“Our competitors are doing that, why don’t we do the same?”
This sentence haunts me.
I’ve heard it in a variety of businesses I’ve worked in, and it grinds my gears more every time. I’m not saying don’t look at your competition and see what they’re doing but let’s get one thing straight before we continue. DON’T COPY.
I get it why people do it, everybody loves a simple hack that could potentially help you save time and look like you’re working ‘smarter’. BUT copying every move of your competitors is just setting you up for failure.
In this GrowTraffic blog, we are going to explain why copying can hurt your content, and what you should do instead to create your own content marketing strategy.
Why Copying Your Competitors Can Hurt Your Content Marketing Strategy
1. Your Competition Is As Clueless As You
Wait, you think they know what they’re doing? Sometimes, your competition is just as clueless as you are, maybe worse.
If you’re copying them, what makes you think they aren’t doing the same with another company within your sector? And now it’s an endless cycle!
On the other hand they could be creating innovative and flashy content, but how do you know it’s working for them, are you accessing their analytics? No matter how good the content looks, there is simply no guarantee it’s going to work for you.
2. Your Target Audience Could Be Different
Every business has their own target audience or perfect client. Your competition maybe targeting someone completely different to you, so why would you be using their content.
You and your competitors each have your own unique content marketing strategy in regard to targeting your audience, without knowing the thought and reasoning behind the marketing, you simply won’t know if that creative approach is appropriate for your audience.
3. Copying Doesn’t Make You Unique
Your consumers aren’t thick, they use online platforms and if they see your content they will more than likely see your competitors and recognise you’re copying content from them. Not only are you showing them that your business lacks creativity and is unable to promote your business in your own unique way, but by copying others you’re also not getting valuable data.
You need to see what works and what doesn’t for your business and use your own data to adjust your marketing accordingly. Your content marketing should be authentic and original to you and your business – that’s why your customers want to work with you – because of who you are.
People buy from people.
What You Should Do Instead Of Copying Your Competitors
1. Define Your Goals
You’ll never look back once you create your own content marketing strategy. Ideally you should include content creation, paid search, email, social media, SEO, and design. Ideally, you should create a goal for each component.
Goals could possibly include:
- Drive incremental sales
- Deliver relevant and timely content
- Generate repeated traffic to your website
When you have a goal or strategy, you’ll stick to a plan and not concentrate on your competitor’s goals, which may be in conflict with your own.
2. Start Using The Right Tools And People.
To be efficient and productive you need to streamline your content marketing process and execution. If you need to segment your email lists, then use an email marketing software that makes it easy. If you want to schedule social media out in advance, use a tool that lets you do that.
Make sure you employee the correct people to fulfil this role. Don’t use staff to create content who hate writing or have poor grammar. Use the best people for the job to create and execute your content marketing strategy – you could outsource your marketing if you can’t facilitate it in-house. Learn to delegate.
3. Track Your Progress
Using tools such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Analytics will help you track your progress. It should help you understand what you’re doing well and the areas to focus on to push your content marketing to the next level. Above your competitors.
For example, less traffic on LinkedIn and more on Facebook – boost your Facebook posts to capitalise. More email opens with specific topics or subject lines – adjust and implement more like those.
You can also subscribe to email newsletters of your competitors so you can see what they are doing, how they are onboard new subscribers, what their subject lines are, etc. You shouldn’t copy, but it’s a good idea to know what they are up to.
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