Recon on the Competition : Some Curating Tips

detective-152085_1280

detective-152085_1280

Frank Castle, now known as the Punisher, and I went on a number of recon missions back in the day. While the exact nature of our missions is still highly classified, we got the opportunity to learn a number of things we’d never have been able to find out on our side of the line. These missions were highly dangerous, but they were also extremely informative, and even a little exciting at times. Frank and I reconnected not long ago to discuss various strategies and logic problems, as we often do. One of the issues I’ve been facing lately is how to help brands present themselves as real contenders in their industries, and Frank brought up an interesting point:

“Why not spy on the competition?”

Now, I understand that phrasing it in such a way makes reconnaissance sound like a bit of a taboo, but in truth, paying attention to your industry competition is one of the most important things you can do as a content marketer and analytics expert. Here are just a few of the things you can gain from an expertly performed content recon mission:

    1. A more focused keyword strategy. By definition, your biggest competitors on the World Wide Web are those who seek rankings for the same (or similar) keywords that you’re using. Is your rival ranking highly for a keyword you struggle with? Understanding their focuses can help you make better-informed decisions regarding your advertising campaigns and create a clear pathway to success.
  • An opportunity to get ahead of the game. Conversely, if you’re head and shoulders above the competition for a certain keyword or group of keywords, take advantage of that knowledge! You’re succeeding in an area where your rival struggles, which is a clear differentiator for your brand. Place a hefty focus on this already-successful area and make it better, and you’re sure to stand out among the crowd.
  • A sense of precognition. Don’t get me wrong--spying on your online enemies won’t turn you into Oracle or anything like that. It will, however, clue you in as to when your challengers are gearing up for a new product or service release. With this information, you can gain insights about the response to their new release, as well as prepare your own content and marketing masses to offer something even better.
  • An accurate assessment of your measure. In keeping tabs on your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to more clearly assess where you stand within your industry. This doesn’t mean you should drop back and punt to try and keep up; stop chasing after them and look for other avenues for your own success.

Don’t be afraid of a content recon mission to help bolster your own content marketing campaigns! You won’t even need the big guns and military technology that Frank has--in fact, I would strongly advise against going after your competition with such equipment. All you need is some diligence and some help from Analytics, and you’re well on your way to the top.

Until next time, happy curating: The Curator.