Why can competitor analysis be harmful?

Why can competitor analysis be harmful?
Why can competitor analysis be harmful?

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Someone once told marketers somewhere that if they want to succeed, they must thoroughly research their competitors and their marketing techniques. Today, their successors honor the traditions of their predecessors, monitoring competitors to significantly accelerate their own marketing campaigns .

In other words, they spy.

Correctly conducted analysis of competitors’ activities increases the efficiency of inbound marketing techniques, the amount of traffic and leads received. Competitor research also helps compete in content and link building strategies to outperform competitors online. In this approach, there is nothing bad, if you do not take into account the temptation to assign well-working techniques of competitors and their content ideas.

The risks and consequences are clear as day:

  • Transform your company into another mediocre
  • Copyright infringement
  • Plagiarism charge
  • Google or Yandex Filters

This is where the fine line between professional content marketing and plagiarism lies: you analyze competitors not in order to copy them, but in order to emphasize your uniqueness. Evaluation of competitors will be irrational and far from innocent, if you do not feel boundaries.

Those who wish to protect themselves from the painful results of poorly performed analysis of competitors should be aware of the following errors.

Do not copy content ideas.

To develop a content strategy, you must create a list of competitors and explore their content, paying attention to the following points:

  • What types of content create competitors and what formats work best
  • Where do they post this content?
  • How often do competitors publish different types of content.
  • Content quality
  • Topics discussed, social cues, the links they get, results in organic search

And now special attention …

How do you deal with the most viral topics of your competitors? In the beautiful new world you would take care of the content, the audience and create something completely new. Unfortunately (or not), we do not live in a perfect world. Most likely, you decide to borrow some competitor ideas for your content plan.

From the very beginning, this tactic is doomed to failure.

Everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, borrows something. You refer to sources, opinion leaders, or learn how to correctly paraphrase predecessors. This approach is promising and demonstrates your individual experience, which ultimately demonstrates the originality of the content. However, addressing the topic only because this topic is a strong side of the competition turns you into a plagiarist, and this is how your target audience sees you.

You can counter this using the following methods:

  • Proceed to action, taking into account the weaknesses of competitors and use topics that they do not discuss. This way you will attract an audience that your competitors have not taken care of.
  • Think of your strengths that are more significant compared to the competition.Focus on these details when creating your content.
  • Borrow interesting topics, but only when you can improve them, for example, using the Skyscraper Technique . And only when you expect it to bring results.(There are chances, but you know that this is only a sample solution)
  • If you want to avoid accidental plagiarism, think about creating a matrix of content that helps you find original content ideas for your marketing campaigns.

Avoid borrowing copyright-style competitors

When you research competitors, you get to know and analyze a large number of sources. As a marketer, you need to have information about the accuracy, depth, content structure, article length and tone used. Moreover, you need to know who is creating their content, whether there is a guest blog and in which areas your competitors are experts.

Your target audience does not need plagiarism. To turn readers into leads and avoid plagiarism charges, make sure your brand has its own voice and tonality. You must make a decision about the correct terminology used in the text, what added value your content will carry, and what words you will use that affect how readers will feel after reading your posts.

To be heard, avoid rewriting and copying others, or raising your voice. On the contrary, you must stand out from the crowd of competitors and show your target audience that you can offer unique and valuable content.

Avoid copying competitor keywords and link donors.

Are you still studying the promotion of your competitors, analyzing keywords, monitoring positions, and researching reference donors? You can legally place your links on donor sites subject to the following conditions:

  • Donor sites relevant to your niche
  • Donor sites link min. on your two competitors
  • Donors post quality content that generates traffic
  • These sites are visited by your target audience.
  • Do you have materials to post

However, remember that you should not borrow ALL keywords and place materials on all donor sites that host your competitors’ articles. Such behavior will not bring a positive result, and you will only spend time and money, and, perhaps, get a Google filter or Yandex. You need to personalize the process that will emphasize the voice of your brand , features of the product or service.

How to properly analyze competitors?

Instead of copying keywords for which your competitors are leading, think about keywords that your competition does not use. Instead of copying the links of your competitors, get those that are not in competition, and do it very quickly. This approach helps to avoid accidental plagiarism in the strategy of building a reference mass.

In a word …

All is well that in moderation.

Monitoring competitors and copying their behavior should be just a part of a long-term marketing strategy. Analyze competitors in order to create your own unique campaigns that emphasize the essence of your brand, its identity and help you achieve top positions in Google and Yandex. Your goal is to outrun your competitors, and not to approach their level, is it?


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