Using Competitor Weaknesses to Guide Your Strategy


Published: October 13, 2022

There’s never enough emphasis on the impact of competitor weaknesses when planning your content strategies. After all, competitive analysis is a highly effective way to identify content opportunities, discover gaps in your campaign, and become more strategic in your SEO approaches. More importantly, knowing your competition’s weaknesses gives you the insight you need to gain an advantage.

If you think about it, your competitors are probably already creating similar content. And by studying competitor weaknesses, you can pinpoint the opportunities to craft a successful SEO and content strategy. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of discovering your competitors’ weaknesses, conducting competitive content analysis, and using your findings to guide your content plans.

Why Should You Look at Competitor Weaknesses?

Conceptual 3D illustration of two gauges with text competitors and our company to measure performance, horizontal image. Concept of business benchmark or analyzing competitor weaknesses.

Image via iStock by Olivier Le Moal

A thorough competitive analysis offers many benefits when planning a content marketing strategy for your brand. Take a look at some of the advantages of this type of analysis:

Discover Fresh Content Ideas

Content is everywhere. From blog posts and ads to web pages and social media posts, your audience is constantly interacting with new content every day. And if you want to gain a leg up in this world of readily available information, you need to create relevant, engaging content that stands out. But how do you plan a content strategy that covers these valuable opportunities?

Conducting a content analysis to find competitor weaknesses will help you see the kind of content your rivals are creating and how you can either build on these existing ideas or take a unique approach.

Even if you already have your content ideas planned, there is probably something your competitors are pushing out that your audience is looking to see. By analyzing their weaknesses, you can get fresh content ideas to develop for your brand.

Find Gaps in Competitors’ Content

Competitor analysis also helps in discovering the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. By studying their content, you can discover gaps in their approach and how you can cover those gaps in your content campaign.

For example, suppose they used a formal tone to develop a particular content topic and didn’t get a lot of engagement. You could use a more informal and witty approach that your audience will better enjoy. It could also be they covered a specific topic but didn’t provide enough information. You can discover these gaps by conducting competitor analysis and positioning your brand appropriately.

Inspire Content Marketing Strategies

You have a content marketing strategy, and your competitor does too. That is no news. However, one person has to be doing better than the other. So, if you notice their content creation and marketing approach generates impressive results, it makes sense to study and see how you can implement it in your strategy.

To plan your content strategy appropriately, you can acquire insights into your competitors’ content production process and discover data such as social engagement across numerous networks and platforms. In addition, you can discover trending keywords, backlinks, and effective email marketing strategies.

Understand Your Audience and Market

Your competitors are not only those who sell the same products or services that you do. They also include those who provide content for your target audience. So imagine for a moment you own a company that sells fitness equipment. Your competitors would include both those that sell similar products and those that create content in the fitness industry.

Therefore, a competitive analysis would help you gain better insight into this market and the kind of audiences that are being catered to by both your direct and indirect competitors. You’d be able to discover the audiences who actively engage with your competitors’ content, what kind of content they enjoy, and what trends they’re searching for.

Read more: Your Guide to Competitive Content Analysis for SEO

How To Find Competitor Weaknesses

Discovering your competitors’ weaknesses is a great way to plan and explore your content marketing strategy. Here’s a list of approaches to take to find your competitor’s weaknesses:

1. Conduct a Content Audit

Performing a content audit is the first step to discovering your competitors’ weaknesses. After all, an in-depth analysis can show you what types of content they’re creating and how your audience interacts with it all. Besides, conducting a content audit of your competitors makes it easier to assess the kind of material they’re producing and if it benefits or hurts their content marketing strategy. Here’s a list of some questions to ask while assessing competitor blogs and articles:

  • How well do they rank on the SERPs?
  • Do they produce a certain kind of content more frequently than others?
  • Do they create content that others don’t?
  • Which of their content gets the most engagement?
  • Is content authoritative and high-quality?

These areas show you where your team can find opportunities to create unique content where others aren’t.

2. Analyze Online Reviews

At the end of the day, the goal is to appeal to your audience. Therefore, listening to what they’re saying about your competitors makes sense. In light of this, you should explore online reviews to discover patterns and gaps you can leverage during your competitive content analysis.

An essential component of any competitor analysis is determining what the audience says about their products, content, and brand. After all, reviews—good or bad—can help you discover competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and understand the effectiveness of their content marketing strategy.

3. Evaluate SEO Approaches

Even if your competitors are creating high-quality content tailored to audiences, SEO still matters. So when you look for competitor weaknesses, you should also focus on how well they optimize content for search. One approach is to pick out existing content and study what keywords competitors are targeting, the search intent behind these ranking key phrases, and the structure of the search terms. Some additional elements to look at here include:

  • Post titles
  • Title tags
  • URL structure
  • Metadata—meta descriptions, title tags, and alt text
  • Linking structures for internal and external links
  • Keyword density

Read more: SEO Competitor Analysis: How and Why to Do It

4. Do a Social Media Audit

In addition to conducting a content audit, you also want to do a social media audit. But why is this? Analyzing your competitors’ social media strategies can show you how they promote posts, how audiences engage, and what the content weaknesses are in their approaches.

This is where you discover the platforms they’re using and review their content, followers, posting frequency, tone, and responses to different kinds of posts. For instance, if a competitor uses a particular social media platform successfully, you might adjust your strategy to include that channel as well. Likewise, a channel that competitors aren’t having success with can give you an idea of what you might want to avoid.

5. Fill Content Gaps

Content gaps are any aspect of your content campaign that your competitor needs to be exploring. But how do you find these gaps? Finding the content weaknesses in your competitor’s analysis may be done in a few different ways, including doing a content audit and looking for “low-hanging fruit.”

This low-hanging fruit includes keywords your competitors are ranking for that your content doesn’t cover. Unfortunately, your audience is already searching for these keywords and generating traffic for your competitors. So once you identify these “fruits,” you can study how your competitors use these keywords, along with how you can use them to make more unique content.

Discovering these competitor weaknesses can also uncover related long-tail keywords that your audience is also searching for. When you’re looking at a competitor content audit, here are some questions you want to ask:

  • How accurate is the content?
  • Are there spelling and grammatical errors?
  • What details does the content cover, and what does it leave out?
  • What’s the tone of the content?

Discovering how the audience responds to the content helps you find the gaps that you should target in your content strategy. At CopyPress, we use our content analysis tool to do just that. With the in-depth report it provides, we can find competitor weaknesses that mean extra opportunities for your business to create high-quality, relevant content.

By comparing your site to your competitors, your CopyPress analysis shows you where to pinpoint your SEO efforts to improve your content strategy. Get the rundown and find out how to leverage your competitors’ content weaknesses.

What Can Competitor Weaknesses Tell You?

Every successful brand or business performs competitor analysis periodically. But what kind of insight do your competitor’s weaknesses give you? Here are several insights you can gain from looking closely at competitor weaknesses:

How You Can Improve Your USPs

A unique value proposition (UVP) or, more commonly, a unique selling proposition (USP), is a statement that represents your product or service’s unique selling point. More specifically, it’s what differentiates you from your competitors.

Your USPs detail your product or service’s specific advantages, why your target market should select your product over the competition, and how your solution resolves their problems. By examining your competitors’ weaknesses, you can gain insights into lapses in your USPs and discover how your brand can gain an advantage in the market.

Where to Leverage Gaps

Gaps in the market are simply areas or needs that businesses and brands aren’t yet filling. So competitor weaknesses are valuable insights for uncovering content gaps. If your competitors fail to meet specific content goals, this creates content weaknesses that you can leverage to position your brand’s content in search.

Think about it. If your competitors focus mainly on blog posts and aren’t present on social media platforms, you can use this information to guide your social content strategies.

What Benchmarks to Set

When you conduct competitive analysis, it is usually a way of measuring your competitor’s strategy compared to yours. With competitive content analysis, you can discover a benchmark—a point of reference for measuring growth.

By analyzing competitor weaknesses, you can discover how the market responds to their content, how they measure growth, and how your content strategy stacks up. This data then serves as a guide for improving your strategy.

How To Improve Products and Services

Since you’re targeting the same audience as competitors in your niche, you can use the information you get from customer reviews, social insights, and content analysis to find ways to improve your products and services. This is equally important when creating content for the web and social media. Your competitors’ weaknesses can show you which areas to focus on to plan a successful content strategy.

Read more: Competitor Analysis Focuses On…? 10 Key Areas To Watch

Using Competitor Weaknesses to Guide Your Content Strategies

Here are some tips to help you leverage your competitor’s weaknesses while planning a content strategy that will improve your online rank and broaden your online footprint:

1. Cover Content Areas the Competition Ignores

Is there content your competitors aren’t leveraging? For instance, when you conduct a content audit, you discover their top-performing and lowest-performing content. You can then use this information to build on content ideas for your brand.

They may focus more on blog posts while neglecting their email marketing strategy. This is a weakness you can build on when planning your content strategy. You can also evaluate the quality of their content and how you can create better ones.

2. Use Their SEO Template to Reinforce Yours

You can use competitor weaknesses to improve your SEO structure and improve content rankings. Pay attention to primary keywords and additional relevant search terms. Likewise, look at how competitor content incorporates images and optimizes graphics for SEO.

In addition, competitors’ backlinking strategies can tell you which high-authority websites are linking back to their content. Using this data, you can then plan a better backlink strategy to include promotion and guest posting on high-authority, expert platforms.

3. Improve Social Media Integration

Using analysis to guide your strategy can also mean updating your social media platforms effectively. Look closely at competitor weaknesses to analyze and adjust your social media integration. As you gather insights from analysis to plan your strategies, consider these questions to guide the process:

  • Are they active on social media?
  • What kind of information are they posting?
  • How frequently do they post?
  • Do they have an on-brand cover or profile picture?
  • Do their profiles look professional and inviting?
  • How many people do they follow?

After that, compare your social media activity with theirs and use these competitor insights to improve your social media profile. Then, maintain consistency with your team in managing these accounts.

4. Plan Your Content Types

Competitor weaknesses can also help you plan the best content formats for your marketing campaign. After all, if you share a similar target market, your audience will likely feel the same about specific content formats.

That said, if a specific content format doesn’t generate a lot of engagement for your competition, it might be best to leverage alternatives or drastically improve upon the existing standard. Thankfully, there are different options, including written content like blog posts and ebooks, along with audio and video content like podcasts and webinars.

Read more: How To Do Competitive Analysis to Boost Your Content Strategy

Team Up with CopyPress and Improve Your Content Strategy

In the ever-evolving digital world, you must continuously come up with fresh, creative ways to plan and execute your content marketing strategy to stay ahead of your competitors. And with Google updates to ranking signals and search algorithms, it can be tough to keep up with a successful SEO strategy.

That’s why CopyPress is teaming up with Search Engine Journal to bring you all the info you need to stay up-to-date on the Helpful Content and Google core updates. Grab a spot at the Helpful Content webinar and get the insights you need to boost your SEO and create a successful content marketing strategy.


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