs. topical analysis is essential to generate insights. Luckily, SEMrush allows you to do this extremely easily. When comparing two domains, you can view:
Keywords that you compete directly:
Keywords your competitor ranks and you don’t:
Keywords you rank and your competitor does not:
Never lose sight of your strength in relation to the competitor. How is your product / service better than his? This will be an important guide when defining the priority topics in your strategy.
Presentation template for SWOT Analysis
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Quantity of content X Channel
This analysis will show you what importance your competitor gives to each channel. The choice of a communication channel is based on the persona’s demand, and not the other way around.
Map which channel your competitor is setting aside and rate s