A content marketing analysis looks at a variety of metrics to gauge how well your own or a competitor’s content is doing. You can conduct a complete content marketing analysis or just look at one or two factors to see what you’re doing versus what another brand is doing. It’s worth analyzing your own content marketing before you begin a new content marketing campaign, and when you are looking to update your current strategy, too.

Also it is important to do the analysis of your competitor’s content if they’ve launched a new campaign or if you find out that they are having particularly good success with something. Taking a look behind the curtain at their data can help you see where you can “borrow” from them.

The first step to creating good, value and differentiated content is hiring a content marketing agency to analyze the content created in your market. This agency will let you know what your neighbors, friends and competitors are publishing.

Completing a competitive content analysis helps stay one step ahead in your content marketing strategy. Use your competitors’ efforts to your advantage!

Steps to do a competitive content marketing analysis

1. Take inventory of your competitors’ content

Catalog the content medium and the content’s site. In other words, capture everything from blog articles to videos on and off their website. Each content type gives insight into the level of content investment, the format types their audience enjoys, and the range and relative importance of topics and keywords.

Content types include blog articles, podcast and audio recordings, webinars, e-books, videos, presentations, e-newletters and similarly.

2. Evaluate content quantity and quality

It’s important to understand the focus each type of content receives and how the audience receives it. Take into account how many types of media and channels your competitor’s are leveraging, as well as how frequently they are publishing.

One of the great things about content marketing channels is that they  offer some publicly visible markers of popularity and engagement. Look for trends in engagement level – shares, comments, etc. to understand how well the content is performing.

3. Tag and analyze content topics

The next step in the analysis is to go to the micro level. Tagging and analyzing the topics of each content piece helps surface content marketing gaps, which become opportunities for the brand.

If some of your competitors have too much content to digest, start with the most popular pieces and channels, or most recent content published. For each content piece, tag the piece with a topic or set of topics to categorized the ones that are compatible with your own strategy.

The content marketing agency will end up with a master spreadsheet of your competitors’ content marketing strategies deconstructed. Now dive into the fun process of analyzing trends. Looking at a combination of the quantity and quality of content coverage by topic will highlight topics to stay away from and gaps you can fill. In other words,  will create a map that shows how to differentiate in the market and to position a good marketing campaign.

Completing a content marketing analysis is a key step in creating intel-driven content, but it’s not enough to do a single report. Your competitors are regularly publishing more content, learning from their past, and optimizing their own strategies. To make sure your content remains differentiated, it’s important to build a habit around seeking and leveraging your competitors’ content strategies.