5 Steps to Conduct a Competitive Analysis

What is Competitive Analysis and how do you implement it?

First step

Identify a list of competitors, and briefly describe how they compete with your company. Remember, there are two or more types of competitors: those that are pro your cause, and those that are opposing, and those doing the same work as you but perhaps not as, or more, effectively.

Second step

Find where the competitors content lives. Example of such content may be:

  • Blog posts
  • Whitepapers
  • Ebooks
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Slide decks
  • Static visual content (i.e. infographics, cartoons)
  • FAQs
  • Feature articles
  • Press releases
  • Kits
  • Case studies
  • Buyer guides
  • Use cases
  • Data sheets

Third step

Perform a content audit – There are three things you’ll want to tally in your audit; the first two in this list should be based on content asset type, while the third can stand alone.

a) Quantity of each content asset type published. Example: How many blog posts has this competitor published? What about case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, etc.?

b) Frequency each content asset type is published. Example: Do their competitors publish blog posts twice/three times a week? Twice a day? What about how frequently they come out with a new ebook, videos, etc.?

c) Distribution of topics discussed – This is the item that does not need to be broken down by content asset type, but you certainly may if you find it helpful. Your aim here should be to determine which topics are discussed in their content so you can find opportunities that you can capitalize on, and determine which topics the competitors are trying to establish their position with.

Fourth Step

Evaluate content quality – This is subjective and requires some critical thinking. Start by selecting a sample of content assets from each content type each competitor publishes. Evaluate how good you feel the piece of content is (establish a ranking systems, i.e. 1 – 5,  5 being best in quality). Some questions I would like you to try and answer while evaluating the content would be:

  • How accurate is their content?
  • How in-depth does the content go, or does it provide introductory level information? Does it discuss advance concepts?
  • What tone is adopted in the content?
  • Can you identify who is reading this content – at whom they (competitors) are targeting the content?

Fifth Step

Research the distribution of content on social media; how integrated is social media into their content strategy?

Determine the competitors and their content’s presence on the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

Don’t forget to track and identify what channels each piece of content is being distributed by, i.e. Facebook, youtube, linkedIn, Newswire, which industry specific portals, etc.

This should make a great start to doing both a content audit and a competitive analysis for your company.