How To Harness The Power Of Blog Comments In Your Content Marketing Campaign
Blogs are the star of the show in most content marketing campaigns. If you can write high-quality articles that appeal to your target demographics, you should have no trouble attracting the audience you want (and seeing a return on your investment).
There are plenty of ways to support that work, including building links and sharing your work on social media, but one of the most overlooked and underrated ways to promote your blog is found right within the blog itself — the comment section.
If you can learn to harness the power of blog comments, both on your own blog and the blogs of others, you’ll be able to generate far more traffic to your blog.
Managing Comments on Your Blog
Let’s start with looking at how you can manage comments on your own blog. The goals here are to encourage more active participation from your readers, attract more loyal, consistent readers, and forge a closer connection to your audience (in part so you can learn more about them):
· Be active. First and foremost, you need to be active in the comments section. This will show your readers that you care about them, and make it more likely that they’ll leave a response. Plus, each comment you leave is another chance for you to gain visibility, and allows you to reach out to a new person, so quantity and consistency can add up to big results.
· Get personal. While you might be tempted to reply to comments as a corporate brand, it’s better to comment as a real person, ideally speaking from a personal voice. Sharing an anecdote and relating on an emotional level are easy ways to build trust and rapport with your audience.
· Filter spammy responses. All bloggers eventually have to deal with comment spam, whether it’s bot-driven comments designed to siphon traffic from you, or individual people trying to market their own materials on their blog. Fortunately, there are some easy strategies (many of them automated) that you can use to filter blog comment spam. With these in place, you can prevent comments like these from ever getting through, or at least gain awareness so you can deal with them appropriately.
· Recognize top users. After a few weeks to a few months, you should notice there are a handful of readers who are more active than others. These are your most loyal followers, and they deserve to be rewarded. Go out of your way to acknowledge their efforts, and do whatever it takes to make them know they’re appreciated.
· Choose topics likely to drive conversation. If you want your readers to leave more comments, and keep that comment field active, make sure you choose topics that lend themselves to conversation. For example, controversial topics almost always generate a heated debate.
· Keep the conversation going. If you see a lively conversation unfolding in your blog comments, make sure you get involved — and stoke the flames of conversation! The longer that comment thread goes, the more visibility you’re likely to receive.
Making Comments on Other Blogs
You can also make use of the comments sections of other blogs and forums, acting as a reader and community member, rather than a thought leader or writer alone:
· Choose your targets strategically. Ideally, comment only on blogs that fall squarely in your company’s niche, or your realm of expertise. However, you’ll also want to make sure it’s a blog with enough authority and visibility to attract attention to your work. Finding the balance can be difficult here, so take your time, and only comment where you feel it’s truly appropriate.
· Use a personal brand. Rather than posting as your company or organization, you’ll want to use a personal brand here. Corporate comments will likely be filtered as spam, but a personal approach is practically untouchable.
· Prove you’ve read the blog. Don’t launch into your own opinions immediately; instead, leave a comment that recognizes the core content of the blog. Otherwise, you may come across as self-promotional, or ignorant to the topic at hand.
· Show your expertise. If you can, show off your expertise. You can do this by offering a counterpoint to the main point of the blog post, linking a statistic that backs up a point in the copy, or by offering advice (when it’s solicited). This will draw more attention to your comments, and may help you build a bigger following for the personal brand you’re using.
· Avoid being self-promotional. It’s tempting to pitch your business or your products in the space of your blog comment, but this kind of outright promotional behavior is frowned upon, by both other readers and blog writers.
· But still include occasional links as long as they add value. Still, the value of link building can’t be understated. Occasionally, where appropriate, include links back to your blog in your external comments. As long as you’re citing a specific fact, or are otherwise providing value to the discussion, you should be fine.
Blog comments take time and effort, but you’ll be amazed at how much value they can add to your strategy. You won’t notice the effects immediately, but if you’re consistent in applying these strategies over time, you’ll earn more referral traffic, a better reputation for your brand, more traffic, and ultimately, a more loyal audience.
For more content like this, be sure to check out my podcast, The Entrepreneur Cast!