Assessing your competitors' online content, methodically
An important part of developing a practical content strategy is understanding what your competitors are up to. Our digital competitive analysis template will help you get an overview of the content landscape in your industry.
Download the template
Use this template to identify the content areas that are standard in your industry, and those that are competitive opportunities. After gathering insights, you can build a report of key findings and opportunities for your company’s content strategy.
If you just want to see what it looks like, you can view the template in your browser (PDF).
Elements of a digital competitive analysis:
Choose three to five competitors to review. They should be a combination of local companies and leaders in your field. Include your own company in the list to see how you compare.
You’ll need to choose the categories to review for each competitor. We like to start with the categories below, then adjust them based on the scope and specific goals of the project. Remember, the more categories you review, the longer it will take!
Look at the home page of each of your competitors. What stands out to you? Which content or tasks are most obvious? What are the key messages? Review each company’s website home page and main social channels.
Who do your competitors seem to be targeting with their content?
Brand messages convey who a company is, their values, and why they do what they do. How do your competitors show this, both explicitly and implicitly?
- Explicit brand messaging: the company may address their values and beliefs directly in their content, for example, in an Our values or About us page.
- Implicit brand messaging: the company may use imagery, tone, or other strategies to convey their messaging without directly stating it.
Product and service messaging
Product messages communicate what a company does and what value their products provide to their customers. What do your competitors say about their products or services?
What do your competitors talk about? Think about high-level topics, instead of niche subtopics. List them in order of priority.
What formats do your competitors use? Video and photography, PDFs, Excel or Word downloads? List them in order of priority.
What differentiates each competitor from the others? What makes them stand out?
How do your competitors address common issues in your industry, like pricing, controversy, or community involvement?
Benefits of completing a digital competitive analysis
Completing a competitive analysis will help you understand the industry you’re operating in, and how it’s evolving. Doing this type of review can also create opportunities to:
- Learn how to target your customers more effectively.
- Benchmark your content efforts against others in the industry.
- Identify gaps where you could reach new or underserved audiences.
- Find content inspiration that you can apply to your own website and social channels.