8 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Content

by Gabe Arnold

There’s a lot of businesses that want to look at competitors as a bad thing. After all, they often can get in the way and take business from you. However, most businesses overlook the idea of using their competitors as an advantage to them. You can learn a lot from your competitors and paying close attention to their content can teach you how to manage your own content.

Content Curation

Curating content is the act of sharing third-party content such as blogs, articles or other content that relates to the message you are trying to send to your audience. When you’re choosing what content to share, it’s important to choose the best content available. At times, there’s a good chance that content will come from your competitors. And that’s okay! Curating content from your competitor is not a bad thing. It can help you build a relationship with your competitor and can even show that you’re not afraid to admit when your competitor has come up with an innovative idea.

Content Scheduling

Posting your content at the right time is key to reaching the largest audience possible. If you notice your competitor is publishing content at a different time than you are and their posts are gaining more interest, then you should pay close attention to when they publish content. In addition to what time of day you should publish your content, you should pay attention to how often your competitor posts new content. If you see that your competitor is publishing new content often, then you should begin to do the same. The more closely you follow along with what your competitor does, the better chance you have of keeping them on their toes.

Create “Real” Content

More often than not, most businesses get into a rut of posting all of their content in a very strict, business-like manner with little to no personality involved. Content created without any personality to it can be a major turnoff to your audience. Most customers say that they want to read content that is engaging. Scripted, textbook responses are the easiest way to turn away customers from your business. If you’re competitor is creating content with little personality, use this to your advantage and create your own content with personality! By telling a story, using humor, and asking and answering questions, your audience will feel more connected to your content.

Why Good Content Matters

It doesn’t matter how much content you publish if it’s not good content. You could constantly push new content to your audience, but you need to give your audience a reason to read it. If you see that your competitor is constantly publishing quality content that drives their audience to read it, then it’s time for you to step up your game. It can be intimidating if your competitor is constantly pushing out quality content, but embrace that and take it as a challenge! If your competitor is successful, you’ll want to do everything you can to emulate the success they have.

Re-purposing Content

Constantly coming up with new ideas for content can be demanding and often overwhelming. Because of this, a lot of businesses will re-purpose content and often times, that content may come from a competitor. A blog post from your competitor can easily be turned into a slideshow or info-graphic. Make sure that if you choose to re-purpose a competitor’s content, you add your own twist. You shouldn’t turn a slideshow of your competitor into an info-graphic and repeat the exact same information. Always make sure you add a twist and find a way to make the content your own.

Content Identity

Similarly, to creating real content, you want to make sure all of your content has a similar identity and feel to it, no matter what type of content you create. Where the real content focuses on having a personality in your writing, your identity should ensure that you have a similar message across all your content. Take a look at your competitor’s identity and pay attention to their message. If they’re successful, model your identity similar to theirs. If they aren’t as successful as you’d like to be, try and branch out to form a new identity.

Stay Up On Trends

You may notice your competitor creating content based on the newest and most talked about trends at the time. It’s easy to see what content is currently trending on social media and creating content based on those trends is an excellent way to place your business at the top of the search results. It’s important to make sure that the trends you mention are in the best interest of the public so you do not face any public backlash. Be sure to pay attention to the trends your competitors focus on, as this can help provide ideas for your own content.

Use Visuals

Visuals are as easy as ever to incorporate into your content. Whether it be a video, photo or some other visual like an info-graphic, visuals are a great way to engage your audience to interest them in your content. Smart phones now give you the ability to record video at any time, no matter where you are. While it won’t be the greatest quality video, it still gives you the ability to attract your audience. Studies show that people remember information better if it is presented to them visually. If your competitor relies on the use of visuals, ensure that you use them just as frequently. If they don’t, you can set the tone and start using visuals in your content.

No matter what business you find yourself in, there’s always going to be competitors and you’ll always have competition in everything you do. While you may want to shy away from your competition because you view them as a bad thing, it’s important to realize that your competitors can be a big benefit to you. Take the time to pay attention to what your competitors are doing because when it comes to content, you can learn the most from observing your competition.

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