Today’s topic is all about using blog (or forum) comments to drive qualified traffic to your site, and how to begin the persuasion process.Â It’s an interesting topic for me since I read nearly every comment that gets left on my GrokDotCom posts.
Note: before you read further, understand that this post is NOT about how to use blog comments as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactic.Â This post is about how to use blog comments to begin an online selling process.
For many, blog comments are an effective online marketing effort because, while they generally bring traffic to your site in small numbers, that traffic is often highly qualified and motivated.
Pete Kistler wrote an interesting post recently for the Personal Branding Blog about using blog comments to build one’s personal “brand,” and I’ll be borrowing some bits and pieces that are also relevant to online persuasion.Â The part I’m most interested in paraphrasing is that blog comments demonstrate to readers that you’re active in your space/niche, you’re passionate about the subject matter, and that you add value to the topic that’s being discussed.Â All are good points whether you’re talking about personal branding or online persuasion.
Another main point to keep in mind is that blog comments are only useful in starting an online persuasion scenario; they will never be effective at “closing the deal.” Think in terms of Early Stage vs. Late Stage buyers: blog comments are great for piquing interest and driving small amounts of useful traffic to your site, but don’t try and use them to actually do your converting (your website is better equipped to handle conversion experiences).Â Another angle is to think about the AIDAS (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, Satisfaction) model that FutureNow has written about before.Â Blog comments are useful for Attention and Interest, but your online presence (after the click) needs to handle the Desire, Action, and Satisfaction parts in this method.
So let me propose some Dos and Donts for how you can try to optimize your blog comments to get more out of them in terms of marketing and persuasion.Â We’ll start by getting the Donts out of the way
Once you’ve saved yourself the time and trouble of NOT doing the things listed above, you can refocus your marketing efforts and time on doing some or all of the following…
When thinking about blog comments as the driving points for a persuasive conversion experience (remember…they are only the beginning), it’s helpful to use the 3 Questions of Persuasion ArchitectureÂ®:
1. Who is here?Â Who am I targeting?
2. What action do I want them to take?
3. What do they need to feel comfortable and confident taking that action?
Answering question #1 one is pretty easy in the context of a blog post and corresponding comments.Â Those you’re targeting are the readers who were interested in the original topic and interested enough to read comments.Â These are highly engaged, often passionate, prospects who want to continue learning about the topic, or who are involved in the discussion themselves.
Answering question #2 is also pretty easy.Â You want them to click the hyperlinked phrase attached to your comment and visit your site.Â But does the content of your comment subtly convey that they’ll get something of value?Â Have you proved your relevance to the topic?
Answering question #3 is easy provided you’ve purged your marketing approaches of all of our Donts, and provided at least a couple of the Dos from the list above.
Is anyone out there practicing blog commenting as a persuasive marketing tactic?Â Did I miss any of the main Dos and Donts?Â Let us know, and you can get a little practice