This article pretty much sums up forum marketing, the best forum marketing article I've ever read.
This article will show you the best way to use forums as part of your marketing strategy. These techniques can also be applied to Groups such as Google Groups or Yahoo! Groups.
Forums offer to us a great marketing platform as they allow us (for no cost) a direct road in to our intended market.
How It Works
For each forum or group that you want to participate in, you will need to register as a member and create your signature link through what is normally the “profile” page. The signature link is basically the footer that gets displayed every time you make a post or reply to an existing post. Your Signature link can include a Link to your website or a link to your blog but make sure you check the terms and conditions when you sign up to each forum or group.
An Important Note On Making Posts
The big temptation when “forum marketing” is to inadvertently (or purposefully) make spam posts. These are post that really are just there to highlight your signature file. Do not make these kinds of posts.
Purposeful spam would involve simply posting your web link with a brief introduction. Inadvertent spam would be answering a question with your sole thought being “will someone click on my signature”.
Both of these types of posts are ineffective when it comes to forum marketing and will not lead to you making sales and in fact, this kind of behaviour will damage your business quicker than anything. The important thing to remember is that these are active and alive communities that you are posting in and an ulterior motive is often spotted a mile off.
The key to successful forum marketing is to emerge yourself in the forum and answer the posts as honestly and as insightfully as possible not referencing your signature link at all unless there is a real reason to…for example when someone asks for a product recommendation
If you answer the posts with honesty and insight 9 out of 10 readers will pause for a moment and look at your signature link to see what else you’re about.
You are in effect indirectly yet directly transferring targeted traffic through to your Website or Blog and with the right forums, the right posts and the right signature links, forum marketing is a little goldmine which gives you access to relevant traffic at no cost (unlike PPC) and immediately (unlike article marketing).
On To The Forums
There are a huge array of Forums in each field or niche. The easiest way to find forums in your niche is to use Google to search for them.
Type [Keyword] + Forum
as an example type “marketing forum”
This will show up some great resources and sites you can signup to. The added bonus is you can use these sites for your own knowledge growth and networking. Don’t just think of these things as marketing tools for your business.
There are several other benefits of Forums and using Forums in your Marketing mix.
1. Search Engines love Forums , epecially established ones and they will visit them every day to look for new content which will get picked up and ranked in the Search engine results pages. Getting your Direct Traffic if you have a link on the post!
2. If your site is new, the best way to get the search engines to notice your existence is to get someone else to link to you. Posting on a forum will certainly qualify and I have personally seen a new site be visited by a search engine spider within 48 hours of a link being posted on a forum.
3. Having posts on different forums pointing back to your website boosts your credibility with the major search engines and will increase your rankings. Once you have been at this for around 3 months, change your signature to use different text to link back to your site.
4. Posting useful stuff on Forums will boost your credibility and leads to direct referrals from other forum users.
5. You can actually use the threads in these forums to give you ideas for articles and web content.
Take the time to find a couple of good forums and look at the discussions taking place. Signup and create a useful profile with links to your website. Then slowly, start posting. Make sure the first post is to the Introductions section to introduce yourself to the forum. This is a great way to get a new website listed in the major Engines.
By Jason Hulott