While the days of Page-Rank-passing links in comment sections and forums are long gone, there is still plenty of value to be had in comment marketing. And because many marketers have abandoned the process, the marketers who do embrace it will enjoy the fruits of low competition. With that in mind, we thought we’d revisit the topic and share a few tips with apartment marketers who want to expand their reach.
Understanding the Value of Comment Marketing in 2017
The value added by comment marketing in today’s world is three-fold. Here’s a quick look at the ways your apartment marketing strategy may benefits from the process:
Yeah, we know that we just said most comment sections no longer pass Page-Rank through hyperlinks. But that doesn’t mean there’s no SEO value in comment marketing. It just means that said value isn’t coming directly from the comment section.
Think about it. A solid link placed in a well constructed comment will send visitors to your site. And when the right people visit your site, they might link back to it from other sites…including those that do actually send ranking signals to Google.
#2: Exposure and Brand Recognition
Even in the event that you don’t gain any valuable backlinks from your efforts – which, to be honest, is the most likely scenario – comment marketing still builds exposure for your community. A lot of people lurk around comment sections and forums without participating in the discussion. Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
#3: Social Follows
Today’s comment boards and forums almost always require users to tie their accounts to existing social profiles. This means that people who read and enjoy your comment on one website may decide to check out your other activity by following you on social media. And if you’re an apartment marketer, we don’t need to tell you the benefits of building your followers.
What Makes a Great Comment?
Any Joe Schmo can post a comment in a forum. But few can post one that has a lasting impression. Here’s what separates the amateurs from the pros:
Relevancy – Not every question posted in a forum represents an opportunity. People who ask about pet-friendly studios in Philadelphia couldn’t care less about your luxury three-bedroom in Baltimore. Don’t try to force something that isn’t a good fit. You’ll just come across as looking desperate. And that’s really bad for your community’s image.
Quality – Most marketers know that you should always strive to make a good first impression. In forums, that means responding with comments that are well-written and formatted for easy reading. Triple check your spelling and grammar, and construct your comment so that readers can quickly find the most valuable pieces of information.
Transparency – It’s wise to fully disclose who you are whenever you post in a forum. While few people want to hear a hard sales pitch, nobody wants to feel duped. And if you think you’re going to pull a fast one on some unsuspecting prospect, you’re sorely mistaken. That said, it’s okay to disclose this information towards the end of your comment rather than opening up with “Hi, I’m John Smith and I represent Acme Communities.”
What Forums Matter?
There’s no definitive answer to this question. Comment marketing is not a one size fits all type of thing, which is probably why most people ignore it. However, it might be best to start in forums that are dedicated to certain locations and cities, as these are the sites people visit when they want to ask about moving to a given area.
It might take a little bit of time at first to find the right sites. But once you do, your initial efforts will pay back quickly.