The discussion forum has played a major role in the internet community from the very beginning. These are just a slight variation on the virtual bulletin boards that people used to flock to. Forums are places where people gather online to talk about their common interests. If you happen to have something to sell that would appeal to a particular interest, then wanting to market to them makes a lot of sense. With that in mind, here are some tips for using forum marketing.
No matter what you have to offer, you should be able to find a forum on just about any topic. You can easily find them by going to your favorite search engine and searching for the name of the topic, followed by the word ‘forum’ or ‘forums’. If you were selling sleeping bags, then you could try “sleeping bag forum” or “camping forums”. Any group of people that would have a direct interest in your offer should be considered; however you don’t want to be to broad otherwise you may end up wasting your time.
The next step is to sign up at the forums you wish to become a member of. Before you submit your registration info, be sure to read all of the rules carefully. Different forums have different rules, and it’s your responsibility to know and follow them. Once you are registered, there may be another set of rules for you to read; again, make sure you do.
Fill in your profile as completely as possible, but don’t make everything about your offer. You want people to think of you as a fellow member of the forum, and not as someone who is there for the sole purpose of selling. You don’t have to completely hide it, nor should you. The key is to strike the right balance of letting people know you have something they may want and letting them know that you’re one of them.
One of the most important tips for using forum marketing is to be a contributing member of the community. But be sure to spend a few days just reading posts and paying attention to how people interact with each other. Then you can introduce yourself to the forum. However, do not make your introductory message about what you sell. You need to be very careful about mentioning it at all, because most forums have been swamped with spammers in the past (not that you’re spamming), so they are on high alert for anything that even remotely resembles a sales pitch.
Become a regular member of the forum and try to make every post you make add value to the forum in some way. Doing this will take an investment of time, but if you do it right it will pay off in a big way. These tips for using forum marketing really work, but there is a catch: you can’t just read them and expect them to work; instead you need to take action so you can start seeing all of the positive results of this proven marketing method.