One Winning Content Strategy – Check your Competitors
Stop looking for new ideas for your Content Marketing strategy and start comparing yourself with your competition.
The next endeavor that you should focus your energy on relating to content marketing is in making a direct one-on-one comparison between you and your competition.
How can you be sure that this is a good idea? If you put yourself in your future client’s shoes and analyze their point of view, you will observe that before choosing either your or your competition’s services, the first thing that they do intuitively is to make a comparison of those offering the same services as you do.
According to a study carried out by GE Capital Retail Bank, 60% of consumers begin their research using a search engine before going to the final page where they will make their purchase.
It is in this context that even the organic predictive results from Google itself suggest creating content based on what others have previously searched for. One example to consider is by comparing different software solutions for customer service:
At the end of the day, it is the potential client that is interested in this comparison and there is nobody better than you who can provide it for them.
Without going too far, in case you don’t do it, a third party like Software Advice (who has been in business for over 10 years) will redact this content in order to generate leads and then sell them to you, or even worse, to your competitor:
But what is the correct manner for creating this content, even when you must also talk about your competition?
Fair and clear comparison
The starting point is in putting together a comparison that is accurate, even if it means you are not the winner in all of the categories.
If you reveal some facts about your competition and they are not correct, the user comparing the data before making a decision will realize this and it will end up being a negative strategy for your investment in content marketing instead of being a positive one.
The wisest thing to do is show a simple chart comparing yourself with 2 or 3 of the most well-known competitors in your sector:
It is not just a comparison chart
Even though the most didactic way of doing a comparison is by using a chart, it does not always have to end there.
Before the user sees the comparison, you can share with them the things that differentiate you from the competition and explain to them why they should choose you:
Avoid using many words, prioritize images
Following the example which we began with, where we compared different services for customer service, one that I would like you to notice in detail because of its excellency in development is that which Intercom did with a special landing page.
Anyone can say they are better than their competition in “being the most user-friendly,” “fastest,” “having the best technology,” or even “with customized service 24 hours a day” but the goal is that you show them how you do this. And the best way to do this is with visual examples, images.
And why not even use a video, as the people at HelpScout did in order to compare their tool with Zendesk:
Don´t forget to close the sale
This strategy for content marketing should end with a call to action in order to close the sale.
Try doing this with a free trial period in order to avoid any objections the client may have and so that they can start using your service right away.
If you can make it so that the user can use your software before that of your competition you will have the advantage in the fact that they will dedicate more time in figuring out how your service works, adapting to your procedures.
Highlight user reviews
When we did A/B trials for finding out which content worked best in our company while comparing us with the competition, we realized that the greatest conversions were achieved when we highlighted what our clients said (reviews).
This idea came about when we saw the survey that BrightLocal carried out, which showed that 88% of clients said they trust online reviews just as if they were personal recommendations.
An example is what FreshBooks does with their content which compares themselves to QuickBooks (the leader in the market for accounting software) specifically utilizing reviews from people who left the competition behind and united with them:
Always leave space for frequently asked questions
Lastly, don’t forget to answer the most common questions that these potential clients may have at the moment of making a decision to hire your services or those of your competition.
If you can answer their doubts before any other, definitely the possibilities of gaining the user will be more in your favor:
Handling this strategy for content marketing as a sales landing page is the most recommended method. The comparison chart should be the base upon which the content is written, accompanied by a sales call to action, images, comments, and frequently asked questions. This is the method I suggest that you follow.
Another option for this type of content is to use more general content such as: “What are the 5 best accounting tools for a business?” And there you could include your company in the list instead of a side-by-side comparison that we saw previously. But always follow the concepts we just went over.
The most important thing to consider is that now it is in your hands and not those of a third party to offer a comparison between your services and those of your competition. It is your duty to show the advantages that differentiate you and thus be able to successfully close the sale at the time the user is making a final decision.
The source of this knowledge and its redaction was shared by Cristian Rennella, Computer Engineer and Professor of the Catholic University of Argentina. Director of Marketing at MejorTrato for Mexico. His passion in the past few years has been centered around the developing entrepreneurship in South America.