I’m a big fan of Rand Fishkin. If you’re a marketer who touches any aspect of SEO, you’re probably a fan, too. I always look forward to his Whiteboard Friday videos.
Recently, however, I had a very visceral reaction to his video about comment marketing. If you’re wondering what comment marketing is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s the practice of going to blogs or articles and leaving relevant comments. Often these comments would include links to your blog or site.
Comment marketing is the practice of going to regular blogs or publications and leaving high-quality, relevant comments. Often these comments would include links to your blog or site.
Rand says comment marketing has some notable benefits. The most obvious one is that it could lead to traffic to your website. If you do it well, leaving comments consistently could also build your reputation. If you’re trying to grow your social media following, this tactic could help as well.
Here’s a snippet of Rand’s explanation:
Commenting can also lead to indirect links through exposure and exposure itself, meaning things like you leave consistent quality comments, people start to recognize you. You sort of see that profile picture again and you go, “I know that brand from somewhere or I know that person from somewhere. I have some positive association with them adding value.” That can lead to a better chance of engagement with you, your personal brand, or your corporate brand in the future, which can mean a better chance of future conversion.
All that sound good in theory, but I’m not convinced comment marketing is a great idea. First off, the practice sounds spammy. My friends who don’t work in marketing like to joke that marketers ruin everything, and turning something that people do naturally (in this case, leaving comments) into a marketing tactic isn’t helping our industry’s reputation.
But more crucially, comment marketing simply is effective—at least not effective enough for marketers to get justify it as a tactic worth pursuing.
Comment marketing has three serious issues, in particular.