Are you struggling with your content marketing? Don’t worry; you are not alone. Many (new) content marketers have to realize that there is so much more to content marketing than just writing a couple of posts. But there is a lot you can do and some great methods have to do with your competitor’s content.
Tell me: Are your competitors online? Are they producing great content? Do their social media channels rock? Do they have conversations online? Customer service?
It is not necessarily bad for you if your competitors have a head-start in online and content marketing. You can benefit from their good work – and it is totally legitimate.
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Stop thinking about business and competition in a one-way street way. If there is a competition you have to live with it anyway and make the best out of it.
Take the marketing sphere as an example. It is a crowded space. Still, most of the big names are friends with each other. They treat each other as colleagues and work together. They share each other’s content; they guest post on each other’s blogs, and they help marketing their new books and products. I am subscribed to a couple of newsletters from marketing influencers and guess what they are sending me? Apart from their newest content and products I also get a ton of information about webinars their “competitors” are hosting or new books they published.
What do you think about why they are doing it? Because they know that by working together they can achieve so much more. It is simple math: If they have 10k email subscribers themselves and their closest competitors range between 5k and 15k – just getting a handful of them to send a newsletter announcement to their newest product or book they can easily multiply their reach – and revenue.
If anyone should know how to get the best results online it’s the marketers, right?
And that is not the only way to profit from your competitor’s social media and content marketing expertise.
You can start thinking in this not so competitive way about your competitors, too and profit from it. There are multiple ways how you can use your competitor’s great content.
Here are 5 reasons why you should subscribe to your competitor’s blogs, follow their social channels and listen to their conversations with your potential customers – and start working with what they have got.
1. Learn from them
Are you still struggling to find the best way to communicate with people from your niche and always have the feeling your competitors do a better job at it? Take a closer look at what they are doing and learn from it. What do they do? How do people from your target audience react? Which social channels do they use? In which channels do they get the best/most reactions? What kind of content are they using and what topics do they cover?
By analyzing your competitor’ social media and content marketing strategy, you can get valuable insights into what you should be doing and what your target audience may like – or what networks may not be worth the effort. It can save you a ton of time and effort to learn from this information that you can get for free.
2. Get information
I am a marketer and in many aspects, I know a lot about online and social media marketing. But I do follow a lot of other online marketers; I am subscribed to their blogs and email lists. Why do I do that? Because I can still learn from them: I can see what they do and how I react to it. I also get a ton of information and can easily select which of this information I want to read or watch and what to ignore. All in all, being subscribed to my competitors makes me a better marketer.
As an online marketer, I am never done learning and by simply listening to people I would otherwise regard as my competitors I get even better at what I am doing. Not listening to them would mean I would be missing out. I can get a ton of information for free from people that I highly respect.
If your competitors produce great content from your niche and share industry insights or knowledge, appreciate their work and learn from them. If they provide value, you can profit from it just as much as your potential customers.
Also, watch out what they are doing: Would that be an option for you too? How does their audience react? Do they have followers in social media and to what kind of content do they engage?
3. Fill your social media channels and make them valuable
I have written several articles about the importance of content in social media marketing. Especially when you are starting out, you probably need much more content to feed your social media channels than you yourself have or can provide in a short amount of time.
But to grow your social channels and to provide enough value to your target group you constantly need more content. And be honest: The best sources for this content are usually your competitors. If they do a good job, they provide exactly the content your target audience needs and likes. By sharing this content on your social media channels you provide value plus you target the right audience with this content – and you do your competitors a favor. Well, the last may not be the first goal on your mind for sharing your competitor’s content. But you can utilize this content to grow your own audience and then use this audience to get more attention to the content you yourself may be able to create over time.
Learn how to use curated content to build your social audience and turn this audience into traffic from social media for your own content with “The Social Traffic Code!”
When you fully tap into the content marketing hype, you constantly need to create more content. And one of the main struggles usually is to come up with enough topics to cover and more fresh content ideas. After all, no one wants to reproduce the same old and lame story over and over again. Most of the time you need to be creative and keep your eyes open for inspiration on what you could cover in your content – and what your audience will like and appreciate.
Your competitor’s content most of the time is a great source of inspiration. While you should not COPY their content and recreated what they already created, their content can inspire a ton of topics for you to cover – or even contrary points of views. You may find additional sources of information through them or find that they got something totally wrong, and you can clarify some points.
Whatever you do with the inspiration from your competitors, treat them with respect. Do not steal content and do not belittle them or talk down to them.
Your competitors are not your enemies. You may even want to consider to work on some content together. You could interview them about a topic where they are knowledgeable or work on a study from your niche with them. You can ask them to tell your audience their experience with a certain product from your niche. Some great content may come from it.
In social media marketing, the line between competitors and friends often becomes very thin or blurry. And that is ok. They are your competitors and not your enemies. Most of the time you can both profit from each other. If your niche is too small to feed both of you, it is not their fault, and both of you should probably look for new niches to enter. And maybe you can work together on expanding into new markets?