What you’ll learn:
- How marketings who don’t conduct competitive audits are flying blind
- The five reasons that support doing regular audit
Optimizing content marketing is essential for B2B enterprises that want to succeed in congested market segments. A B2B competitive content audit is vital to that since it helps you understand what the opposition is up to and how your own content marketing is stacking up.
Yet a lot of B2B marketers don’t conduct competitive content audits. They’re flying blind when it comes to what their competitors are doing on the content front. Plus, they’re missing out on key business intel about what messages and content the market is responding to.
For that matter, many don’t conduct internal content audits. So they don’t know what content they already have out there, whether or not it’s relevant anymore, or what injury it might be inflicting on prospect perceptions.
By the same token, they often don’t understand what’s working. We’ve seen blog posts and white papers published eons ago that are grabbing backlinks and traffic that put newer and shinier work to shame. But without monitoring or an audit, clients would never realize it so they can attempt to clone that success.
So here are five solid justifications for doing a B2B competitive content audit.
1. Understand your market positioning
Knowing where you stand compared to your competitors? That lets you gauge the effectiveness of your current strategies and gives you insight into what changes need to be made. How are competitors ranking in SERP? Where are you in that B2B melee – rising, hovering, sinking?
A competitive content audit lets you see what topics and themes resonate with your target audience. They’re the topics getting the most love in search or are getting the most attention from your competitors. So you can create content that leverages them, too.
This alone should be enough justification for doing a B2B competitive content audit (but wait! There’s more…).
2. Identify opportunities in the marketplace
Knowing what kind of B2B content is available from other brands in your space gives you an idea of potential opportunities that could be explored and exploited. Doing a competitive audit and analysis helps you identify gaps in the market. It could shine a light on areas where there’s room for growth or innovation, as well as possible collaborations or partnerships with other companies.
3. Improve your content quality & visibility
Doing a competitive audit also allows you to assess the quality of your competitors’ content and gain insight into their SEO tactics. Which can help inform and elevate your own strategies for improving online visibility.
You can use this information to craft better titles and descriptions for pieces, as well as for fine-tuning your SEO tactics. Moreover, it may well light a fire under your content team or agencies to deliver higher-quality content, the kind Google now looooooves; besides, you don’t want to be guilty of unloading more craptent on the world, do you?
4. Enhance your messaging strategy
A B2B competitive content audit will also provide insights into how other brands communicate with their audiences, which can provide lessons in crafting messaging around various topics or campaigns. What tone, persona, messaging pillars and CTAs are they deploying”
If you know it’s working for them, then there’s a damn good clue about the kind of language and persona that resonates best with your target audience. That helps you shape how future B2B content assets are written or structured in order to maximize engagement.
5. Monitor your progress over time
Lastly but not least-ly? Carrying out periodic B2B competitive content audits allows you to track whether or not you’re seeing improvements in key metrics like search rankings, site traffic, page views, conversions, and so on. Not to mention how you’re measuring up against your rivals over time.
Note that I said “periodic” audits: If you’re not conducting these audits with regularity, you’ll miss out on much of the value they can offer. How can you stay on top of competitor innovations in content formats or strategy if you’re not monitoring them consistently?
Does your product team keep a weather eye on what the competition is offering when it comes to new services, widgetry, and features? Sure. So a marketing department owes it to the rest of the enterprise to do the same on a calculated and consistent basis.
Why do a B2B competitive content audit? Because knowing helps you navigate
A B2B competitive content audit is one of the most effective ways for B2B marketers to determine whether or not their content investment is maximizing its potential. That’s because all content exists in context relative to your competitors and what they’re doing. Ask any magazine publisher or TV network programmer about the importance of embracing that reality.
If you don’t, then you have less chance of navigating a marketplace – and buyer preferences – that are undoubtedly in constant flux.
All content exists in context relative to your competitors and what they’re doing.
So regular content audits are key to establishing yourself as a B2B thought leader or other Player To Be Reckoned With/Shortlisted.
The effort you put into instituting an audit program will pay dividends far down the line. Or if you haven’t got the bandwidth? You could always contact an expert consultant who’s done a whole lotta competitive content audits in B2B.
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