Web Forums: An Untapped Solution for Internet Marketers

Web ForumsThese days the Internet turns every local firm into a potentially global competitor, as it erases the geographical boundaries of running business (unless you own a local bakery).

Thanks to the well-thought-out online marketing strategies companies can skyrocket their sales and build strong communities using just a few social media accounts.

While there are many resources on the web educating us on how to make the most out of our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts, there are just a few advocating the importance of web forums for Internet Marketing. So, in this post I’d like to discuss keys to successful forum marketing.

Join the Right Forums

Forum marketing will have a high ROI only if you find the right forums. Forum users differ a lot from your Fan Page followers. Usually, the former are net savvy and are more likely to make online purchases. Creating a forum account takes time (more than just ‘Liking’ a page), so we can assume that all forum users are genuinely interested in the topic. Thus, when joining a strong community you get access to an influential audience that can help you spread the word about your product/service far and wide. However, you should realize that this will happen only if you promote a high quality product, target the right audience and avoid common mistakes. So how does it work?

  • Select forums that have a big audience and many posts.
  • Look for forums that are updated daily.
  • Ignore forums that are flooded with spam.
  • Avoid forums moderated by your direct competitors.

Once you have narrowed down the selection, create forum accounts as soon as possible – seniority is a very important factor when it comes to forums. When creating an account check the posting guidelines. I would recommend paying attention to the following points:

  • Are you allowed to place links?
  • Are you allowed to promote your own company?
  • Are you allowed to add a commercial signature to your profile?

Another important step is creating a compelling profile. This implies picking a good avatar, nickname and presenting yourself to the audience. Once you have created a good profile, don’t rush to promote your biz, spend some time lurking. It also makes sense to make valuable contributions to the community before writing any promotional messages.

Forums Differ

Create the Right Forums

If you have enough resources to build your own forum, you should definitely do this. Forums require commitment and human resources, so make sure building a forum won’t break your budget. What kind of forum to create? Actually, there are many options. The most obvious is launching a forum that will be exclusively dedicated to your business. To my mind, such forums can’t be used as a part of marketing strategy, as they’re more likely to serve as a kind of a Help Center. Another option is building a forum that will provide helpful, subject-related advice and therefore gather like-minded people and your potential customers. What’s the benefit? You’ll be able to advertise your service as a sponsor of the entire forum or a separate discussion.

If you’re not sure whether or not you need a forum to support your web presence, you may try to create a forum for free to see the effectiveness of forum marketing. In this case you’ll have to invest your time and effort only.

Conclusion

Forum marketing is a very sophisticated part of your long-term marketing strategy. You shouldn’t take it as an easy means to promote your current discounts. I would recommenrd using forums as a permanent and influential marketing channel for your business.

About Howard Steele

Hi! My name is Howard Steele, and I can't survive a day without writing a technology-related post :). Most of these are website builders reviews and comparisons that I publish on my personal website superbwebsitebuilders.com.

Comments

  1. Forums are really essential, apart from promoting your product and services to right audience. It actually helps you to learn and know what’s happening in your industry. It also helps you to come up with best product and services after reviewing your targeted audinece needs or requirements.

  2. I found this method to be hard at the start but a lot easier as more people join your forum and help you create content. It’s definitely a great method for traffic and I can recommend this to people looking for gain new niche targeted traffic or brand exposure. Thanks for the great post, Howard. Have a great day! – Jason Chan

  3. Hi Howard,

    In these days when people pray to social networks instead of God, to talk about forums may seem strange. However, forums are here to stay and a very important part of our marketing efforts. That’s because forums fulfill deeper needs, deeper than the need to socialize.

    Great idea to talk about forums. I also like the tips and the overall strategy.

    One thing I didn’t know: I didn’t know you can create a forum for free. This is really interesting. Did you try it? What were the results?

    Have a wonderful day

  4. Hi Silviu,

    I used http://www.ucoz.com/ to build a free forum. I was quite satisfied with the result. It took me about 20 minutes. The forum isn’t published, so I can’t give you a direct link. If interested, you may see some screenshots in this article: http://superbwebsitebuilders.com/how-to-build-a-forum/. You may also try uCoz yourself – it’s absolutely risk-free (no credit card data required). It would be great to hear about your experience!

    Good luck!

  5. Forums really help in gaining great and targeted traffic and helps in marketting too.I use Warrior Forum and Digital point for this.

Speak Your Mind

*

RSS and Marketing Services