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How To Reverse Engineer Content Strategy

You all know I love content marketing. Viral short-form vids, strategic SEO plays, email collection, long-form videos, etc…

There’s nothing better.

So, I’m going to show you how I reverse engineer social growth and organic content, and where to find what your competitor’s audience consumes.

For the sake of this example - let’s say I’m running an athletic apparel brand for runners.

Here’s how I’d reverse engineer content strategy.


1. Start With The Data

We’re going to look at Tracksmith. A competitor in the space.

I always start with a growth chart. Specifically, one from Social Blade.

And I’m looking for one thing: Outlier Growth

When a chart starts taking off like this - I take note.

And ask myself: Why did it spike?

This is where reverse engineering comes into play.

During the week of Jan 22nd - 29th Tracksmith gained 11.2k followers.

2. Find Their Best-Performing Content


Next, I use Viralfindr.

Because there I can insert a username and get all top-performing content in one place.

Ex:

Here I’m observing:

  • Content Types
  • Content Formats
  • Content Purpose
  • Content Story

And then I’m looking for common denominators.

For Tracksmith, five out of their top six posts are:

  • IG reels
  • Branded storytelling
  • Awareness driven
  • “For the love” of running (campaign)

3. How To Scale This


To scale this info, I’m going to SparkToro and plugging in @Tracksmith.

Select “My audience follows the social account” and plug in Tracksmith’s IG URL.

Results:

Now, I’m running through the same steps.

Take the “Runner’s World” username and plug it into ViralFindr.

I’m observing the same things:

  • Content Types
  • Content Formats
  • Content Purpose
  • Content Story

And again looking for common denominators.

For Runner’s World, the top six posts are:

  • Graphics
  • News & Story Based
  • Awareness Driven
  • History or Running Headlines

Then I’m continuing this drill through on all the accounts listed in Sparktoro.

Because I want to have concrete answers to these 4 questions:

  • What content types does my audience or a similar audience like to consume?
  • What content formats does my audience or similar audience engage with?
  • What is the best content for specific goals? (Ex: Awareness, Sales)
  • What stories resonate with my audience or similar audience?

With these answers, I have a good base to build a content strategy from.

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