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How Your Competitors Can Improve Your Content Strategy

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Content marketing has exploded in the last decade, and with it, the clutter and noise. The ability to stand out through content has become more and more difficult, but it is your competitors themselves who can inform how you will win with content. Join this session to learn how to create an intel-driven content strategy that drives engagement and ROI.

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How Your Competitors Can Improve Your Content Strategy

  1. 1. How Your Competitors Can Improve Your Content Strategy Ellie Mirman CMO, Crayon @ellieeille @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d
  2. 2. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Content Marketing has exploded in the last decade.
  3. 3. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d 211 million PIECES OF ONLINE CONTENT ARE CREATED EVERY MINUTE - DOMO Research
  4. 4. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d@ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Marketers are increasing their investment in content marketing - curata 75%
  5. 5. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Content marketing drives… SEO, Thought Leadership, Differentiation, Nurturing, Demand Gen Campaigns… … and a lot more
  6. 6. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders – Neil Patel
  7. 7. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d But how do you create content marketing that drives results?
  8. 8. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Marketers want to spend more on content marketing, but are struggling with producing engaging content - Top Rank Blog 60%
  9. 9. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Your content competes for attention
  10. 10. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Do you stand out?
  11. 11. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Your competitors push you to be better… and give you signs as to how
  12. 12. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d How to get a competitive edge in your Content ① Take Inventory of the Content Landscape ② Find the ‘White Space’ Through Content Analysis ③ Incorporate Competitive Intel Into Your Content Workflow ④ Consider Distribution for Differentiation @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d
  13. 13. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d 1 How to Do a Competitive Content Inventory @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d
  14. 14. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Who to Inventory: • Your Company • Direct Competitors • Indirect Competitors • Partners & Customers • Thought Leaders
  15. 15. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d How to Identify them: • Sales Data & Feedback • Search Engine Results • Persona Interviews • Partner & Customer Lists • Social Media
  16. 16. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d What to inventory Blog Articles Webinars Ebooks & Guides Newsletters Podcasts Videos Presentations
  17. 17. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d What to inventory Medium Description Where to find it Blog Articles Frequently published, short form content gives you insight into the range and relative importance of content topics and keywords Company website, syndicated to Medium or LinkedIn Podcast & Audio Recordings Audio content can add color to how the team operates and thinks about certain topics Company website Soundcloud, iTunes, and other podcast hosting apps Webinars Past and upcoming webinars will often go deeper into a topic, beyond the surface level Landing pages on or o the company website Ebooks & Whitepapers From top of the funnel ebooks to deeper dive whitepapers or research reports, long form written content highlights key target topics Landing pages on or o the company website Videos Video content can give you a thorough look into a company’s brand and tone with visuals Company website YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, and more Presentations Presentations posted for the blog or events are rich with thought leadership and product content Company website Slideshare, Prezi, and other sites Email Newsletters See what companies send directly to their prospects and customers in email digests and promotions Email subscriptions
  18. 18. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Tag & Categorize Channel Media Type Topics Who’s Responsible for CI? Blog Article Roles, 2018 Report How Monitor Competitors Blog Article CI Monitoring, 2018 Report Decode Comp Strategy Blog Article Analytics, Predictions Pricing Page Designs Medium Article Design, Pricing Popular Career Pages Medium Article Design, Recruiting Top Redesigns of 2018 Medium Slideshow Design Measure Product Marketing Resources Ebook Product Marketing, Metrics Hire Product Marketing Resources Ebook Product Marketing, Hiring Competitive Intel Kit Resources Kit Competitive Intelligence Must-See CI Graphs IMPACT Guest Post 2018 Report, Data
  19. 19. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d 2 Find the ‘White Space’ With Content Analysis @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d
  20. 20. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d The ‘white space’ is your holy grail as a content marketer
  21. 21. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d look for uncharted waters in your content map Understand where there is a lot of activity and where there is opportunity to explore
  22. 22. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Analyze Quantity • Total Published by Channel • Frequency of Publishing
  23. 23. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Analyze Quality • View/Download Count • Social Shares • Subjective Judgment
  24. 24. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Analyze quantity & quality Company Channel Quantity Frequency Quality Quality Detail Competitor A Blog 200 Posts 3 Posts/Week Medium 500 words/post <5 comments 20+ shares Competitor A Medium 20 Posts 1 Post/Month High 1200 words/post 200+ shares ~10 comments Competitor A Ebooks 15 Ebooks 1 Ebook/Month Medium 20+ Pages Competitor A YouTube 5 Videos Infrequent Low Poor video quality <50 views Competitor A Webinars 8 Webinars 1/Quarter Medium 1 hour with Q&A Competitor A SlideShare 1 Presentation Infrequent Low Old presentation <100 views Competitor B Blog 120 Posts 1 Post/Week Medium 700 words/post <5 comments Competitor B Ebooks 10 Ebooks 1 Ebook/Month High 20+ Pages Multimedia Competitor B Webinars 15 Webinars 1 Event/Month High Deep Topics Expert Speakers
  25. 25. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Companies report their video marketing budget is increasing - Ascend2 study 69%
  26. 26. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Compete on a different playing field
  27. 27. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Content Marketing Activity Among Customer Service Software Companies Freshdesk Intercom Oracle Service Cloud ServiceNow Zendesk Blog Articles 46 41 23 20 51 Medium Post 6 1 18 0 7 Ebook/Guide/ Whitepaper 0 0 0 5 1 Webinar 0 5 1 1 8 Video 9 4 116 48 6 Podcast 0 5 1 1 8 Last Two Months of Content
  28. 28. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Building a Brand & audience
  29. 29. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Tag & analyze topics • Look at quantity and quality by topic • Analyze by overarching theme or top keywords
  30. 30. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Graph coverage by Topic Look for opportunities where topic coverage is scarce or existing content is lower quality
  31. 31. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Differentiation through content focus
  32. 32. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Restaurant POS company blog Content Revel Systems Blog Content Last 90 Days, made in WordClouds.com Toast Upserve
  33. 33. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d 3 Incorporate Competitor Intel into Your Workflow @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d
  34. 34. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Duplicating content recently published by competitors mutes the impact of your work
  35. 35. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Before creating new content Review the competitor content inventory to see if you should: – Cover a different topic – this idea is repetitive and your piece would not stand out – Tweak or shift approach – to keep your content differentiated – Go forth! – you found the white space
  36. 36. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Before creating new content 1. Keyword Research 2. Check Inventory 3. Adjust As Needed “abandoned cart” lots of content on “abandoned cart automation”, “abandoned cart messaging” “abandoned cart tips for ecommerce”
  37. 37. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Fill content gaps (full Review)
  38. 38. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Fill content gaps (Highlights) Topic Covered by Us (Existing Content) Covered by Competitors (Highlights) Content Gap Analysis (Opportunities) Topic A •Ebook: Topic A Best Practices (Oct ‘16) •Step-by-Step Blog Post (Oct ’16) •News Update Blog Post (Jan ’17) •Deep Dive in Topic A (Competitor A, Jan ’17) •Webinar on Best Practices (Competitor B, Nov ’16) •Ebook with Thought Leader Quotes Topic A (Competitor C, Mar ’16) • Niche angles and news updates - lots of content exists today, only update with news or specific sub topics Topic B • 3-Blog Article Series (Mar/Apr ’16) • None •Explore sub topics - initial content completed, more exploration needed •Deep Dive Content Topic C • Blog Article Marketing Angle (Dec ’16) • Blog Article Leadership Angle (Mar ’17) • Blog Article General Summary (Competitor C, Oct ’16) • Video Content - only short form written content currently Topic D • Webinar How to Tackle Topic D (Jan ’17) • Blog Article Intro to Topic D (Jan ’17) • None • Deep Dive Content - very minimal coverage today Topic E • None • Blog Article General Summary (Competitor A, Feb ’16) •How to Content - opportunity to get the baseline content •Deep Dive Content - full range of content opportunities
  39. 39. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Just as you are constantly adding to your content arsenal, so are your competitors
  40. 40. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Analyze trends over time What does this say about their content or company strategy?
  41. 41. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d How would you react if you competed with Kayak? 3 of the last 7 posts were about booking vacations at work
  42. 42. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d How would you react if you competed with Kayak? a) Beat them to the punch with a similar announcement b) Repromote similar content to drown out theirs c) Create differentiated content around different theme d) Partner with them on that topic
  43. 43. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Increase in “SaaS” leading up to billing product launch
  44. 44. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Increase in SaaS Content à adjust your content strategy
  45. 45. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d 4 Consider distribution for differentiation @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d
  46. 46. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Content is king, but distribution is queen. And she wears the pants. - Jonathan perelman, buzzfeed
  47. 47. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Who shares content
  48. 48. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Who links to content
  49. 49. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Create a content influencer relations list Name Role Organization Background Interests History First Last Reporter NYT Wrote about Hooli’s launch Gadgets, Widgets Reached out 1/5 re: 2016 report First Last Reporter WSJ Covered M&A in our industry Finance, Startups First Last Reporter CNBC Covered Hooli’s funding news Startups, Widgets Covered funding in roundup 12/5 First Last CEO Acme 50k Twitter followers Widget Industry, AI, Investment Following our CEO, retweeted First Last CEO Initech 40k Twitter followers, writer for Entrepreneur Widget Industry, Leadership Following our company & CEO First Last CIO Initech 12k Twitter followers Widgets, Data Storage First Last CTO Globex 17k Twitter followers AI, Data Storage First Last Blogger bestblog.com 50k subscribers, weekly articles about AI AI, Startups Reached out 1/5 re: 2016 report First Last Blogger betterblog.com 90k subscribers, daily posts on AI AI, Startups Reached out 1/5 re: 2016 report
  50. 50. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Differentiate through channels Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Medium Active No Account No Account SlideShare Active Active Inactive Prezi No Account Active No Account YouTube Inactive Inactive Active Vimeo Inactive Inactive Active Twitter Active Inactive Inactive Facebook Active Inactive Active Instagram Active No Account Active LinkedIn Inactive Active Inactive
  51. 51. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Differentiate through channels
  52. 52. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Content Marketing Activity Among Customer Service Software Companies Freshdesk Intercom Oracle Service Cloud ServiceNow Zendesk Blog Articles 46 41 23 20 51 Medium Post 6 1 18 0 7 Last Two Months of Content
  53. 53. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Venture into uncharted waters… there may be big returns Launch Video (March 2012): 25M views to date ~60 YouTube videos published Most have thousands of views
  54. 54. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Let’s recap @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d
  55. 55. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d Content marketing has exploded in the last decade. You need to have an intel-driven strategy to stand out.
  56. 56. @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d How to use your competitors to improve your Content Take inventory of your competitors’ content Analyze the quantity & quality of the content Tag & analyze the content topics Evaluate the inventory before creating new content Monitor changes in competitors’ content focus Identify influencers who share content Find opportunities to differentiate via channel selection
  57. 57. THANK YOU Ellie Mirman CMO, Crayon @ellieeille @crayon www.crayon.co @ e l l i e e i l l e • # C M W o r l d

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