A guest post by Nicholas Gunter.
Comments are one of the most important, but often overlooked, aspects of content marketing.
By responding to your comments and engaging with your audience, you build trust and loyalty which will pay off in the long run. People will not only keep coming back for more of your content, but also be more likely to recommend you to their friends and followers.
It is no secret comments are a powerful tool for content marketing. A recent study showed blogs with comment sections get more traffic, social shares and backlinks than those without.
Comments can also help you build a relationship with your audience. As you gain more engagement, you will be able to better understand what your readers want and how they feel about your content. Let’s see how comments on your blog posts can improve your relationships with your audience.
Why is it important to build a relationship with your readers?
Establishing a relationship with your readers is important for several reasons:
- It helps to create loyalty and repeat readership. When people feel a connection to you and your work, they are more likely to come back for more;
- It can help you to better understand people’s needs and what type of content they are looking for. If you take the time to get to know your audience, you will be in a better position to provide them with the information and insight that they crave;
- It can lead to valuable feedback and collaboration. When you have an established rapport with your readers, they are more likely to offer constructive criticism and collaborate with you on future projects.
Using blog comments is one of the best ways to build a healthy and long-term relationship.
The power of comments within content marketing
The benefits of having a strong social media presence are undeniable:
- Comments help you connect with your audience on a deeper level. When someone takes the time to leave a comment, it shows that they are engaged with your material and they want to start a conversation;
- They give you valuable feedback that you can use to improve your content and your overall strategy;
- Comments can tell you what topics are resonating with your audience and which ones are falling flat;
- They provide you with a better understanding of what your audience wants and needs;
- They can inspire new blog articles and products;
- They help your content reach a wider audience. When someone comments, their name, and profile photo are shared with their network. This provides you with significant exposure to new readers who might not have discovered your blog otherwise;
- They can assist you in developing relationships with the people who are most important to your business – your readers.
How to use comments to build lifelong relationships
So how can you use comments to build those all-important relationships? Let’s take a look at four methods:
1. Respond to all comments
If someone takes the time to leave a comment on your blog post, the very least you can do is respond within 24 hours. However, you should aim for sooner. The faster you respond, the more connected your readers will feel to you and your blog.
Of course, responding to every single comment is not always practical, especially if you receive hundreds or even thousands of them. In those circumstances, try to react to those who ask questions or provide constructive feedback. These are the folks who are going out of their way to engage with you, so reciprocate by engaging with them.
2. Get personal
When someone leaves a comment on your blog post, try to interact with them on a personal level. It will help you and your reader establish an instant connection and make your reader feel seen and heard. For example, if someone writes a remark stating that he is suffering from anxiety, you can share your experiences and offer some advice that has previously worked for you.
3. Follow up with private messages
If someone leaves an especially thoughtful comment or asks an insightful question, take things offline by sending them a private message (most blogging platforms have some sort of messaging function). It is a great way to further the conversation without cluttering up your comments section. It also allows you to get to know your reader without being distracted by other commenters.
4. Offer value outside of your blog posts
Make sure you provide value outside of your blog entries, whether through a weekly newsletter or discounts on your products. Your goal should be to provide a VIP experience for your most loyal followers. It should be something that will entice people to continue to be engaged with you even if they are not reading your most recent post.
How to encourage more comments on your blog posts
Here are seven tips for using comments to their fullest potential:
- Encourage engagement by asking questions;
- Answer questions from your readers;
- Connect with influencers who share your content;
- Create a sense of community by responding to every comment;
- Respond to negative comments with grace and tact (and maybe even an apology);
- Use social media management tools to monitor engagement across multiple platforms in one place, like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, so that you do not miss any opportunities for engagement or respond to negative feedback too late.
How to respond to comments to build healthy relationships
When done right, responding to comments can help you build long-term relationships with your audience. Here are some pointers to consider:
1. Express gratitude to your readers for their feedback
Thank readers for taking the time to leave a comment. Something as simple as saying “Thank you for your comment!” can go a long way in creating a relationship with your readers.
2. Respond on time
When someone takes the time to leave a comment on your site, he is giving you his time and attention. The very least you can do is answer promptly. If you wait too long before answering, your readers may feel as if their thoughts and opinions are unimportant.
3. Be courteous and respectful, even if you disagree
Not everyone will agree with everything you say in your blog posts. That is fine. What is not acceptable is being nasty or unpleasant to someone because he disagrees with you. If you disagree with someone’s opinion, take the high road and respond politely and respectfully. You never know, you might persuade them later.
4. Take the conversation offline (if necessary)
There will be moments when it is preferable to continue the conversation offline. If someone leaves a comment that demands additional discussion, encourage them to take the conversation offline so you can continue speaking without interfering with the flow of comments on your blog article.
Ready to use commenting within your content marketing?
Comments are an excellent way to connect with your audience. They can assist you in creating engaging and meaningful material within your content marketing. Use comments to learn more about what your readers want and to generate content which suits their needs.
Make sure to thank people for their suggestions and let them know you are considering them when responding to comments. Put these suggestions into action right away and watch how quickly your relationship with your readers improves.
About the author
Nicholas Gunter has been working as a content writer at the essay writing service review Top Writing Reviews and a freelance proofreader at the writing company Rated by Students. He is a well-experienced writing expert at the popular writing service Trust My Paper in marketing, business, and self-education. He also loves to play the guitar and speaks Spanish and German.