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Marketers have great visibility into what's happening within their company and what's happening throughout their marketing team. With so much to keep tabs on—from ads to blogs to positioning—marketers sometimes lack a thorough understanding of what's happening outside the four walls of their business, however.

Yet it's critical to be aware of external factors; their impact can be just as, if not more important than, determining internal successes. If you can gain a strong understanding of your competitive landscape and market environment, you can use the gathered intel to benefit your strategy across every area of marketing.

Let's look at some examples of how you can use such intelligence to stand out against your competition and win.

How to Fill in Your Content Marketing Gaps

Tracking your competitors' content marketing can assist you with your own content marketing strategy.

To analyze your competitors' content strategy, look at the channels and topics they rely on for their marketing. Try asking yourself these three questions about each of your competitors:

  1. Which outlets are they using to publish content?
  2. What type of media are they publishing? (Articles? SlideShare presentations? Infographics?)
  3. What topics are they covering?

For each competitor active in your market, answer those questions; while doing so, identify key trends, such as topics and media type. Dig deeper into their content and identify which topics or articles get news coverage, which media types are most frequently shared, and which outlets publish articles for your market.

Once you've collected and analyzed data about your competitors' content strategy, identify the "white space" within your market. The white space is untapped opportunities, such as topics not yet covered or channels not utilized, that you can leverage to stand out from your competition.

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image of Ellie Mirman

Ellie Mirman is CMO at Crayon, a market and competitive intelligence company that provides strategic insights and inspiration for marketers.

LinkedIn: Ellie Mirman

Twitter: @ellieeille

Website: elliemirman.com