Consumers are inundated with content from every brand, every media site, every friend on their social feed. Cutting through the noise to get your brand heard is a challenge even on a good day. So how do you figure out the right piece of content to create and share? Knotch thinks it has just the solution for you in its new content planning software.
Smart brands keep an eye on what their competitors are up to. They also track the content media sites in their industry create and the news they cover. Why is this so important to do? Two reasons.
First, you want to cover the topics and ideas that are important to your audience and customers. If your competitors are covering something, it's a good chance it's something your customers want to hear. If the media is covering it, it's a very good chance it's what your customer/audience wants to hear.
Second, you don't want just to write what everyone else is writing. If you create the same ebook on the same topic, covering the same information, there's a good chance your content will get lost in the shuffle of emails or social posts.
You often want to think similar yet different.
But spending hours sifting through competitor content that is updated as often as you update yours takes too much time. Same for tracking industry media sites. And then there's the idea that you can get great ideas paying attention to the content that's created outside your direct market - the stuff that makes you think outside the box.
Content planning software could help.
Knotch introduces Blueprint
I first heard of Knotch back in 2016 when I interviewed its CEO and wrote about its sponsored content analytics capabilities. It has since evolved to become a content intelligence platform that helps brands and publishers understand how their content is performing across all paid and owned channels. It also acts as a content repository, enables you to map the content journey, and includes a content recommendation engine.
And now, it also provides Blueprint - content planning software that lets you track and analyze content from your competitors, brands, and publishers - again across paid and owned channels. You can conduct searches against keywords and titles, save content that you like for viewing at a later date.
You can set up content libraries of your competitors' content, and it will update in real-time as new material is published, even notifying you when something new is available. There are also comparison reports that give you a view of your content performance against a competitor, as well as automated competitor reports, so you are always aware of what your competitors are up to.
From the site:
Our goal with Blueprint is to make brands, publishers, and agencies smarter through data," says Aron Tzimas, Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer of Knotch, and the visionary behind the new Blueprint product. "Blueprint, along with our Measurement product, allows our customers to cover all sides of content. You need to know how your competitors are doing, what you should do next, and how you're doing. Blueprint covers the first two, Measurement covers the third.
Knotch sees Blueprint supporting three audiences: brands, publishers, and agencies.
- Brands: perform competitive intelligence and do content planning. It can also help a brand find potential partners for content development.
- Publishers: perform competitive intelligence to help it improve its content planning, as well as for Sales outreach to potential brands
- Agencies: use Knotch to manage clients' content portfolios, do Sales outreach, and for competitive intelligence when creating content strategies.
My take - find the creative whitespace
This is why I would use a tool like Knotch's content planning software - to help me find the whitespace. Part of the key to creating relevant, useful content your customers and audiences will want to read is understanding what's already out there and how it's performing.
You can see popular themes and keywords, as well as overused themes and keywords. You can dive deeper into a good piece of competitor content to see what works about it.
But then you need to put your creative hat on. Take all this information, along with your own customer journey analysis, and figure out the right content to create that will work for your customers, your audience.
What works for a competitor that would also work for you? How can you create something that puts a unique spin on the content that is relevant to your customers? What has been done and overdone, but opens the door for a new idea that you can develop? What publishers reach your customers, and what can you offer up for sponsored content or as a thought leadership piece that the publisher would love to have because they know their audience would read it?
You could also use this tool to track influencers and help you generate ideas for content partnerships that they would want to be a part of.
Knotch Blueprint is a handy tool. But it doesn't come cheap. It will cost you $500/month for one seat (with a three-seat minimum) for the Pro subscription. If you are in a highly competitive market, it's probably worth it. If you have the budget and are struggling to find your creative whitespace, it's probably worth it.
If nothing else, it gives you an idea of what you should be doing (even if it is manual) to keep your finger on the pulse of your market and customers.