Content marketing is more than just a few popular buzzwords these days, as marketers all over the world are finding new ways to use content to spread word about their various products and services. You might be amazed at how helpful a strong content marketing strategy can be. The use of content is an excellent way to reach many new customers and improve your close rates. If you have been wondering how content marketing can help you, what you can do with it and how you can pull ahead of the competition with some good content, here are a few tips to get you started.

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Learn what your competition is up to

One of the best things you can do with content marketing is to learn from your competitors. You can start by signing up for any available newsletters, or you can subscribe to their website’s RSS feed or other similar outlets. Take the time to follow them on social media, and keep strong records of all the information you receive. It may help to use a personal email address instead of a business one, that way you may not be as obvious. This isn’t about stealing ideas or copying someone else’s work; it’s about learning best practices from content that is already publicly available. Plus it’s free and can provide you with some really strong examples of where to focus your own content marketing efforts.


Google Alerts

If you’d like to always keep ahead of the competition, you can easily set up Google Alerts for anything with a competitor’s name, product, service or even their executives. Google Alerts are totally free to use and take only a few minutes to set up. You will get an email directly to your inbox with a link any time that search term is used online. They’re not incredibly thorough, as most social media postings are missed, but it’s a great way to keep tabs on non-social content, since you’ll already be following your competition on social media anyway.

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Dig deeper

Now that you’re getting a good bird’s eye view of your competitor’s content marketing habits, it’s time to learn what they do and how well it does for them. Check out Simply enter any competitor’s website, and you’ll get a list of all the best articles, videos and other items they have published in the past. You can see how many shares each item got and what is performing well on social media outlets. You can also see who shared the information, which can help you learn who the influencers are for your industry. If you see an influencer that may be able to help you as well, follow them on social media too, and you can tweet direct messages when you have something relevant to share with them.



This article was written by Deborah Flomberg of for CBS Small Business Pulse.


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