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Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing by Lee Odden

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CHAPTER 3

Smart Marketing Requires Intelligence: Research, Audit, and Listen

Long before an army goes into battle, intelligence organizations are busy collecting and analyzing information about the opposing threat. The right information and insight could lead to a much more advantageous outcome. Inaccurate information or an absence of competitive research can lead to disaster.

In the competitive world of content marketing, search, and social media optimization, it’s essential for companies of all sizes and industries to understand their online marketplace in order to gain a business advantage and develop a competitive strategy. This chapter covers several key areas of assessment, including the search and social landscape and website SEO readiness.

The approach to competitive search and social media research can vary widely by situation, but it’s essentially always going to involve some kind of information capture, assessment, and comparison. A new business entering a competitive market with companies that have mature Internet marketing programs may need to uncover key weaknesses in their competitors’ marketing efforts in order to compete “David and Goliath” style. In a situation with companies that have very similar levels of Internet marketing resources and effort, competitive research may uncover weaknesses or unrealized opportunities that can create advantage. In all cases, an understanding of the competitive search and social media landscape will help content marketers differentiate ...

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