Competitive content research is one of the most important aspects of any inbound marketing strategy. By understanding what your competition is doing, you can learn what works and doesn't and then adapt your strategy accordingly. However, there are a few pitfalls to watch out for when conducting competitive content research. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes people make when researching their competitors and how to avoid them.
The trick to identifying competitors: How to avoid the narrow path?
When most people think about conducting competitive research, they tend to focus on a narrow path. This can be counterproductive and can often lead to bad data. To avoid this trap, you must take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Not all companies that sell similar products or services are your direct competitors. You want to identify the companies that are stealing your market share, not just the ones that happen to sell something similar. Once you've identified your true competitors, you can look closely at their content marketing strategy. What type of content are they creating? What topics are they writing about? How often are they publishing new content? By taking the time to answer these questions, you'll be able to develop a content marketing strategy tailored to your specific audience.
But the question remains: What if your competitors are wrong in their approach to content?
It's important to remember that just because your competitors are doing something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. You need to be aware of several pitfalls when conducting competitive content research.
The first is the echo chamber effect. This is when companies only look at what their direct competitors are doing and then copy them. This can lead to a situation where everyone produces the same type of content, which can be very boring for your audience.
The second pitfall is known as the blind spot bias. This is when companies focus on their successes and ignore their failures. As a result, they may not learn from their mistakes and could continue making the same errors repeatedly.
Finally, there is confirmation bias. This is when companies only look for information that confirms their existing beliefs. This can lead to bad decision-making and prevent you from trying new things or taking risks.
Biases in research can often lead to subpar content. When conducting competitive content research, it's important to be aware of potential biases. By keeping these biases in mind, you can avoid making some of the common mistakes that companies make when researching their competition.
So how can you avoid these pitfalls?
The first step is to take a more holistic approach to your research. In addition to looking at what your direct competitors are doing, you should also look at companies in other industries that successfully reach your target audience. You can adapt their strategies to fit your business by understanding what works for them.
The second step is to question everything. Just because something worked for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you. Always test new ideas and strategies before implementing them on a larger scale.
Finally, don't be afraid to take risks. The only way to stand out from your competition is to do something different. So if you're thinking about trying something new, go for it!
What if you do not avoid the pitfalls?
You must be thinking, if everyone is doing it, why shouldn't I follow suit? Well, for several reasons. The goal behind conducting competitive research is to understand what your competition is doing to do it better. If you find that your competitors are making mistakes, then you have the opportunity to learn from them and avoid those same pitfalls.
Spotting these pitfalls, especially if the competitor is a market leader or holds a massive portion of the market share, can be challenging. This is where taking a more holistic research approach can be beneficial. Consider looking at companies in other industries that have successfully reached your target audience. By understanding what works for them, you can adapt their strategies to fit your own business.
Differentiation will always be key, but being aware of potential pitfalls will help avoid common mistakes when conducting competitive content research. If you find that your competitors are making mistakes, then you have the opportunity to learn from them and avoid those same pitfalls. Taking a more holistic research approach can be beneficial in spotting these market leaders or companies who hold a massive portion of the market share and understanding how to reach your target audience better.
By being aware of potential pitfalls, you can avoid making some of the common mistakes that companies make when researching their competition. This will help you create content that is truly differentiated and stands out from the rest.