While you should not steal your competitors’ copy, it’s important to read it as often as possible. Sign up for their email lists, follow them on social media, and get reminders about new blog posts.
Also follow your competitors when they post a guest article or blog post or conduct an interview. Why? You might learn something important that you can use to make your own copy work better.
Identify Content Marketing Gaps
When you go to your competitors’ websites, how do you feel as you read the copy? Are you confused by the navigation or does it lead you right where you want to go? What do you like about the website copy and what do you dislike? Take notes so that you can find deficiencies in your own website that can be fixed.
Determine Effective Content Types
By watching the amount of engagement on any article or blog post, you can see first-hand what types of content works best for your audience. Since you share an audience, you can be reasonably sure that this method will work. On their blog, notice which types of blog posts get more likes, shares and comments. If you can identify popular topics and types of content, use these in your own work.
Push You to Do More
When you observe how your competition is motivating, engaging, and grabbing customers right out from under you, it will make you do more. You’ll produce more content, post more on social media, create more products, develop more services and just do more. Because when you see someone else doing it, you know you can do it better.
Teach You What Not to Do
When you read copy that is poorly written, or fails to reach its potential, you’ll be able to tell that it’s bad. When you realize your competitor has made a mistake, you’ll be able to avoid those mistakes.
Teach You What to Do
Sometimes your competitor will do something right. That’s great, for you too. When you see your competition delivering effective copy to customers, you see what can be accomplished. Remember that competition is never bad. Have you ever noticed that gas stations and coffee shops tend to open in pairs? There is a reason. If there is a profitable coffee shop or business on the street and you open one that’s just a little better or different across the street, you’ll be successful too.
Help You Find New Resources
As you read your competitors’ copy, you will be introduced to new resources that will help you in your business. You may find resources that are great, and you may find some to avoid.
Learn New Keywords
A really useful aspect of your competitors’ copy is the keywords that they choose to use. They may use some keywords that you didn’t think about before. You don’t have to copy their content in order to use the keywords in your copy.