Competitive reviews may be well-trodden ground for product marketers, but in a content marketing context, the term means something a little different: Rather than a review of the market position of your product offering, it refers to reviewing your competitors’ content marketing in order to see where your own content stands out, where it falls short, and where you might have an opportunity to distinguish yourself from the competition. This type of competitive review is also variously known as an industry review, a category review, or a content marketing review.
A competitive review is a chance for you to find answers to questions such as: What is your competitors’ messaging like? What’s on their websites? How much content do they have, and on what channels? Does it cover all stages of the customer journey and speak to all the relevant buyer personas?
If you have time, you can even sign up for email newsletters to get a look at their nurture campaigns. The obvious place to start is by looking at companies who are competing in the same product space—but it can also be helpful to look at out-of-category companies that might use similar techniques in their content marketing, or that target a similar audience, and figure out what techniques and strategies you can adapt for your own use.
After looking at and evaluating competitors’ content, a content strategist can put together a readout and recommendations for the organization’s content marketing strategy. To some extent, you’ll need to follow the herd in order to show up in search results, but you also need to find a way to differentiate your product. A competitive review helps you figure out whether you have the resources to compete with the content that’s already out there, or whether you’re better off identifying an area where there’s little to no competition and distinguishing yourself there.
The intensive research involved in B2B purchasing means that content marketing is an important way to make your product stand out from the crowd, and a competitive review is an important step to help you define and differentiate your content marketing strategy. With the information you gain about the content marketing landscape in your area of business, you can target your efforts more effectively, find your niche, and ensure that your content marketing gets results.