Regardless of how comments are perceived, blog comments add business value in the form of social proof, sponsorships, and as an internal resource.
Comments can be hit and miss affairs for many bloggers — business and affiliate.
Often, we publish a post and think, “Damn, I nailed that one!” and then see little to zero comments afterward and feel deflated.
Or we can publish a quick post that we feel is almost like a throwaway, as opposed to the more thoughtful example above, and it gets hundreds of comments.
To be sure, the science of blog commenting can be anything but scientific!
However, content aside when it comes to attracting comments, there’s a key reason why we should be looking at comments more seriously and that’s in the way they can be used to add business value.
Social Proof and Sponsorships
In recent years, the attraction of sponsored posts has resulted in a whole new industry, that of influencer bloggers and affiliate marketers.
In the past, this may have solely meant bloggers with huge online followings and “leading blogs” — you know, the ProBloggers and Copybloggers of the world.
Now, however, thanks in no small part to influencer platforms like InkyBee and Triberr, everyday bloggers can be influencers, as brands realize it’s less about the followers and more about the interaction.
For example, a mommy blogger that has an engaged community in the comment section and a relevant target audience is far more attractive to a brand than a “celebrity blogger” who’s just doing it for the money with zero brand affiliation.
To help identify these “micro-influencer” bloggers, influence platforms score blogs based on a variety of metrics, which increasingly include an engagement score.
A healthy comment section can be a key metric for brands looking to sponsor bloggers.
And you don’t even have to have hundreds of comments; just a vibrant conversation area with discussions that enable sponsoring brands to truly learn about their customers.
Which leads us to the next point.
Comments as a Business Resource
When social media grew in popularity, it was lauded for its ability to connect customers to the brands they shopped with.
That was all well and good – until social essentially became a trolling marketplace. Now, businesses are missing a lot of the conversations they could be having because they’re too busy trying to put out non-essential fires caused by trolls.
Ignored comments make customers feel like they’re not being heard. This is the worst feeling you can give customers (especially when it’s not your fault) in any business.
If a visitor arrives on your blog and sees a back-and-forth discussion, it immediately instills a perception that this is a business that cares about its customers.
In addition, it offers a valuable insight tool to the business itself:
- Pre-sales questions are answered in public which leads to warmer sales opportunities;
- Feedback on product launches are gathered and optimized;
- Current customers offer their take and give a better referral than any ad ever could.
This isn’t just for big business blogs, either. Independent authors, freelance designers, beach diner owners, etc. All of these business blogs, and more like them, can benefit from a healthy comment section.
Email to Comments is a Perfect Fit for Business
So, by now hopefully, you see the value of comments not only to personal bloggers, but business blogs as well. But, like others before you, you’re not really sure where to start in fostering these comments.
This is why our vision for comments is so tied to email. Email is still the #1 communication tool for businesses and the buy-in is minimal for both content creator and reader.
“Email is still the primary communication tool for businesses. How do your customers see your blog?”
After all, pretty much everyone knows how to use email. It’s familiar, it’s easy, and it allows for more thoughtful sharing of ideas and opinions. The ease of email is exactly what a healthy comment section needs.
It’s also really easy to manage, from phone to desktop and everywhere in-between – which, for any business not too familiar with the nuances of social media, makes for less work, which is always a good thing.
We’ve seen with our own users just how they’ve utilized our comment plugins for their business goals – let us help you, too.
It’s not as daunting as you think, and we’re here every step of the way for you.
Featured image credit: Rusty Russ Sunrise Over Manhattan Again