Providing the best customer service and experience online means that you become consumers’ go-to information source, treating information like a product.
Thanks to the internet and mobile devices with web services, customers are now in complete control and can filter out the noise or messages that do not benefit them.
As a result, brand managers must build strong relationships with their audience by providing consistently valuable, relevant and helpful information—whatever the source is.
With the rise in popularity of content marketing, it is important to treat information like a product. If you do so, you can sell, cross-sell and up-sell more products and services, helping you drive business growth.
You must report on your industry just as mainstream journalists or modern online media sources do, in an array of formats, such as text, video and images.
Sharing content from or linking to your competitors, though counterintuitive, can work to your advantage. Here’s why:
1. Google frames your industry and your company’s identity.
Sometimes others’ content is better than your own. Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics, links to his competitors multiple times a week, because he feels that is doing what is best for his users.
In his video, he explains that he puts users first and ensures they get a great user experience from his website, so they come back. Forty percent of his monthly traffic is from repeat visitors.
Patel says Google determines what your website is about when you link to your competitors and other industry sites. This linking helps Google determine where to rank your website. By linking to competitors, they might link back to you, boosting your search engine rankings.
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2. You convey confidence about your company.
Sharing your competitors’ content can show your social media followers you are confident in your company and the products and services you are selling.
Your company is a news outlet, so report relevant stories.
3. People already know your competitors.
Look at your company page on LinkedIn. It shows similar companies to yours (your competitors).
Your clients or prospects will probably ask industry analysts (such as Gartner and Forrester) about your competitors or similar companies anyway. By sharing and linking to your competitors’ content, you can control the conversation while conveying confidence that your brand has nothing to hide.
4. It increases trust and loyalty.
You build trust with your audience over many years. To keep earning that trust, you must share and create valuable, relevant content daily. Your audience will keep coming back for more and become loyal to your brand, because you provide helpful and insightful information.
Your competitors’ content is worth sharing—if it is helpful and informative.
5. It makes you better at what you do.
Sharing and linking to your competitors’ content can enhance your own content. The goal is to help your audience, so you must understand what your clients or prospects might be reading.
Ask yourself: What makes their content great? What makes it worth sharing? Can you use the idea(s) presented in their content and expand upon it?
He wrote an article about the two major fiberglass pool manufacturers in his industry. The article has been read thousands of times, it ranks first for many keyword phrases, and most of the comments asked his company for tips about which brand to choose.
Sheridan’s bottom line: Stop caring about the competition and start answering customers’ questions, in part by linking to the best content available.
Be confident in your work, and don’t fear your competition.
By sharing and linking to your competitors’ content, you can make sure your readers and followers are more loyal. It also helps you become a go-to source of information and increases the likelihood of you getting traffic and shares back from your competition.
Remember, if it benefits your community, share it.