Making comments on popular blogs, forums and social media pages can be a smart and effective way to build your brand. Getting it right can be tricky though—you have to have a good strategy and stick with it, and you definitely don’t want to come off as too salesy.
Comment marketing is an inexpensive strategy that can help you attract the right audience, build relationships, build a social media following and increase your brand visibility. And with fewer brands engaging in comment markeing than 5 or 10 years ago, it can be easy to stand out.
Here are some tips to help you develop a successful comment marketing game plan:
1. Determine Your Goals
Start with the big picture—what are you trying to accomplish with your comment marketing? The most obvious answer is usually to drive traffic and get more leads, but you may have other goals as well. Comment marketing can be a great way to build your social media following, and develop relationships with people who have influence. One of your goals might be to start a dialogue with the author of a popular blog in hopes they will feature your business or something you’ve done, work with you on a collaborative project, or maybe do a guest post on your blog.
2. Find the Right Places to Comment
Once you’ve figured out what your goals are, you need to find the right places to comment. Look for places with lively, relevant communities and comment sections. These can be blogs, but they can also be forums, Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or other social outlets. If most of your business is done locally, look for local groups or publications. Pick the ones that are most popular, and concentrate on a few. Three to six outlets are usually a good starting point. Remember, comment marketing revolves around building your reputation, so you’ll get much better results from being a regular commenter in a few places than posting one or two comments in a few hundred.
3. Get to Know Your Communities
Before you start commenting on a blog or in a forum, it helps to go through some of the old posts and comments to get a sense of the community you want to engage with. Learn what kinds of responses are the most popular, and what sorts of rules or guidelines there are for commenting. How do other businesses or organizations represent themselves? Take the time to create your user profile in each place you comment. Make sure your profile represents your brand well, and that it links to your own website or blog.
4. Add Unique Value
This, of course, is the single most important part of any effective comment marketing strategy. If you want to stand out, you can’t just offer praise, repeat what’s been said in other comments or cover things that are common knowledge. Stay on topic and always be professional, but most of all, make sure you are contributing to the conversation by adding new insight, context, examples, data, advice or relevant resources.
5. Be Transparent
Don’t try to hide the fact that you are an ambassador for your brand, but don’t try to force it into the conversation either. Use your profile to link to your organization, but make sure you follow community guidelines and avoid putting links in your comments. Unless there’s a really good reason for it, it can easily get your post removed or turn people off.
6. Be First
Earlier comments usually get the most attention. Set up an alert system so you can read and respond when a post is first published.
7. Make It Part of a Comprehensive Strategy
Promoting the posts you comment on in your blog and on your social media can help build your social media presence and boost your comment ratings. It can also help you build business relationships and drive traffic to your site. If authors are aware that you’re promoting their content, there’s a good chance they’ll promote your content too, or be willing to work with you in other ways.
8. Measure Your Results
Measuring the results of comment marketing can be tricky, but you can see how many people visit your site from the places you comment, and watch for upticks in your social media following.
Need help with implementing an effective comment marketing strategy? Call or email CrucialContent.