Create Smarter Content – Part 3 of 4: Your Competitors’ Conversations

By: Krista LaRiviere on December 12, 2014 Categories: Content Marketing, Create Smarter Content, Mintent

Competitive Conversations – What Are They and Where Are They Happening?

In the third part of a four-part series, we answer the question, “How do your competitors answer prospects questions?”

In case you missed it we answered the questions below in the first two parts of the series:

What are Competitive Conversations?

Competitive conversations are defined as points of interaction online by a competitor with prospects and existing customers.  Examples of these types of conversations include:

  • Reviews
  • Social Media messages e.g. Tweets, Post Comments, etc…
  • Forum Threads
  • Blogs and Blog Comments

Your Online Competition May Be different Than Offline

A common misconception in content marketing is your offline competitors are the same as your online competitors. This is rarely the case. Why? Online competitors can reach a larger audience and are often not local to your business. This makes it much more difficult to get a true grasp on who your competition is.

So you may be asking yourself, “Well who are my real competitors then and how do I find them?” Let’s explore some ways you can do this:

  1. Look at the Top 50 search results for keywords relevant to your business for websites with a similar or related offering to your products or services
  2. Search for general keywords relating to your business on social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google +) and identify potential competitors using those keywords
  3. Check industry blogs and news sites for sponsors. *Be careful not to get confused by dynamic ads (i.e. remarketing ads)

How to Find Competitors’ Conversations

So now you have an idea of who your competitors are, it’s time to find out what they are telling their prospects and customers and what those customers are saying back to them. Some great tips to help you keep an eye on your competitors include:

  • Follow 5 competitors on Facebook via your Facebook Page Insights section.
  • Create private lists on Twitter and follow your competitors to stay updated on what they are posting to their audiences.
  • Subscribe to your Competitors’ blogs’ newsfeeds.
  • Follow your competitors’ names via Twitter Search.
  • Search for “’Competitor Name’ Reviews” in search results.
  • Identify which industry forums your competitors are active in and what interactions they may be having with consumers there

By following your competitions’ conversations, you can get insights into customer experience, areas of opportunity, and in some cases learn Web presence best practices. This information can help you answer the question, “How do your competitors answer prospects’ questions?”

Key Takeaways

  • Online and Offline Competitors may be different
  • Identify your competitors by channel (Search and Social)
  • Conversations happen all over the Internet. Tap into them for insights and ideas.
  • Be aware of what your competition is doing by following keywords, following their blogs, and take advantage of Twitter Lists and Facebook competitive insights reports.

Check back next week for the final part of our four-part series, “Competitive Web Presence”

How do you gain insights into your competition? We welcome your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Read the entire ‘Create Smarter Content’ series:

Part 1 – Researching Customer Conversations

Part 2 – Your Customer’s Web Presence

Part 3 – Your Competitor’s Conversations

Part 4 – Your Competitor’s Web Presence

Download this Guide to get even more help with your content marketing strategy:

Kick your Content Marketing Strategy Into High Gear with Seven Keyword Research Sources for Search, Social & MobileBookIcon