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What You Can Learn from Competitive Research to Improve B2B Content Marketing Performance

December 11, 2019

By Joshua Nite

Competitive Research for Better Content Marketing

Competitive Research for Better Content Marketing

Pablo Picasso famously said: “Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” 

Except that he probably didn’t come up with that zinger on his own. It’s been attributed to everyone from Mark Twain to TS Eliot. 

Which proves the point: For memorable content, steal what you can and make it your own.

Your content is competing for your buyers’ attention. To make an impression, you have to be more informative, more entertaining, and more engaging than your competitors, both direct and indirect.

We’re not suggesting plagiarism here. We’re encouraging you to get a deep understanding of the landscape by conducting some competitive recon. Here’s how to use competitive research to bolster your B2B content marketing strategy and ultimately improve performance.

How to Improve Your B2B Content Performance with Competitive Research

There are two major components to competitive research. First, you should experience specific competitors’ content in the same way your audience is. Second, take a broader look at content from the audience’s perspective. Here’s how to do both.

Analyze Competitor Content

What type of experience is your competitor giving your target buying audience? How does it compare to what you’re offering? Go undercover as a potential customer for your top competitors and see how they do it.

#1: Read Their Blogs

Take a look at what they’re posting about, how frequently certain topics come up, and how in-depth their treatment is of each topic. You can also analyze how frequently they post, how long each post is, influencer/guest involvement, and whether there’s an option to subscribe.

Once you have a feel for the blog, put the blog’s URL in BuzzSumo’s content analyzer and see how their content is actually performing. Is their approach working? If not, how can you do better? If so… well… how can you do better?

#2: Sign up for Email Lists

Content is only the first stage of a potential customer relationship, of course. So it’s worth seeing how your competitors are deepening the relationship with their audience. Sign up for their newsletter or subscribe to the blog and see what happens.

Are the emails relevant? Do they appear personalized? What do you find unsatisfying about them? 

Naturally, it makes sense to subscribe to your own email drip as well — even if you’re the one writing the messages. It’s worth seeing how the nurture campaign plays out in real time.

[bctt tweet=”‘Undercover Boss’ your own brand… Your goal is to be pathologically empathetic to your customers. Why? Because: Empathy is the Miracle-Gro of a thriving customer-centric business. – @annhandley of @MarketingProfs” username=”toprank”]

#3: Attend Webinars

A webinar takes time and resources to plan and execute, so it’s a good way to gauge how your competitors are shaping their content strategy. Take note of what topics they’re covering, and whether they have other industry experts co-hosting. 

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Source:: Top Rank Blog