Content marketing has become so popular with B2B companies that it’s nearly impossible to find one that hasn’t used it. But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s always effective.
Unfortunately, many companies have trouble creating engaging content for their audiences—usually because their content strategy is just writing blog posts from a list of topics.
Content marketing is more about understanding your audience than creating the content itself. Getting those insights is why you should track your brand and competitors.
By monitoring your industry, you’ll understand what appeals to your audience and create better content for them.
Even though it’s impossible to always create perfect content, brand tracking will help you have a better sense of what your target audience wants and needs.
Here are three reasons why you need brand tracking to optimize your company’s content.
Learn More About Your Followers
Remember, it’s easier to keep a current customer than acquire a new one. So before trying to understand your future readers, you should focus on better understanding the ones you already have.
Monitoring your brand on social media makes it easy to see what types of content your audience prefers. By watching what people say and the number of interactions your content gets, you’ll see which topics and mediums work best.
Here’s a scenario: A flight booking website publishes two blog posts, one about travel hacks and the other about the best cities in Asia. Whichever topic gets more engagement tells them what more people connected with.
This should help you determine your content strategy. Ideas that are more likely to resonate with readers should take higher priority than other topics and campaigns.
Learn From Your Competitors
Tracking your own brand is great to understand your current audience. But you’ll need to look at other people if you want to reach new readers. To do that, monitor your competitors.
You’ll begin to understand how they’re using content and how they’re marketing it. You’ll see which content their audience found engaging and which pieces fell flat. That research will help you with planning your own content calendar.
Consider asking yourself these questions when studying their content strategy:
- What type of content works for them?
- What topics do they usually cover?
- Which content mediums do they use?
- How often do they publish new content?
- How long are pieces of content?
- Where is new content distributed?
Say you and a competitor write blog posts on the same topic, but they received more engagement. By looking at the content and monitoring the reactions to it, you might be able to figure out why.
Once you understand what they’re doing right, you’ll be able to take their “content formula” and adapt it to your own marketing strategy.
You’ll also want to keep a close eye on what hasn’t worked and learn from their mistakes. If you see a pattern of topics and mediums that aren’t popular, avoid them.
Find Hot Topics
By monitoring your company, competitors, and niche, it’ll be pretty clear which topics you should write about.
To identify a topic that’s on the rise, you’ll want to keep an eye out for three things:
- Things people are frequently talking and asking questions about
- Other topics that pop up in conversations about your brand or competitors
- Very unique posts that earned a lot of engagement
Producing valuable content is important if you’re looking to engage with your audience. But in order to provide value, you need to learn what they want.
Monitor your brand and competitors to determine what content works and what doesn’t. You’ll know what topics you should cover and what mediums give the best results, helping you optimize your content strategy and engage your audience.
How do you determine what to create content about? Let us know in the comments below!
This post originally appeared on Mention, and is re-published with permission.
Featured Image: Image by Michael Illas
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!