Jennifer Xue
September 21, 2017

5 Methods to Find Your Competitive Content Advantage

Competitive Advantage

A piece of content will have good value if it has a competitive advantage. Strategizing is helpful in the beginning, but it’s execution and how well it’s done that will make a difference in the long run. Moreover, before you can execute properly, there are five things to analyze in finding your competitive advantage.

Each analysis would result in better understanding of where your brand and content stand in this highly competitive content world. Also, hopefully, if the competitors didn’t perform any preliminary analysis like the following, you’d already have the upper hand!

1. Perform Comprehensive Competitive Content Analysis

In this initial stage, the task is familiarizing yourself with the competitors’ content, their strengths, and weaknesses. This should be started with recognizing who your competitors are. You might think that a “competitor” is a competing brand whose product can substitute yours due to similar features and characteristics.

In the content world, however, it’s more than that. Your product rivals might not be your content competitors. Your content competitors are content publishers whose content can substitute for yours. Content is content; a product is a product. Don’t confuse the two.

For instance, Red Bull is famous for their high-adrenaline content. Their product is a competitor with Monster and Rockstar energy drinks. However, Red Bull’s content competes with all individual and business content publishers that produce similar high-adrenaline content, as all of them compete for the same audience’s attention. In Inbound Marketing’s terminology, they have identical “persona.”

2. Perform Comprehensive Content Competence Analysis

Be completely honest with your internal and freelance teams’ skill sets and their work quality. Sure, any team can hire professional photographers, videographers, and copywriters, but how proficient and experienced are they? Use simple quantitative analysis to review their performance, such as giving a weight from 1 to 10 to their specific sub-skills. Add the figures to get the cumulative score.

For instance, when reviewing the skills of a copywriter, break down into several sub-skills:

  • Landing page
  • Short form
  • Long form
  • Per topic (related to your content needs)
  • Per style (opinion, feature, descriptive wiki-style, emotional, analysis, etc.) and others.

Be specific and thorough when analyzing your team’s competence. The more you understand the team’s skill inventory, the better you’ll be able to optimize content creation.

3. Perform Brand Awareness Analysis

Find out how consumers perceive your brand with brand recognition, brand recall, brand image, brand trust, brand loyalty, and customer profile studies. In a brand recognition study, use images of your and your competitors’ products and let the respondents respond. When doing a brand recall study, allow respondents to state their top five products.

In brand image study, collect feedback on how customer’s perception matches the brand identity your product attempts to create. For your brand trust study, keep tabs of brand trust and always strive to be a trustworthy brand by going the extra mile.

Your brand loyalty study should track the customers’ loyalty to see whether they’ve switched to a competitor, or whether they can be elevated to evangelist status. In your customer profile study, find out whether your customer base remains the same or have changed. Any change in customer profile would require adjustment and adaptation in marketing efforts.

4. Perform Publishing Analysis

Where can a brand publish online? The typical answers would be your blogs, third-party blogs, social media, and other paid opportunities somewhere in between. Sure, everybody knows that. The thing is, which publishing channels would yield the highest ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment).

Unless you use reliable analytics across different platforms, you wouldn’t be able to objectively understand the value of each publishing medium. Use a comprehensive analytics platform like Buzzsumo to see the big picture of your publishing investment. Also, using a more specialized analytics tool would help with the specific platforms you’re aiming for. Remember that each publishing channel changes over time, so the approach is a continuum.

5. Perform Future Competitive Readiness Analysis

Are you ready for future competitiveness in the content marketing and publishing area? While keeping updated in this automated Internet era is quite simple, ensuring your team is aware of the future competitiveness and upgrading their skills to adhere to the future demands isn’t. The latter should be the focus by continuously following the latest trends in content production, publishing, and overall creative process.

Perform audits to overcome gaps from time to time. Pay close attention to changes and progress in technology, consumer behavior, and competitors (both in product and content). Use various benchmarks and study best practices religiously. Next, measure the performance and the variables that would influence the future.

In Conclusion

Finding your brand’s content, competitive advantage will hopefully come naturally. Otherwise, you can use the above five methods simultaneously to receive a 360-degree comprehensive, holistic view that would be invaluable to your content creation process and, eventually, your business’s bottom line.

Any Comments?

Do you have any additional methods for tracking your competitors that you feel other readers could benefit from? Please share those or any other thoughts on this subject


Additional reading: 12 Tools To Improve Visual Marketing, SEO and Branding

Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, digital strategist, and serial entrepreneur based in Nothern California. She has proven experiences in brand awareness, lead generation, and revenue increase. She is a digital strategist for Oberlo and her blog is

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