Track competitors, monitor your social engagement and use data to improve your content marketing strategy.

Before you start creating your content marketing strategy, it’s vital that you do your homework on both your brand and your competitors. In this piece, we will discuss the five key areas to consider when implementing your content audit activity

Content Auditing

After conducting some primary market research, you should have a greater understanding of what you want to achieve from your campaigns and a more precise focus when it comes to creating content.

For greater clarity from the outset, we recommend completing a content audit. This will help you observe what forms of content will be the most successful and what your competitors are currently working on.

You’ll also be able to scope out pieces of content that have been published before and learn from their successes or failures, capitalizing on this knowledge and implementing the findings in your campaign.

It will also act as your reference point while you’re working on your campaigns and in the future, too. So, what areas should you spend time researching?

Areas To Improve

A greater understanding of your website statistics will help you decide where to focus your attention. By using Google Analytics, you can view which websites are linking to yours and determine the current levels of traffic flowing to your site.

You can also track the most popular pages on your site and see which products or services are converting. All this initial research will give you a clearer idea of what you should include within your content strategy. 

It will also give you an indication of what is likely to be successful. Spending time researching at this initial stage will save you time in the long run, as your campaigns will be more targeted and therefore effective.

Current Engagement

Identify what forms of content could be used as part of a more defined strategy and analyze your current content to find out what has worked well, which methods need to be used more and what is not resonating with your audience.

Competitor Content

Researching how your competitors are behaving in the market will give you a good indication of the different forms of content that your audience enjoys. It will also allow you to discover any potential gaps in the market.

It’s worth using tools like Majestic SEO, Kerboo, and Ahrefs to view the sources of backlinks that point to a particular domain. Once you have established the sites that are using your competitors’ content, you can then target them as part of your strategy.

Social Engagement

Thanks to a rise in social media, the shareability of content is more important than ever. It’s vital to know what content has been shared the most and by whom. Also, the social engagement of your competitors’ content should underpin the content plan you create moving forward.

Google Analytics (GA) allows you to see detailed social activity, giving you an understanding of the best-performing social channels for a particular piece of content. This information can be accessed via the following menus in GA:

Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals

From here, you can see the different types of social networks, as well as the best-performing pieces of content that drive traffic from that social network.

Additionally, you’ll want to see how socially successful your competitors’ content is. While you won’t have access to their Google Analytics account, some convenient tools can help, such as Buzzsumo.

These tools give you extensive social data, so you can understand more about your competitors’ followers and your audience, as well as the types of content that they share.

Influencers and Publishers

By uncovering advocates of your industry and finding those with large followings who regularly share related content, you’ll be able to engage and interact to promote your content further.

It’s not merely a matter of tagging these people or brands in a post, though; social media is a two-way street. During your research process, make sure you follow these accounts and interact with the content they promote.

By building a relationship with these influential sources, you’ll have a stronger case when it comes to engaging with them to promote your content.