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5 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Content Marketing

By Zachary Houle on May 26, 2017 8:43:08 AM

It’s no lie: some businesses are cutthroat. Marketing is e of those competitive businesses. Not everything about your competitors, however, are bad. Yes, they’re out to steal your customers, but you can actually learn some valuable lessons by watching what they do well and where they drop the ball. Competition can be a healthy thing for your business, so here are a few things you should keep in mind when observing what others are doing in the world of content marketing.

1. The Competition Can Help You Create Content

Not everything you do has to be Steve Jobs-style brilliant and original. Some of your best ideas, say blog posts, can come from other businesses in your industry. To tell you the truth, even this very blog post you’re reading right now has ideas that have already been shared around the web. You can take other articles and repurpose them to your own needs. Just be sure to put your own slant on things.


Your fellow business-owners can help you find content that works and that appeals to your target audience. Take a look at their Twitter posts and note the numbers of retweets and likes. Compare that to your own efforts. You can very quickly come to conclusions on what’s working for you (and your competition) and what’s not.


2. The Competition Will Help You Stay Organized

Even though the number of businesses with a documented content strategy declined in 2016, according to the Content Marketing Institute, those businesses who have one still feel that they are more effective than those who don’t. Keeping up with the Joneses is critical, and having a detailed content plan will help you do that. If you want to stay current with your content marketing efforts, your competitors should teach you that being prepared is more than just a Boy Scouts motto.


3. The Competition Will Help You Stay On Top of Trends

One of the big movements right now on the web is the use of video and photos. Visuals are great for engaging your audience, but this is especially true if your competitors are already using them. You see, if you’re not up to speed on what the competition is doing, you’re going to be left behind in the dust, and have a site that is dreary and not worth visiting. Even if your competitors are not up on the latest trends, you can use the opportunity to grab the bull by the horns and take charge.


On the topic of video, the good news is that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg. The vast majority of smartphones now have the capability to record video. While the video won’t have a professional sheen, it may be all you need to keep your audience enraptured in a pinch. Basically, people are visual learners, so the more you use video, the more likely that people are going to remember what you have to say. That will probably translate over from your content marketing efforts into your product and service sales.


4. The Competition Will Force You to Produce Quality Work

You should always strive to create quality content, but knowing that there are others out there doing exactly what you’re doing should give you pause. There is so much information on the web -- stats show that about two million blog posts are written and published every day, for instance -- that you really need to stand head and shoulders above the rest. So before you create any content, you should know exactly what you’re going to do with it. Is it going to solve a customer’s problem or just entertain them? If you don’t know, you’re probably going down a rabbit hole that’ll lead to lost productivity and time.


5. The Competition Can Point You to Content Gaps

Once you’re on the road to creating great content, you’ll be able to see where your competitors are missing the mark. Look at customer comments on their websites for hints. Take notes on the types of questions customers are asking. This will allow you to create content that the competitor didn’t. You’ll also become known as a thought leader. In addition, you’ll become known as an educational source your readers can trust. Finding content gaps and providing answers to them in your content marketing will help you provide a great service and value to your audience.

Contact Us

If you’re looking for help with your content marketing, you’ve come to the right place. Contact Cyan Solutions for your content marketing needs, and we’ll be happy to point you in the direction you need to go in when it comes to all things surrounding creating engaging materials your customers will resonate with.


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Topics: Content Marketing

Zachary Houle

Zachary Houle

Zachary Houle is a resident of Ottawa, Ontario, where he blogs for a number of clients. As a sometimes writer of fiction, as well, he is the recipient of a $4,000 arts grant from the City of Ottawa for emerging artists and a Pushcart Prize nominee. His fiction and poetry has been published in countless online and print literary journals and magazines in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. He enjoys blogging about books on Medium.com, and was recently named one of the Top 50 writers on the topic of books on Medium.