Leveraging competitor analysis: The smart move in borrowing content strategies (Free Template)

Step into the world of competitive intelligence with our expert blog tailored for CMOs and marketing strategists. This comprehensive guide equips you with the know-how to transform competitive insights into actionable content plans that drive results. Whether you're looking to refine your approach or overhaul your content direction, our blog provides the strategic edge you need.

What you can expect

  • This blog explains why it is important for small and medium-sized businesses to analyze competitors' content strategies.
  • We discuss how to analyze competitors’ content and the benefits it brings.
  • We highlight how AI tools can aid in analyzing competitor content and strategies, suggesting tools you can use. 

Did you know that 90% of Fortune 500 companies study their competitors to gain business advantage?1

Keeping a keen eye on the competition is even more crucial for small or medium-sized businesses. 

Knowing what others in your space are doing informs your strategy and can lead to breakthroughs. It helps you sharpen your messaging, target the right audience, and decide where to innovate. Your competitors' successes and missteps offer invaluable lessons. 

When you understand the competitive landscape, you make smarter choices, avoid common pitfalls, and find your unique angle. 

Content Generation Strategy: The smart move in borrowing content creation strategies (Free Template)
aibiliti - How to analyze your competitor's content

Here are some other reasons why small and medium businesses need to observe how competitors are using content:

Identifying Content Gaps

  • Examining competitor content reveals crucial gaps, showcasing areas they've overlooked or underrepresented. 
  • Identify a niche or a perspective that's absent in their content offerings. 
  • These gaps represent unmet audience needs and an opportunity for your business to provide unique value. 
  • Strategically target these areas in your content marketing plan to satisfy audience curiosity, answer lingering questions, and provide solutions that no one else is offering. 
  • It positions your brand as a resourceful and insightful leader, directly addressing areas that competitors have ignored, and fulfilling audience needs in a way that sets you apart.

How AI Helps

AI algorithms are adept at parsing extensive content across multiple platforms, spotting trends, and identifying topics that competitors have yet to exploit. This fast-tracks the process of finding and filling content gaps, providing you with a competitive edge. 

AI tool: GetGenie2 is a content gap analysis tool that is designed with an advanced keyword analysis feature. The best part is that you don’t need to add your credit card details to use the free version, which allows you to analyze 2,500 AI writing words per month.

Content Generation Strategy: The smart move in borrowing content creation strategies (Free Template)

Benchmarking Content Quality:

  • Assess the quality of competitors' content to understand what constitutes high-quality content within your industry. 
  • Pay attention to the substance, style, and presentation of the content. 
  • Identify the elements that make them successful, such as their comprehensiveness, the clarity of the information presented, and the engagement they generate. 
  • This analysis allows you to determine the level of quality your audience expects and to develop a content marketing plan that meets or surpasses this standard, ensuring that your brand is synonymous with excellence and reliability.

How AI Helps:

AI tools can systematically evaluate the quality of content across various dimensions such as engagement, complexity, and substance, benchmarking it against industry standards and revealing opportunities for your content to excel. 

AI tool: You can use ChatGPT to compare and analyze content from different competitors 

Download this free Competitor Analysis (Score Card) template:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LIv0WXEutphbzrpPggtY6w-FfLTjWvcmsnQ_9RxiWjM/template/preview

Understanding Audience Engagement:

  • Try to understand the ‘why’ behind the interactions on your competitor’s content. 
  • Find out: Which topics spark the most conversation? What style of content leads to increased dwell time or prompts viewers to take action? 
  • This understanding helps shape a content strategy that is finely tuned to audience preferences, ensuring the content you produce is designed to engage, captivate, and convert, based on proven interaction patterns.

How AI Helps:

AI platforms aggregate engagement data, providing insights into the content types that generate the most buzz. This helps shape your content creation efforts, ensuring your output is primed for audience interaction.

AI tool: Hootsuite3 is a trusted platform that can help you analyze your competitors’ engagement data and guide you with actionable insights. It has a free version, but to unlock true value, you have to get the paid version. 

Content Generation Strategy: The smart move in borrowing content creation strategies (Free Template)

Learning from SEO Strategies:

  • Take note of: 
  • Keyword density 
  • Image ALT text tags
  • Use of internal linking
  • Backlinks
  • Traffic sources

Some questions to focus on: 

  • Which keywords are your competitors focusing on that you still haven't tapped into?
  • What content of theirs is highly shared and linked to? 
  • How does your content compare?
  • Which social media platforms are your target audience using?
  • What other sites are linking back to your competitor's site but not yours?
  • Who else is sharing what your competitors are publishing?
  • Who is referring traffic to your competitor's site?

How AI Helps:

AI-powered SEO tools offer an in-depth analysis of competitors’ SEO tactics, providing actionable intelligence that can be used to enhance your SEO strategies and improve your search engine rankings.

AI tools: Semrush4 is an SEO and website audit tool that you can use to analyze your competitors’ websites and SEO strategies. 

Content Generation Strategy: The smart move in borrowing content creation strategies (Free Template)

Setting the Right Content Tone:

  • Assess the tone used by competitors for invaluable insights into industry standards and audience expectations. 
  • This knowledge helps you determine whether to align with a prevailing tone or to differentiate your brand with a distinctive voice. 
  • It's a strategic decision that influences not just the type of content you create, but also how you communicate your message. 
  • By choosing a tone that resonates with your target audience, you can enhance brand loyalty, improve communication clarity, and ensure that your content leaves a lasting impression.

How AI Helps:

AI sentiment analysis determines the tone used across the industry, guiding the development of your content’s tone to best fit your brand and resonate with your audience.

AI tools: Good old ChatGPT is great at this. Yes, even the free version (3.5) can do an outstanding job.

Leveraging Content Formats:

  • Determining the content formats that yield the best results for your competitors. 
  • Select the formats that are most engaging in your industry, so you can better allocate resources and ensure that your content has the greatest impact. 
  • By leveraging the right content formats, you can ensure your content marketing plan incorporates content that captures attention and provides value to your audience.

How AI Helps:

AI evaluates the performance of various content formats and predicts which will be most effective, informing your content strategy with data-driven decisions.

Content Generation Strategy: The smart move in borrowing content creation strategies (Free Template)
Don’t be this guy!

Timing and Frequency:

  • Examine your competitors' content schedules and the timing of their posts
  • Identify patterns that may indicate the most effective times for audience engagement. 
  • Understand the frequency and schedule of their content release. 
  • This strategic approach to timing can enhance the visibility and impact of your content, ensuring it reaches the audience when they are most receptive.

How AI Helps:

AI analytics can scrutinize content posting schedules and engagement rates to uncover the most opportune times for content publication. This insight allows you to strategically plan your content calendar, optimizing for peak engagement times identified from competitors' content performance data.

AI tools: Sprout Social5 enables you to track competitor performance on social media from multiple angles and data points. You can even use Sprout Social’s suite of competitive reports to assess and optimize your social strategy with rich data points you can track. 

Content Generation Strategy: The smart move in borrowing content creation strategies (Free Template)

Innovation and Trends:

  • Find out whether your competitors are experimenting with new formats or capitalizing on emerging trends successfully. 
  • Be aware of these developments to ensure that your content remains current and impactful. Keep exploring new multimedia elements, interactive content, or even the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality. 
  • Stay on top of these trends, so you can ensure your content strategy and content marketing plan is not only up-to-date but also pioneering, keeping your audience engaged with fresh and innovative content.

How AI Helps: 

AI trend analysis is pivotal in keeping your strategy ahead of the curve. It identifies rising trends and content innovations by sifting through data, enabling you to integrate new and engaging elements into your content strategy proactively. This ensures your content remains relevant and captivating.

AI tools: Semrush, Hootsuite

Partnership and Collaboration Opportunities:

  • Analyze competitor networks and their collaborations to uncover potential partnerships that might offer mutual benefits. 
  • These collaborations could range from co-creating content to cross-promotion or even joint events. 
  • Such strategic alliances not only broaden your audience but also bring fresh perspectives to your content, enhancing its appeal. 
  • Finding the right partners can provide access to new audiences and increase credibility.

How AI Helps: 

AI can pinpoint potential partners and collaboration opportunities by analyzing competitor networks and their existing partnerships. By evaluating social graphs and content collaborations, AI can uncover strategic alliances that could expand your reach and influence.

AI tools: Semrush, Hootsuite

Performance Metrics:

  • Find out how your content stacks up against others in terms of engagement, reach, and conversion rates. 
  • Set performance targets based on this data.
  • By setting targets, you can strive for continuous improvement in your content strategy. 
  • This ensures that your content marketing efforts are data-driven and goal-oriented, focused on achieving tangible results. 

How AI Helps: 

AI-powered competitive analysis tools measure key performance metrics, offering a comprehensive view of where you stand in the competitive landscape. This data-driven approach allows for informed decision-making and strategic planning to enhance your content's performance.

AI tools: Semrush, Hootsuite

Download this free Competitor Analysis (Score Card) template:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LIv0WXEutphbzrpPggtY6w-FfLTjWvcmsnQ_9RxiWjM/template/preview

Conclusion

Studying your competitors is non-negotiable. It informs every aspect of your content strategy, from topic selection to tone and from SEO to syndication. It's not about watching from the sidelines but about active analysis, adaptation, and strategic execution.

Competitor analysis equips you with the insights to craft a content strategy that’s not just a part of the noise but a distinct, resonant voice in the industry. It ensures your content meets the mark and sets new benchmarks.

Incorporating AI into competitor analysis enriches your strategy with actionable insights and data-driven decisions. AI doesn't just simplify the process; it empowers you to craft a content strategy that’s proactive, informed, and tailored to outshine the competition.

What are some other reasons to conduct competitor research?

1: Emerald.com

2: Content Gap Analysis: Secret to Outrank Competitors-GetGenieGetGenie Aihttps://getgenie.ai › content-gap-analysis

3: https://www.hootsuite.com/products/insights

4: https://www.semrush.com/

5: https://sproutsocial.com/

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