Content marketing Guide de l’annonceur

How can you differentiate your content strategy from the competition?

, 13 November 2018

Infobesity refers to the content overload that an increasing number of sectors are facing today. Independent media, bloggers, companies and influencers, they’re all creators of potential content, meaning that it’s increasingly difficult to stand out. Even quality content won’t find its audience if it is similar your competitors’ offer. So what’s the best way to proceed?

Find your competitive advantage

A general marketing strategy must begin with essential preliminary steps:

  • Target: which audience should you focus your communication efforts on?
  • Benchmark: who are the competitors, what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Positioning: how does my company position itself according to the target and the competitors?

What’s true at a general level is just as true for your content marketing. The same reasoning is needed: whom to target with my content, what is the competition already doing, what kind of content can I create to differentiate myself?

This differentiation can be done at four main levels:

  • The target: you can very well focus your content efforts on a niche market, especially if your product or service is particularly suited to the specific needs of that niche. That will give you more visibility than targeting a broader audience.
  • The nature of the content: article, graphic design, video, etc.
  • The subject: why not choose a different angle, even an offbeat one?
  • Distribution platforms: Does your competitor have an already popular YouTube channel? It would take years for you to dethrone them! Why not break through on IGTV?

Analyze the competition

Which content seems to generate more engagement? On which new networks is the brand making its entrance? How often are the publications? What time of the day do they publish?

Set up a permanent watch on your competitors’ content publishing. This will allow you to find what seems to work… In order to copy it? Not necessarily. You can also take inspiration from it, adapt it to your needs or combine it with a method of your own. Anyway, to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you still need to know what they are doing!

You can partially copy but with a twist, so your content will still,stand out! (Photo credit: Pixabay, Pexels)

And sometimes copying outright a competing practice doesn’t count as the crime of the century. For example, if you notice that your competitor always posts on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm nothing’s stopping you from trying out the same thing, and if it allows you to boost your reach, you can do it again. Nobody will be able to blame you! In any case, tell yourself that your competitors won’t hesitate to take any tips from your content strategy that seem to be profitable.

Some caution is necessary, copying your competitors should not be the be all and end all of your strategy, you would be heading straight into a wall. It’s just a dimension to consider. Moreover, they might just be playing it by ear, without any real strategy, and intimating them would be like hopping into a fast car to drive straight into that wall! Nothing tells you that your fundamentals – priority target and goals in particular – are aligned. So, keep them in mind: this is your course, and nothing should make you deviate from it.

Define the resources you give to your content strategy

Be pragmatic: draw up a realistic content strategy based on your resources. Your competitors vary in size and allocate content-specific budgets, depending on whether it’s a priority segment or not of their marketing strategy.

(Photo credit: Rawpixel, Unsplash)

If they invest 1 million euros in a YouTube channel for the creation and promotion of high quality videos, it is not necessarily wise to launch your own channel with your budget of 50 000 euros: you would always be in their shadow. If they have an army of editors for a daily updated blog, you’re wasting time with your weekly article.

If you have limited resources at the beginning (waiting for your marketing campaigns to propel your business into the stars), focus on safe and surgical investments. Typically, it may be better to invest 1000 euros per month ordering sponsored articles on influential blogs, rather than paying the same amount for 6 or 7 articles to publish on your humble corporate blog.

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