Content marketing has proven itself and there is not much debate about its legitimacy in the marketing mix. The question is no longer whether to do it, but how. Yes, how to proceed? The challenge is not so much concerned with doing more than the competition, but with differentiating. Find your competitive advantage!
Find your competitive advantage
When it comes to being different from the competition, believe it or not, it all starts with introspection. “Know thyself,” says the inscription at the entrance of the temple of Delphi, according to Plato. The maxim could also apply to businesses in 2019!
What are the two or three main strengths of your business? You don’t have to answer this question alone. It’s up to you to brainstorm with your employees, or even seek the advice of your existing consumers, via an online survey.
You have your sales pitch! It should be reflected in the choice of your content and purpose.
Analyze the competition
After introspection, you’re not alone, so it is natural to take an interest in your direct competitors. But don’t become obsessed. It’s not a crime to insist on a strength that might be the same as a direct competitor. Maybe you can communicate better about on it, be more creative, and ultimately hit the target. Remember: your strengths matter, but how to communicate on them even more so!
Monitoring the competition is a good source of inspiration but it’s definitely not a question of copycatting! You can’t know if you’ve got the same objectives for your content. In addition, their content may seem successful, but you don’t have full visibility of its real performance. For example, a video might seem to generate a lot of views, but what tells you that it manages to generate effective sales? To copy stupidly would lead you to the same failure.
No, the observation of competition should allow you to perform experiments on your side. If your competitor is very active on Instagram stories, it might be worth trying the platform. However, be sure to do it with your own recipe, and starting small before you ramp up, if the performance attained justifies it.
Define the resources you attribute to your content strategy
Content strategy starts with a budget, whether you like it or not! With this budget, you are responsible for determining the resources you will set in motion. As Jean Bodin said, the only wealth is Man, so this plan should clearly determine what human resources are mobilized, typically:
- In-house content creators (copywriter, graphic designer, video designer, etc.),
- External agencies (e.g. a motion design agency for a successful 3D video),
- External creators, influencers on social networks or influential bloggers via a dedicated platform.
Respond to your competitors’ flaws
Every minute, 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 500,000 tweets are written (not all interesting, that’s for sure), 3 million Facebook posts are published and 4 million searches are done on Google. We have long talked about over-supply of content or infobesity. We are now talking about a “content shock” to describe this profusion that your competitors are contributing to.
But still, your competitors may miss out on some high-potential content. This is all the more true because in many industries, the three or four main players copy each other without scruple, leaving little room for innovation.
How can you identify these opportunities? There are two main strategies:
- Do you operate in the same national market as your direct competitors? Why not analyze the content strategy of companies similar to yours operating abroad, for example in the USA, Japan or Brazil? You could find some good ideas there.
- More importantly, observe the content created by companies operating in a sector close to yours. For example, in finance, there isn’t much innovation in the content offering. Why not go take a look at the cryptocurrency sector, flourishing, young and avant-garde? You could find disruptive ideas! Nothing’s stopping you from testing them on your traditional market segments.