There are many advertising techniques we can adopt when building an online business, forum marketing is one such technique which can be hugely beneficial to your business. However, it must be handled with care! Handled correctly a forum marketing campaign can bring much needed free targeted traffic to your website. Handled poorly it can leave you alienated from the forum you joined with no hope of return and leave a bad taste in the mouths of the people who read your post.
A few days ago a friend of mine contacted me. He was rather upset as his account with a forum had been blocked. He was not sure what he had done wrong and asked for my advice.
I suggested that perhaps my friend had put a post in a forum which was, to all intents and purposes, an advert about his business opportunity. This was indeed the case. As so many of us in the beginning, he had been unsure how he would get people to join his list and take up in his opportunity without actually advertising it directly.
This is actually quite a common problem when we first begin marketing in forums. I’m sure most of us know someone who has struggled with this, if we haven’t ourselves. Unless someone has taken the time to teach us how to do it, it is so easy to get it wrong!
Yes, there are a list of terms and conditions when you join and a big list of forum rules but how many people actually read them? Of those people that actually did read the rules, how many fully understand them?
It’s one of those all too common situations, we know we should read the small print but it’s so much easier to just click the “I agree button”.
It is so easy to wade in and advertise ourselves isn’t it? We have something we are sure other people want and the best way to tell them about it is to talk about it, promote it! We’re excited about what we have to offer and we know others will be too!
Not so if you want to gain trust and have people follow you in a forum and ultimately follow you into your list.
So, how do we tackle forum marketing effectively?
1) Update your profile, fill in all the relevant parts about you and/or your company, this a lows others to get to know more about you and what you do if they so wish,
2) Complete the signature section; This is where you can put a link to your site! This signature will appear in a separate box below each and every post you make!
If you are unsure as to how you should construct your signature, spend a little time looking around the forum, see how other members have constructed theirs, get some inspiration and then create your own! Make it good, give people a taster of what you’re about, leave them wanting more, wanting to join your list!
3) Profile and signature done, you’re ready to go!
4) Take a look at the forum topics and pick one which interests you and where you may have a little knowledge, no matter how limited.
5) Read the posts others have made in your chosen thread, see if you can offer any value, any advice or expertise.
If you feel confident, type a reply.
6) Start a new thread if you have a topic which is not currently being discussed.
7) Be sure to concentrate your efforts around topics which are directly related to your business, answering questions in the health and fitness arena when you are promoting a new dog food is hardly likely to get you any new sign ups.
Making forum marketing part of your advertising arsenal is a fantastic way to promote your business, it’s a great opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge, build up relationships with people and ultimately grow your business!
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