Wednesday February 21, 2018
In the business world, the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but the fertilizer the other gal used may not make your grass grow better. At first glance, copying a successful competitor's content strategy may seem like a fool-proof idea. But when it comes down to it, social marketing is too complex for cookie cutter strategies. Here are 3 reasons NOT to copy the other guys and gals, and 3 ways to create a killer strategy of your own instead.
The other gal is no expert.
It may seem like your competitor has it all figured out. They do A + B and get C. But in reality, your competitors are figuring it out as they go, just like you are. In fact, they may even be copying others in your field, just like you want to copy them. That creates a stale environment where no one is out-doing anyone else to engage the customer. Even if they aren't copying someone else, your competitor may not be working off of good data or analysis. The bottom line is you don't know where your competitor is getting its content strategy, so you shouldn't trust it without vetting it.
INSTEAD of blindly duplicating content, analyze your competitor's results with tools like Ghostery, BuiltWith, Ahrefs, SentiOne, and BuzzSumo. These apps help you discover what tools your competitors are using, analyze content and activity, and find out exactly what is bringing the ROI. Consult social media experts, like a social media agency or individual marketer, to see what strategies work well and how to implement them.
You don't have the same resources as the other guy.
Not all businesses in the same industry are on the same playing field. You may have a smaller budget or fewer staff members than a competitor, and can't effectively execute the strategy that's working so well for them. If you try to execute and do it poorly, you'll do more damage than good. On the flip side, you may have more resources than a competitor and shouldn't be limiting yourself to what they are able to do.
INSTEAD of outspending or underachieving, figure out what you're capable of and create a strategy based on that. If you don't have the money to pay a staff member to write 5 blogs a week, start with 2. If you don't have the software to pull off a large-scale email campaign, wait to execute it. You can research what's out there and how to best use it, or you can talk to an expert like a social media agency to help you understand exactly what to do for your resources.
You need a different strategy than the other gal.
What works for one business doesn't necessarily work for another, even in the same industry. In fact, simply copying the other guy may be less effective than showing how you're different from the other guy. Your business offers unique value to your audience, and that's what will make your customers choose you over your competitors. Additionally, your audience is probably a little different from your competitor's, so you need to speak to your audience, not theirs.
INSTEAD of copying content, find your specific audience and what they want. Think from their point of view to discover what will grab their attention. Analyze what makes you different and find ways to present that to your audience. Again, it's a good idea to consult a social media agency or individual to find out the best strategies to reach your audience and the best tools to help you do it.
In the end, the main idea is to learn from your competitors but be original in your content. If you need help creating a social media strategy and implementing it with content, we are the agency for you! Check out our previous post about how to create a killer marketing strategy, or contact us for a free 30-minute consultation! Plus, join our Facebook group, Social Insights Community, for tips, tricks, updates, and support on everything social media.