Publishing large volumes of content helps companies to reach their Inbound Marketing targets: generating more high-quality prospects (79%1), boosting traffic to their website (75%1), improving their brand image (57%1), increasing customer engagement and loyalty (47%1)…
It is essential to implement competitive watch to enable you to produce this content. Ensuring that your competitive watch is effective requires being methodical and following several very specific steps: list and rank your main competitors, check their company blog regularly, analyze their presence on social networks…
Discover the steps involved in implementing valuable competitive watch.
Step 1: Make a list of your competitors
The first step involves making a list of competitors that need to be watched daily, as well as their characteristics (size of structure, creation date, company culture, partners…).
To make this list as complete as possible, you need to take it further than a simple list of direct competitors and consider other competitors (indirect, tertiary, potential…). For example, you should not overlook potential competitors who could represent a real threat if they appear on your market.
It is also important to update this list regularly as the market evolves (new arrivals, or departures, change of position of a competitor…).
Step 2: Check the blog section of competitor websites
Implementing an effective competitive watch strategy requires regular reading of the blog section of competitor websites and taking inspiration from their content choices: topics covered, formats used, length of texts, style…
Looking through a competitor's blog, a business can identify the type of format that they have not yet used on their own blog (infographics, whitepaper, interviews, eBooks…) and which would be likely to engage their own readers. For example, infographics are the fourth most used format2 in content marketing and can boost traffic by +12%2.
You should also gauge the publication rate of your competitors (daily, monthly, weekly…). This will enable your business to determine the most strategic publication frequency to remain competitive. For example, company's publishing at least 11 blog articles per month generate 4 times3 more traffic than those only publishing 4 or 53.
Step 3: Analyze the presence of your competitors on the social networks
When implementing competitive watch, it is essential to monitor the presence of your competitors on social networks.
Businesses regularly use these social channels to share their blog articles: 66% of marketing professionals4 use social networks. Among the social networks that they consider as the « most effective » for sharing their contents: Facebook (36%1), LinkedIn (36%1), Instagram (9%1), Twitter (8%1)…
Therefore, for each competitor you should analyze the interactions between their visitors and the content published on their brand profile: likes, shares, retweets, comments… The analysis of these interactions will allow you to measure visitor engagement on these contents and to identify which ones work the best for them and consequently for you too.
Step 4: Learn about SEO
In the context of competitive watch, it is vital for a business to learn about the SEO habits of their competitors to anticipate their keyword strategies5 keywords so as to counter them.
To do this, you should identify the keywords which occur regularly in competitor publications. This identification will enable you to determine the most relevant keywords to include in future contents.
You should also be aware of how competitors are positioned on the most strategic and monitor any changes. This will allow you to quickly detect when a competitor loses ranking on any given keyword and to capitalize on it to improve your own position on this keyword.
Step 5: Create a watch report and share it
Implementing dynamic competitive watch requires setting up a well-structured competitive watch report and sharing it with various teams.
To build this report, choose the most relevant data and rank them on various criteria. For example, it is recommended to list them by competitor to make the information easier to read.
You should also identify the teams likely to use this report (SEO, marketing, product, sales…). Once you have determined the target teams, send them the report at regular intervals. It is recommended that this frequency be determined according to their need for information and the global publication rate of the competitors. It can also help to implement in-context notifications: content updates, appearance of a competitor on a new keyword, marketing innovations…
It is essential to implement a competitive watch system to produce high-quality content and optimize your Inbound Marketing strategy. For this watch to be effective requires regular efforts from the company: updating lists of competitors, checking their websites regularly, monitoring their social network publications, keeping up to date on SEO practices… To make this watch effort ever more efficient, many companies are now using high-quality tools specifically designed for competitive watch.
Amici, O. A. (2021, may 26). Les statistiques du marketing de contenu à connaître pour 2021. semrush.com.
2 Fontanella, C. F. (2020, december 14). 25 Stats That Make the Case for Infographics in Your Marketing. blog.hubspot.com.
3 Goday, R. G. (2015, october 21). À quelle fréquence les entreprises devraient-elles bloguer ? blog.hubspot.fr.
4 HubSpot. La liste indispensable des statistiques marketing. hubspot.fr.
5 Walsh, S. W. (2021, march 16). How to Use Competitive Intelligence to Grow Your Business. semrush.com.