Are you doing competitor monitoring and research as part of your digital marketing process? If not your social media marketing is just an activity!. Your competitors are a gold mine for marketing intelligence. B2B digital content marketers must allocate significant time in understanding the business ecosystem, including the competitors actions on the web and the sources can be in the competitor's digital content such as whitepaper, videos, case studies or analyst reviews.
If you are into b2b marketing and are looking forward to going ahead with your focused campaigns, you definitely need to start with some solid market and competitor research. Every great move needs the foundation of some focused homework. In B2B content marketing, this homework involves deep-diving into your core market and competitor landscape. This critical information will be pivotal in delivering success to all your digital b2b marketing campaign. A research-based content marketing strategy can easily turn up your business promotion’s effectiveness many notches.
Why is market and competitor research critical?
Content marketing bridges the gap between your audience and your brand, helping them understand your brand, pique their interest, and exponentially increase your sales without bombarding them with loud marketing messages. But how is this even possible? How can you ban loud marketing and yet reach just the right audience? How will the right prospect notice your brand? What is the right message that you should be sending so it attracts their attention? Market and competitor research helps you derive the perfect answers to all these questions.
Intensive research of the business landscape, market ecosystem, and competitors sounds tough and rightly so since research and content planning are interdependent. Market research helps you understand your business ecosystem. It guides you in understanding your audience, unraveling your ideal customers’ persona, and defining their needs and expectations. You will then be able to assess what their problems are and how your solution can be a perfect solution. This exercise truly defines your target audience and helps you understand what your solution can offer to them. You can also identify your true stakeholders, internal and external; business constituents; your offered values; your offered price range; and other elements of your solution that your target audience will appreciate.
Similarly, competitor research on the sources such as whitepaper, videos, case studies helps you focus on your competition and related businesses. This research supports you in understanding their brand values, the differentiators they are highlighting, their market positioning, and their audience. This information is critical before you start planning your content marketing strategy, else you might land up focusing completely on the wrong audience or, worse, creating a poor clone of your competitor.
Four simple pointers for in-depth market and competitor research
Give equal importance to primary and secondary research
Review relevant research reports, study social media patterns, listen in to related online chatter, and do an extensive and targeted search engine check to absorb as much valuable information through secondary research. You many also want to hire a third party who would perform a thorough market study on a specific aspect. For example, Tally hired a market research organization to study their market about their greatest fears when GST was announced. Tally used this information to not just fine tune their product but also implement an ingenious content marketing plan. This plan focused on educating their existing and potential customers about every aspect of GST through blog posts, webinars, and offline events. This plan worked magic and Tally grabbed its market’s attention for a smooth GST transition.
Identify and analyze your competitors in detail
Give your competitor the same attention as you would do to your own organization. You really do not want to be creating a weak duplicate in the same market space. Alternatively, you also do not want to be focusing on the wrong end of the marketing spectrum. Elon Musk’s Tesla is a great example here. Tesla entered the crowded automotive market much after all its competitors such as Ford did. But Tesla studied the market carefully and chose not to compete in an already crowded market. Instead, they created their own space by bombarding technology into the automotive space. The results have been phenomenal, especially because they have taken care to portray Tesla as tech wizards across all their marketing campaigns.
Identify weak zones and improvement areas
Review and compare your research finding with all your stakeholders to identify improvement areas and revise your content marketing plan accordingly. Your research findings can even mean taking a step back and revisiting your solution. Hence, the focus at this stage is to identify weak zones or scope for improvement to optimize your sales and success ratio.
Research is perennial
Market and competitor research does not stop at the strategy stage. This is a constant effort you should take. Never miss an opportunity to request your customers, clients, and online visitors for feedback, reviews, and ratings. Scour the Internet for chatter about your brand and any comparisons with your competitors. These inputs are critical in reshaping not just your content marketing initiative but also your complete branding approach or entire solution.
PWRRF: Plan, Work, Research, Review, and Follow-up
PWRRF is a key secret code for the business towards success. Always plan before you jump right into implementation. This helps you understand your goals, define your team, and establish the route you will be taking. Move on to perform in-depth research to unearth your market landscape, your competitor approach, and your target audience. Review your findings and fine-tune your plan accordingly.
B2b content marketing needs in-depth research, analysis, and original content. Writing content for tech products, services, and solutions simplify promoting technical products and services through knowledge sharing and interest generation. But the foundation of sharp strategic content is detailed and consistent research. So, always build your B2B content marketing skyscraper on this strong foundation.