Comment marketing: How to drive more traffic to your content
So, you’ve got some great content on your website, but you’re still struggling to drive inbound traffic and convert that into valuable leads. This is a problem familiar to many online marketing newbies, and fortunately there are all sorts of ways that the right content marketing strategy can make a difference.
How to get more visitors to your site
From a new SEO approach through to a slightly different style of content, there’s no denying that brilliant content marketing is an art, and like art it’s a field that goes through distinct phases over time. One of these phases was ‘comment marketing,’ which was huge five or so years ago, but has died down quite a bit since. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s not a valuable strategy. In fact, there’s been something of a resurgence surrounding comment marketing, with big names in the world of content marketing like Moz all identifying it as one of 2017’s hot topics.
“Comment marketing has not lost any of its power and influence. In fact, because fewer people are doing it today than were five or six years ago, especially in the digital marketing world, it’s actually become increasingly influential,” explains Moz’s content marketing guru Rand Fishkin.
With comment marketing garnering more and more attention thanks to focus from industry leaders, now is the time to think about implementing it as a strategy – before everybody else starts doing it again!
What is comment marketing?
In today’s online world, comments aren’t given a huge amount of cachet, and in many cases they are seen in quite a negative light. For proof, look no further than the comments on a popular YouTube video, or news post on Facebook. The comments section is an arena where anything goes, and while this can sometimes bring out the worst in people, it also provides all sorts of opportunities for savvy businesses.
This is what comment marketing is all about, leaving comments on the right posts, at the right time and in the right way to draw traffic to your business’s website and drive leads. There are also all sorts of other benefits to a well-placed comment, going far beyond a few extra click-throughs.
For example, commenting on posts shared by leaders in your industry can create discussion and help build your professional network – in much the same way as a great social media strategy. Another benefit is simply being seen as ‘active’ within your sector, which helps to push your brand as an industry leader in its own right.
Of course, if comment marketing were simple, everybody would be doing it. There’s a fine line between being an engaging, switched-on thought leader and being ‘spammy,’ which is part of what led to comment marketing reaching a breaking point and disappearing for a while, as explained by DIYMarketers:
“Comments like “Hey there, great post, pal! Check out my website at [link]” swept the Internet, and Google even started penalising for such a spammy link-building technique.”
The keys to comment marketing
The question then, is how businesses can strategically comment on other pieces of content in such a way that they draw traffic and build their network without appearing spammy. Here are a few top tips to keep in mind:
- Stay on topic: If your comment is only tangentially related to the post in question, you’re not going to come off very well. Try to keep your content relevant to the discussion, and wherever possible try to build on the topic with your own insights that show thought leadership.
- Add value to the discussion: A lot of comments threads quickly spiral into circular debates, which isn’t the style most brands want to be associated with. Stay above the arguments and focus on adding some interesting points of your own that supplement the original content.
- Proofread: Just like with all of the content that a business puts online, proofreading and editing is critical. Before posting anything, make sure your spelling and grammar are on point to present your brand in the most professional light possible.
- Don’t hide or overstate your intentions: A lot of comment marketing swings too far in one of two directions. It either shamelessly links to a website or tries to add value without being upfront about where the information is coming from. It’s perfectly acceptable to explain where you’re coming from and why you’re commenting on a particular post, but make sure you’re not doing so at the expense of the three previous tips.
As always in content marketing, strategy is key. If you go into the comments section without a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish or the overall approach you want to take, it’s highly likely that the method won’t work properly. It’s also critical to make sure your website blog content matches up with your comment marketing. Nobody wants to click on a link and be taken to a site with low-quality content that doesn’t deliver on what the comment promised.
Of course, comments are valuable in many more ways than just driving traffic to your site. It’s also important not to neglect the comments section of your own posts when they’re shared on social media. Check back in next month, where we’ll take a closer look at how businesses can create engagement within their audiences by facilitating discussion on mediums like Facebook and Twitter.