Posted by: hatool | January 30, 2011

Public Relations Blogs: Blog Comments as Marketing Tools

An interesting aspect of blogging is that the blog’s content is created not only by bloggers, but also by blog’s visitors, who can add to the blog through their comments. When you think of a blog as a marketing tool this fits quite well with current trend of moving from controlled brands to more loose defined by their public perception.

Blog Commenting as a Marketing Strategy (SEOMOZ)

SEOMOZ’s blog entry on January 25, 2011 had recommendations for blog commenting as a marketing strategy. The post is very useful for marketing professionals as it gives clear expert advice on blog commenting etiquettes and strategies.

To summarize the advice – you should read before you write [read comments, read posts], be real [real names, don’t spam], make sure your links work well [the click should land the visitor at the right place, not nearby] and don’t overdo it [no long entries, don’t post your bio] but also don’t under-do it [“Great. Thanks” is not that great].

According to the post, reasons for commenting on blogs include:

  1. Building relationships with bloggers
  2. Branding to the blog’s audience
  3. Bringing direct traffic to your site/blog by using links in comments
  4. SEO, especially if the links in the comment are eventually added to the post

Also, many effects from commenting come a while after the comment has been posted.

Connecting versus Marketing (Chris Brogan)

On Chris Brogan’s blog post from January 20, 2011 Chris claims to love the relationships with colleagues and community members who read and participate at [chrisbrogan.com] but are not his core buyers. He says sometimes he loves these relationships more than the relationships with his potential clients and customers. He says that this is “because more comes from these relationships than what comes from a typical single sale.” Chris then discusses using social media to connect. Suggesting you could grow as a professional by using social media tools including blog comments. Great quote: “Building a campfire for people to gather around never goes out of style. If you create something of interest, people respond.”

Insight on Blog Commenting

Reading through the comment threads of these top rated PR blogs I learned the following:

  1. People read comments. Moreover, people who are very interested in the subject of the blog and especially ones that are experts on the matter also contribute to blogs by commenting.
  2. Comments can bring credibility to the post’s content, endorsing it by other industry professionals
  3. One can build a community around a blog that will enhance the brand. SEOMOZ for example has built a community around its blog and the comments enhance their brand as thought leader in SEO.
  4. Comments make the blog real and through that contribute to the living brand it represents.
  5. A brand can learn what is important/interesting/controversial/… to its followers and to the public.
  6. Commenting is another touchpoint – and it’s one of the mechanisms to make brand communication circular.
  7. There’s great info in the comments – if there are top ten items in the post, likely there are five more in the comments of a top rated blog.
  8. The first few comments have higher probability of being read over and over again.
  9. Using an identifying image helps getting noticed, especially when there are many comments.
  10. People named Cheap have a hard time getting their comments posted if they use their own name.

To conclude I found commenting on posts could be used as a marketing tool for the blogger, the commenter and the organizations they represent. It is a great way to establish and strengthen the brand tribe as it demonstrates the brand tribe, allows it to get involved and allows newcomers to join. There is always the risk of having the wrong tribe around your brand, but an effective brand professional can work around this through promoting effective content and banning disruptive content. Finally – the risk of having the wrong tribe always exists and so through comments marketers can expose problems and work to resolve them.

And One Last Thing

In addition to comments on blog posts there are now reactions to blog posts (at least Chris Brogan has reactions to his post). Reactions are copies of twits of the blog post (so instead of just counting twits, with reactions you can read them below the comments). Wow this world is moving fast.

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