Looking for examples of "Big 5" Comparison Articles!

Posted June 3, 2021 in
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Connor DeLaney

"If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original."

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If you've read They Ask, You Answer before, then you know the importance of writing comparison articles for your prospective buyers. 

As I work to put together an upcoming comparison article, I want to get some inspiration (and give you the opportunity to flex your They Ask, You Answer muscles) by sharing some examples you and your team have created! 

When you share, feel free to include interesting info about the article, including:
  • What did the process look like for creating the article? Was there any pushback from your company or competitors? 
  • What made this article valuable for your prospective buyers?
  • Are there any metrics or results that came from it since being published? 
Keven Ellison   Adam Stahl   Kaitlyn Pintarich   Kate Vinnedge   Lex Russell care to get this thread started? 

Also,  Kevin Phillips   Brian Casey   Jennifer Barrell   Jolie Higazi feel free to tag any organizations you've been working with who outta show off their Big 5 skills! 

Can't wait to see what y'all have to share so I can get some real-world inspo!
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Kaitlyn Pintarich
We've been publishing a lot of Big 5 content recently! Here are a few "best of" articles. That was certainly hard to do as we chose competitors to feature! Definitely something that took discussion and buy-in with our team. Here are a few:

Top 10 Insurance Agencies in Massachusetts (Personal and Commercial)

5 Best Insurance Agencies in the Franklin Massachusetts Area

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Connor DeLaney
Thanks  Kaitlyn Pintarich ! Love the specificity here too with location. Was there a criteria you followed for certain competitors vs others?

BTW, did you know I'm a fellow Massachusettser now? :) 
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Kaitlyn Pintarich
I did not know that! How awesome, whereabouts? I happen to know an AMAZING insurance agency if you ever need any help! ;-)

So for criteria on the articles, we looked at agencies that had a lot of recommendations in local community FB groups first, used our own knowledge of the good local ones, chose ones that have a certain state designation, and also chose based on name/brand recognition. We had a lot of great options to choose from!
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Connor DeLaney
Quincy, MA! About 20-minute train from South Station :) And I've heard some rumors about this agency 😉  Might have to give them a nudge sometime. 

And that's awesome! Were there any that had been mentioned to you or your team during a sales conversation? I think back to They Ask, You Answer with Marcus's pool comparisons and how so often prospects would ask about competitors and what they thought. Love the community-focused research btw, it's awesome to know there's a community out there for everything! 
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Kaitlyn Pintarich
Its funny, we don't often hear from prospects on what we think of competitors. But we always try to be polite and impartial when speaking about others. There are so many great agents in the state that there is a home for everyone. And funny enough, we don't ever find that we compete against one particular agency over another, which is also a great thing.
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Lex Russell
Not sure if you’re looking for purely comparison articles or best of articles. So why not both?

We don’t have a lot of purely “comparison/versus” articles when it comes to our services.

Here are a couple that may be slightly relevant:

  • No, we don’t sell office furniture. But, this is mostly a search play for people looking for office space. We appear to be on the first page for “commercial furniture leasing” but there are a lot of keywords we should be better optimizing for. (Adding this one to my list to audit this week!)

  • Since we are a local firm, a lot of our content is focused on the city of Austin. If companies move here, we potentially get business. So sometimes we are selling our city rather than our services - but this supports our goal of being the people who know Austin best and our tagline - No One Knows Austin Better.

We have quite a few “best of” articles based on our different service lines/specialties, all linked at the bottom of this main article: 8 Best Commercial Real Estate Companies in Austin, Texas

I can’t speak to their initial creation since most of them were created before I was hired. 

But, one of my big goals this year is to audit all (lol) of our blog posts and I actually check in on a few of these last week.

8 Best Commercial Real Estate Companies in Austin, Texas: this one is ranking for pretty much everything we want to be on the first page for in regards to people searching for firms and is #13 on our most-viewed article list! 

The rest of our “best of” articles linked in that one aren’t really ranking for anything and don’t have many views, I probably need to play around with the titles!
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Connor DeLaney
The more the merrier  Lex Russell ! Sorry for not being very specific haha These are great and that's amazing that you're taking on the auditing and updating of this content! Similar question to what I asked Kaitlyn, do you happen to know the process Aquila took to work through the selection of the Best of articles as well as why the comparison articles you linked were picked? 

Thanks so much for putting these together and excited to hear about the updates you make with those lower-performing articles!
Lex Russell
The main "best of" article was written before I was hired but the competitors we chose to include are pretty much the only other major players in our industry & in our market. I guess it's a little easier for us to write these types of articles because it's easy to identify who we are competing with.

A lot of our brokers also came from some of our competitors' firms - so I think this is a good way to show our expertise as well.

I also completely forgot to mention our Local vs. National Commercial Real Estate Firms: Which Is Better? (Pros & Cons) article that ties in well to this convo. In our "Best of" tenant representation firms article, we separate our competitors loosely based on large national vs. smaller local firms.

Since we consider our local market knowledge to be our biggest differentiator it makes sense to create local vs. national firm comparisons in various articles.

I don't know if that answered your question so feel free to ask more!

Lauren Little  - I know you were more involved in the process of creating these, do you have anything to add?
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Connor DeLaney
That's awesome! Love this one as I'm scanning through it I can feel the understanding of local vs national and how that could influence a buyer in their decision and build trust. This is great, thanks so much Lex Russell !
Kevin Phillips
Mark Wilson Seth Slater Jared (Jed) Coffin Fearon Erica Rulevish   got any insights or content you'd like to share?
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Adam Stahl
Our most recent comparison article was driven by a sales prospecting need (which was great)!

https://www.kelsercorp.com/blog/break-fix-vs-managed-services

I have experience in both of these approaches to IT support (as a customer and a provider) so it was enjoyable to write. No pushback from competitors but it doesn't really mention any by name as it's more about different styles/approaches and the fit for each.

The value is driven in that it gives the reader context for the type of service they have today (if any) or the types of service available to them (which they may not have realized that IT support comes in multiple varieties). From there, it also walks them through fit and some cost factors as well as expectations. It kind of also gives them permission that there's no "right" answer in how you to choose to support your technology. The only right answer is  making sure that your support aligns with your goals/needs.

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