Will Forum Marketing benefit your internet based business? Well, As with any marketing strategy, forum traffic generation must be done correctly, for it to be a benefit.
As more and more people enter the online marketing arena, competition increases. The online marketers who are successful, are the ones who use more than one online marketing tool and / or web traffic source that can help grow their businesses.
Since online marketing is constantly changing and evolving, online businesses must follow the latest trends, using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and/or other (social networking) platforms.
But… don’t Underestimate forum marketing as a way to obtain free web traffic for online businesses. People participate daily and you can find real questions and answers.
Forums are Evergreen traffic sources and have been around for years. Forum marketing is still alive and kicking, and a great way to monetize your niche.
Next, you will learn the meaning of Forum Marketing and what the value could be for your business.
What Is Forum Marketing And Why Use It?
Forum marketing is a strategy you can use to obtain valuable targeted traffic. You can market your products and services on forums that are related to it.
For instance, a company selling mountain climbing equipment would target forum communities devoted to climbing.
There are hundreds of online forums for any given topic and you must narrow it down to target between two and five forums that have enough members and postings.
You then join the forum and deliver value, and a marketing message that is designed to impress the forum members.
Next, you find some important benefits of online forum marketing:
- Done correctly, this strategy can be very effective for increasing web traffic and getting your marketing message to a larger pool of potential customers.
This is a targeted internet marketing strategy that can be more effective than a standard broadcasted message.
It may be a good marketing strategy to use a combination of marketing tools to reach as many potential customers as possible.
- Forum marketing is a great way to drive really targeted, high quality traffic.
Imaging you own a website / blog, Facebook page, and / or YouTube channel, etc. in the alternative energy niche, but the missing formula is internet traffic.
Blueprints on how to make your own wind turbine, or how to build your own solar panels are popular and very high selling products.
Do you want to know how to sell affiliate products?
All we need to do to get the traffic is to find forums talking about alternative energy.
People who are thinking about going green, people who want to install solar panels on their homes; there are lots of internet forums out there.
Do you think the people on these forums might be interested in these products?
I think they really will ;-), the traffic is laser targeted…
- Forums generally get a lot of traffic, because oftentimes they rank high in the search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.).
Well, forums are packed with content all related to the same specific topics, interests and desires.
Search engines love this because this is where real knowledge is shared and exchanged.
- Forums could also help your website’s ranking in the search engines, when you use a link (in your profile, signature) to your website / blog on the related niche forum(s) you have picked.
- Web Forums are Free targeted traffic sources, all you need to do, is put in some time and effort.
If you don’t know how to drive traffic to your website, blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc., Being active in niche forums is a great way to start out for free.
Get Started – How To Use Forum Marketing in 4 steps
There are a number of helpful steps to getting started with forum marketing and succeeding with this marketing tool.
When you want to learn more about this way of increasing web traffic, and you decide to market to forums, you should follow these 4 basic steps:
1. Find popular and active forums in your niche:
Look for forums that fit the product niche. Think of a forum community as a pool of potential customers.
Forums can be found by using a Google search or asking company customers, suppliers, and employees which forums they are members of.
Since there will be hundreds of forums on any given topic, the next step will be to narrow the list down between two to five of the best ones for your (company) message.
To be honest, I normally start out with a Top 3, to avoid information overload. Make sure you choose Active forums (meaning that new posts are added on a daily base).
Tips to Search for forums in your niche:
- Search on Google for: “your niche keyword” forum.
- Type “Keyword” inurl:forum -> for example “soccer” inurl:forum, or “mountain climbing” inurl:forum.
- Use www.boardreader.com to find Forums and Communities.
2. Forum Registration: Accounts, Profiles, Rules and Guidelines
The forum registration process:
- Set up forum accounts with each of the chosen forums as soon as possible. It takes a little time to become established on these forums so relationships can be formed, and credibility, as well as authority can be gained. Done correctly these forums can become a permanent marketing area.
- The next step is to become acquainted with each forum’s rules and guidelines for posting. Some important considerations include whether users may place links in their posts, post commercial messages, promote their own businesses, contact other members on a commercial basis, and so on. There may be restrictions on new users or special privileges for veteran users.
It is very important NOT to violate any rules. Some forums may have restrictions that make them bad matches for a company’s marketing efforts.
- Choose a user name that is easy to pronounce and remember, and an avatar or small picture to use on all your posts. This should be a picture of you, or related to you (kids, pets, etc.). Avoid offensive or controversial pictures.
- Create an impressive personal profile. This needs to be well thought out and noncontroversial. The profile should give some personal information, then establish your credibility, experience, and expertise. Be honest, and remember you are a person, not a business.
Explain your online business in a few sentences. It should also have your contact information so other users can contact you for more information about your business (include URL and social media links if allowed).
3. Forum signature line
A forum signature is a message (image / text, information) automatically appended at the end of each forum post.
If it is allowed, add your website URL to your forum signature: use an honest, to the point, short description of your online business and a link to your website.
4. Forum Participation: Interact on the forum and be active and consistent
The next step is to make an introductory post that includes why you joined the forum and a brief account of areas of expertise.
This is not the place to make marketing pitches. Emphasize a willingness to be helpful and add value to the community.
Rather than posting immediately, spend a little time reading posts to get valuable insight into the forum community’s quirks, influential users, and popular topics.
Look for the common questions in your niche market, the common problems members have, and the proposed solutions that are posted.
When the time is right, answer questions related to your niche market, and your products and services, demonstrating your expertise and goodwill.
Avoid controversy and arguments in online forums at all costs. Make only friends, not enemies.
When you have built credibility and positive relationships within the internet forum, more marketing tools and techniques can be applied that could benefit the forum members.
Get permission from the forum’s moderators before starting any marketing campaigns such as give-aways (freebies), free samples or discounts to the forum community. For instance, to start building an email list.
Avoid forum spamming!
Be aware, it’s a community space, don’t just post links (to offers, or articles) and send people away from the forum. Try to provide your added value to the forum community.
If you share informative posts and good answers you will see, that people start checking out your profile, and your signature clicks, as well as the visits to your site / page will increase.
This form of internet marketing can be very beneficial when done correctly. Remember, this type of marketing takes time and patience to develop.
It will be time well spent and can result in positive online relationships as well as more targeted web traffic.
Using these forums can result in gaining useful information about your niche market, as well as the customer’s experience with the products and services you offer.
Follow the above steps and start your own forum traffic generation strategy!
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