As a marketer in today’s world, it’s our responsibility to generate a lot of content. Not only do we have to generate a significant amount of content, we have to provide information that our consumers find enough value in that they are willing to give us something in exchange for it — their time, their personal information, their money, and hopefully their business. So, you see, we can’t simply churn out a bunch of random, useless information and cross our fingers that it resonates with our target audience. It takes time and research; it takes a Content Strategy.
The first step in developing your Content Strategy is an Internal Audit. The second step, which is an essential step that should never be bypassed, is a Competitor Content Audit. A Competitor Content Audit is an in-depth look into the content efforts of your competitors to see what information is out there for your industry; what is working, what is not working; and where there is “open space” and opportunity for you to add value for your consumers.
At SME Digital (the agency arm of Social Media Explorer), we support an audit framework that evaluates what your competitors are doing and provides valuable insight, rather than just listing all content ever created into a spreadsheet.
The word “audit” probably evokes some level of discomfort for you, and, yes, a Competitor Content Audit will take time and effort. But, when done correctly, a Competitor Content Audit can yield priceless information that will set you on the path to success with your own Content Strategy.
We want to help you succeed, so allow us to take the leg work out and provide you with the list of questions to get you started on the front end. Of course, it may need to be tailored a bit to meet the needs of your specific industry, but it is quite comprehensive:
- What are they doing (blog, newsletters, white papers, ebooks, etc.)?
- Is their content gated or free?
- How are they talking about themselves?
- How are they talking about the industry?
- What type of information are they sharing?
- What is the tone?
- Do they have a blog?
- Where are they promoting their content outside of their website?
- What is the look/feel?
- Is the content easily visible?
- Where are they promoting their content within their website?
- Are there consistent themes?
- Are their topics evergreen or seasonal?
- How frequently are they posting?
- How do they handle authorship?
- Who is their perceived audience?
- What kind of response are they receiving from their audience?
- What problem are they solving for their audience?
- What are the top three strengths of their content?
- What are the top three weaknesses of their content?
- Where do you see opportunities?
- What are your key takeaways?
Did you find this Competitor Content Audit framework helpful? Have any questions to add to the list? Please share your ideas and join the conversation in the comments below!