We hear a lot today about content marketing and how we all need to start producing more meaningful content to share. I’m OK with that, but most of us have the cart before the horse.
Instead of starting to develop content, we first do a content strategy. Lots of us do this by taking a look internally to see what content might already exist and identify topics and resources for future development.
But here’s where most of us stop—we don’t take a look at your competitors and see what they are doing. Doesn’t this make sense? If we were going to launch a new product, don’t we do our homework to see what’s already out there so we can figure out what to develop that will give us a competitive advantage?
I recently read a post by Danielle Terreri, Competitor Content Audits: Why & How to Vet Other Players in Your Industry that outlines steps you should take before finalizing your content strategy. Here are some highlights:
- Content - what are they doing, do they have a blog, how are they talking about themselves and the industry?
- Setup - what does it look like, how are they promoting it?
- Blog - does it have a consistent theme, how often are they posting, what kind of topics are they writing about?
- Evaluation - are they solving problems for their audience, where do you see opportunities for your company?
So bottom line is to avoid the ready, fire, aim strategy, vet your competitors and identify things you can do that would add value to your target audience.