Talking about your competition on your blog can be all kinds of awkward. Maybe you don’t want to bring them up in the first place, but you can’t avoid mentioning them because they have done or achieved something you want to talk about. Maybe you’re worried about their reaction. Maybe you’re worried about the reaction of your own audience – what if they don’t like it?
Let’s dive into some of these issues and see how (and why) you should be discussing your competition on your own blog.
Discussing your competition: compelling reasons to do it
Your initial reaction to the title of this article might be “Why on earth should I talk about my competition in the first place,” which is only natural and to be expected.
And you’d be raising a very valid point. If you show your readers plenty of other options, you will naturally also consider they might be likely to go to that other place you’ve pointed out to do their shopping or book a service.
However, here’s the thing: online customers are already more informed than ever. They know how to check a company out, they know there are other fish in the sea, and they know they always have an alternative.
If you choose to be open and honest, talk about the things others are not talking about. That’s how you will be the one grabbing their attention, and not your competition.
It shows honesty
When talking about your product or service and that of a competitor, you’ll be coming across as more honest than is expected of most companies. That is, of course, if you really are completely honest. No visitor will think you’re actually trying to persuade them to shop somewhere else, but they will appreciate the option and place their trust in your transparency.
It puts you at the forefront
If you post an article comparing your products to that of a competitor, you’ll be doing something others are not ready to do. That instantly puts you out there as a thought-leader and an industry forerunner, one who is ready to take on new challenges and work on growth and improvement.
It brings you new traffic
A lot of shoppers like to read comparison pieces before they decide to make a purchase. While most of these articles are written by third parties, most of them are also often biased, either sponsored by or affiliated with a brand.
When you, as a brand, choose to write a post of this kind, you will be ranking for keywords you never ranked for before, and you will be speaking with more authority than anyone outside the industry ever can. After all, you are the subject matter expert here.
This will help your rankings and attract traffic you wouldn’t otherwise have had a chance to attract, as some users will not visit a brand website before they’ve read a review as well.
How to write about your competitors
Now that you know mentioning your competition can actually be a good thing, let’s explore how to go about it and how to craft articles that will appeal to audiences.
You can (but don’t have to) mention yourself
If you are writing a “best in” or a review article about a product or service you also offer, you might think it’s perfectly logical to put yourself at the top of that list.
That would be fine, and you can, of course, go down that route. On the other hand, you can put yourself further down the list, especially if you are honest about the reality of things and concede there might be bigger and more famous brands than yours out there.
You can also do something completely counterintuitive and not mention yourself at all. Think about it: people are already engaging with your brand, they are on your website, and they are reading your opinions. You can leave a CTA directing them to check out your services, without mentioning yourself on the list at all.
Either of these ways can work well, depending on your industry and niche, its competitiveness, and what other similar articles are doing, so do some research before you make your decision.
Say things as they really are (within reason)
Being honest and transparent in these kinds of articles is always the trickiest part.
Try to write the article as if you were completely unbiased (or have someone else rewrite it to remove any bias). If a competitor’s product or service has a clear flaw, don’t be afraid to say it like it is, and point this out. Of course, make sure you’re not being spiteful or hurtful, and be objective.
Also, don’t shy away from claiming you’re the best, and you can see how this is done elegantly in the example of Aura’s article on Amazon repricers. If you have a feature that clearly sets you apart and makes you better than the rest, this is a statement you can reasonably make.
The more informed, the better
These kinds of articles are most often read by an audience that is looking for concrete information to help them make a purchasing decision. So, write for them.
Add as much information as you can about yourself and the different competitors, and make sure all the information is actually correct. Don’t be vague about a competitor and very informative about yourself – this will clearly show your bias and be counterproductive.
Don’t write competitor articles if you don’t have anything to bring to the table – they will only make you seem envious and conceited. If there is nothing you are contributing and there is very little value in the article, don’t write it at all.
When executed with a fair amount of objectivity and without any malice, writing about your competition is a great way to get noticed by customers and leads. Make sure you stick to the advice we’ve listed above, and you’ll have no trouble writing an article that features some of your most prominent competitors.