We all know that smart businesses should keep a close watch on competitive activity but dedicating the time and resources to doing so can seem like a momentous task. A few months ago I created a section on my website that is dedicated to affordable online tools that can be used for competitive research, broken down into ad monitoring, search engine monitoring and social monitoring. Today I added a new section to this resource that is focused on content monitoring, which is a necessity for any organization that is engaged (or whose competitors are engaged) in content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is an approach that utilizes the development of useful and informative materials intended to educate and attract an organization’s target customers. It is a broad term that encompasses everything from written material like white papers, blogs and social media posts to video tutorials and podcasts.
The internet has changed the way customers approach purchasing decisions in that they research and explore solutions to their problems on their own. By the time they engage with your organization they are already well-informed and have effectively moved themselves along the sales funnel. A well-rounded content marketing strategy addresses this head on by providing materials that are relevant to the customer at various stages of the buying cycle – guiding them through their journey to the point of making a purchase.
What is Content Monitoring?
Monitoring the success of your own content and that of competitive websites is crucial for any organization that is engaged in content marketing. Tracking and analyzing this information can help you identify topics to address, determine what is and is not working and adjust your strategy. You can do this manually by regularly visiting competitive websites and listening to the activity on their social accounts, but tools can offer great efficiencies.
Even if you haven’t engaged in content marketing yet, monitoring the efforts of your competitors can provide great insight into their methodologies and visibility into what is resonating for their audience. Tools can help you stay abreast of the topics your competitors are addressing, assess how their content is being received and determine which social platforms perform best for them. They can also help you identify the influencers in your industry and the ones with whom your competitors engage.
What Tools Are Available?
There are many tools for managing and promoting your own content but being able to deeply and easily monitor the success of both your own and your competitor’s content is a very specific need. I explored a number of possibilities for SMBs, but in the end there were just a few that seemed to address this need directly at an affordable price. These solutions are offered by BuzzSumo, Moz and Social Crawlytics, but they are all quite different with respect to their functionality and ease of use. Please be sure to explore each one to determine what suits your particular needs.
As always – I welcome any constructive feedback or suggestions. It is my goal to make this site as useful to my readers as possible.