For many beginners, content marketing can be difficult to grasp. The basic concept of developing content may be straightforward, but it can be hard to see what will engage audiences and gain tangible results. While there is no exact formula, businesses should expect to produce a marketing campaign that brings a positive ROI. You could invest heavily in a large amount of content, testing to see what works and what doesn’t. A simpler strategy, though, is to see what has worked before for your main competitors. So how can you find out what is working for the competition?
Research Your Competition
Firstly, you need to find your main competitors. You may already have an idea of the businesses you are competing against, but it is worth searching with Google and the main social media sites for anyone you have missed. By searching through their website and social media channels, you should be able to find their primary ways of distributing content. Different niches will be more suited to particular sites, so you can work out the most effective channels for your marketing plan.
Analyze Their Content
Find out the type of content each competitor is publishing. You may find videos are popular, or your niche might respond better to blog posts. Along with a broad look at the content, try to go deeper with your analysis. Are the videos short and direct? Are the blog posts long-form articles? Understanding the approach your competitors are taking will help shape your own plan.
Focus on Engagement
Just because your competitors are producing a lot of content doesn’t mean it is all having the desired results. Look at the content that is generating views, comments, likes, and any other metric that shows a level of popularity. When you have a sense of the platforms and types of content that are working, drill down further to gain extra information. You should be able to see why videos, articles, podcasts, and other examples are working by looking at audience reactions and the overall concept of the content.
Develop Your Own Content
The next stage is to develop your own content. You don’t want to copy your competitors content, but you can take inspiration from the most effective examples. The content you produce should represent your brand, so try to always consider how you want your business to be perceived. You can, however, use all the research you have gained to produce content that audiences will be likely to engage with.
Streamline Using Tools
As with most online marketing plans, it is possible to increase ROI by including tools within the process. There are various content marketing tools that can streamline the research process, allowing you to focus more on content creation. BuzzSumo can be used to research domains, authors, keywords, and more, showing the number of likes and shares a piece of content received. Sprout Social is an additional product you could use, focusing heavily on social media marketing.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to reach targeted audiences online. The volume of content being created each day, though, means you have to be strategic if you want to gain traction. Most small businesses don’t have the time or money to invest in a huge amount of content for running tests. However, analyzing and monitoring top competitors has become accessible to almost everyone, meaning you can get valuable data that can shape your campaigns. While content marketing needs to be a major part of your arsenal, you don’t need to try anything drastically different to reach your desired audience.