Competitor insight is an invaluable tool in the crowded markets of the modern world. “Knowledge is power” they say – and that power plays directly into marketing success. Knowing exactly what your competitors are talking about, and (even better) what is working for them, can give you an invaluable starting point when creating messaging and content to cut through.
At Glastonbury Marketing, we work with a number of clients on competitor and broad-market audits. The first thing we do is build a list of competitors for a specific client, then we look at each competitor’s communications, social media (including engagement levels) and content strategy. We use a set of tools to make this easy and quick, drawing inferences and quickly identifying what’s working for them.
Beyond Competitor Insight – the Broader Market
Beyond specific competitors, we also look at the broader market. It’s important to identify influencers and authority figures (e.g. analysts) for specific topics. These can be cross-referenced against competitor activity to see whether your competitors have any mind-share with them, and what’s working well.
Part of the analysis needs to take into account that B2B sales cycles typically involve multiple stakeholders and progress from awareness, to consideration, before evaluation and the sales end of the marketing process. We look at how different buyer profiles are involved in the process, what content they like to consume at each stage and which channels are best for reaching the desired audience.
From Competitor Insight to Content and Delivery Planning
Armed with competitor insight, we can then develop a detailed content creation plan. A content gap analysis can be conducted, reviewing all existing content within the business. Content is mapped against stages in the buying cycle, against buyer profiles, and against distribution channels. Sometimes the gap analysis shows existing content can be reused as it is, other times it can be used as the starting point to quickly generate new items.
Once a content plan is in place, a distribution plan should be made – ensuring each piece of content achieves the greatest impact. Content can be shared multiple times, across multiple channels. Different people like to consume their content in different ways, so a single message should be communicated in multiple formats, across multiple channels, many times. In the fast-paced world of social media, it’s easy to miss a post if it is just posted once. Tools like Hootsuite can be used to schedule a large number of posts over a timespan of months.
Turning Competitor Insight into Market Advantage
The content distribution plan should seek to engage influencers and grow awareness of both brand and key messages contained within the content. Your brand impact should surpass the competitors who were subject to the review process.
Content distribution should ideally tie in with a marketing automation platform to measure interest and profile visitors as they repeatedly engage with your content. Market advantage is only possible if you measure the impact of your own content and distribution of this and then lead this interest on the right journey through your content and platforms – ultimately converting it into leads and sales.
Get in touch to find out how we can furnish you with competitor insight and help you turn this into to tangible market advantage.