Content marketing needs to engage your readers and followers for it to be successful. Your fans need to want to talk about your content and share it with their network – they need to become your brand’s ambassadors.
This post will explore why comments are beneficial and ways to increase the number of comments you receive.
Benefits of blog comments
According to eConsultancy, the number one reason companies embark on a content marketing campaign is to increase engagement. There is good reason to identify increased engagement as the main purpose behind content marketing: when people are more engaged you benefit from greater brand awareness, higher levels of trust, and people perceive your brand as more likeable.
A blog is a self-contained online community where like-minded people gather, read, learn, and share. People follow and subscribe to blogs because they want to learn from the content, from the author, and from the community.
There are five ways blog comments are different from comments received on other social networks:
- More blog comments shows your readers and visitors that you’ve developed an self-contained online community
- Blog comments are more likely to help you achieve businesses related goals than comments received on social networks
- The more comments you receive, the more attractive your blog and brand become
- Comments and exchanges with blog commenters show you have credibility and establish you as an authority
- The more people engage with your blog, the easier it becomes to attract people to guest post for you
There are three specific ways in which blog comments make your website stronger.
As noted above, the top concern of businesses engaging in content marketing is to increase engagement with their audience. Comments and your responses to those comments clearly increase engagement and this will help to achieve this goal.
People will comment on your blog post for many reasons – they may want to expand on your post or may want to present contrary points. Either way, you are receiving more information on a subject that is clearly of interest to your readers. More comments will give you more angles for future post.
Another benefit is that search engines love fresh content. Each comment increases the freshness of your site and pleases the search gods.
People will likely use the keywords that you used in your post when writing their comments. This produces more keyword-rich content for your site and, again, helps improve your search engine optimization. The better your SEO, the more traffic you’ll generate.
How to pull comments out of your readers
Your blog needs to make people feel welcome and comfortable if you want them to leave comments. Here are some proven tips and tricks.
1. Ask for comments
Calls to action are an important part of any content marketing campaign. You can’t assume people know what actions you want them to take – tell them what actions they should take.
It’s best to use a customized blog comment statement at the end of each blog post. Using the same comment call to action on each post will get boring and your regular readers will see it for what it is – laziness.
Have a look at the bottom of this post from Social Media Examiner. It’s a great example of how you can use a call to action to generate comments.
2. Make commenters feel appreciated
I said it earlier in this post and I will say it again: a blog is a community. You need to foster and build a sense of community.
Part of this process is showing you appreciate people’s efforts to read and comment on your posts. The best way to show appreciation is by responding to comments that are left for you. Read the comment, look for the most intelligent part of the comment and leave a reply commenting on it.
This will pay huge dividends in the long run.
3. Tap into emotion
Try to tap into people’s anger about a certain topic or tickle their funny bone with a gag. People love to laugh – tap into this urge shared by many.
4. Have a comment policy
Your blog, like any community, needs to have rules for what is and is not acceptable. Setting commenting rules will help create a comfortable and safe environment in which people can participate.
Your commenting policy will depend greatly on your audience – taking the time to get to know them is essential and it is also the reason your comment policy should not be written in stone. Here are several factors to consider when creating your policy:
- Will you edit comments for spelling and grammar mistakes?
- Will you allow self-promotion?
- How much debate are you willing to accept?
- How will you define a negative comment and will you allow negative comments?
There are many great policies that currently exist and the Social Media DIY Workshop provides some excellent examples.
5. Welcome debate
If you blog you need to know that people will disagree with you and they won’t always be respectful. The problem a lot of bloggers face is that you need to do more than merely tolerate contrary opinion, you need to invite it.
When you enter into debates and discussions with contrary commenters, you will find that it makes you a better writer and will improve the arguments you put forth in future blog posts.
Let us know what you think. Do you have a blog comment policy? Let us see it. Have you tried these tactics to increase the number of comments you get? How have they worked?