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Research as a Service: Selling the 3 Most Important Packages of Information

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Competitive Analysis: How to Not Pick a Fight With Goliath

Everyone knows the famous biblical story: The young shepherd David battles the fearsome warrior named Goliath, using his wits and cunning to defeat a much bigger, stronger opponent.

Unfortunately, in the world of business, it doesn’t work like that. Goliath usually wins.

Just look at how many mom and pop stores have been shuttered by the rise of Amazon, or how many inferior competitors have been crushed by the iPhone and iPod (anyone remember the Zune?).

The same is true in content marketing. Unless you’re in a brand new industry, content topics that help buyers with generic problems have likely already been done. Trying to compete with companies like HubSpot, IBM, and Red Bull - brands that have seven to nine figures and multiple teams of employees devoted solely to content - isn’t going to work.

Fortunately, we aren’t in biblical times: There’s an easier way.

Instead of competing on the same topics, styles, and channels as major players in your industry, use competitive analysis to “fill in the gaps.”

An easy way to do this is to “reverse engineer” your competitors’ strategy. Look at the content they’ve been producing and the messages they are sending, and then figure out who their target audience is.

From there, you can either:

  1. Choose a different segment - Unless customers in your industry are extremely specific, it’s likely that you can niche down and create a content strategy targeting a sector that the big players in your field haven’t devoted much attention to. For example, if you were looking to create content to attract athletes who use headphones, you could niche down even further to runners who use headphones.
  1. Target customers in a different way - If you or your clients have to compete for the same customers as enterprise-level competitors, not all is lost. There are plenty of opportunities to help you stand out in your industry. Consider focusing on a particular channel (YouTube, Pinterest), a certain format of content (video, infographics), or solve a different problem for them, unique among your competition.

Similar Web is a great tool to reverse engineer your competitors’ marketing mix. Don’t bother trying to overpower competitors with exponentially more time, money and personnel than you or your clients. By harnessing these tools and devoting some time to coming up with a strategy for differentiation, you can avoid putting yourself in content marketing battles that you are unlikely to win.

Want to bring a packaged competitive analysis to your marketing clients? Schedule a time to chat with Max about your professional marketing services mix.

Max Traylor
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Max Traylor
Max Traylor, Inbound 2013 speaker and author of the award winning “Content Marketer's Blueprint” brings a unique brand of knowledge sharing to the inbound marketing industry. As a trainer-to-the-trainers for Value Added Resellers working with Hubspot, Max is known for his innovative additions to inbound marketing, marketing and sales alignment and employee motivation.

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