Forum Marketing: Increasing Website Traffic
Many Internet marketers and entrepreneurs are already successfully harnessing the power of online forum marketing to increase targeted website traffic to their websites, merchandise and services.
Most importantly, they've been doing this and continue to do so without any financial expense. The question you should be asking at this point is,how can you use forum marketing in order to start increasing website traffic to your products and sites?
It really doesn't matter what your particular niche or market is as you can be sure there are others out there with hobbies,pursuits and needs to match. One place where you can be sure people with such similar interests will tend to gravitate is to online forums. Forums which have inadvertently been specifically developed and evolved with people just like them in mind.
Most people love nothing more than to chat and connect with others who share their particular needs,problems, interests and/or experiences. Online Forums are the perfect place for them to do this.
Marketing Through Forums
Have you ever used forums to generate traffic?
Hopefully you can see that by finding forums matching your niche or products you provide yourself access to an already highly targeted market.A market that you, with just a little bit of time and effort, will easily be able to take advantage of.Once you're willing and ready to put in that time and effort you will quickly discover that you now have a great new way to obtain additional sales and customers which to date you've been otherwise missing out on.There are two primary steps you must take in order to generate effective and appropriate website traffic through online forum marketing.
The Basics of Forum Marketing
Forum Marketing: Step 1
This may be an obvious one but your initial task is to simply do some online searches to identify and subsequently register with online forums that closely correlate with the niche or market you're focusing on. You will almost certainly find more than one that fits the bill.You can join as many as you want or as many as you think you can handle.If you need to be selective due to time constraints etc. just spend a bit of time on a few different forums with a view to assessing the quality and most importantly the activity levels of each. In general,the more organized and active the forums you choose are, the more cost effective and profitable your time and effort will be. (See Video below for more tips and help on finding forums)
Forum Marketing: Step 2
Your next task is the most important one.Your sole purpose here is to make yourself useful to your fellow forum users.You do this by becoming an active and genuine contributor to the forums in question. Specifically you should endeavor to do some or all of the following;
- Meaningfully take part in discussions
- Answer the questions and queries of others
- Post relevant and helpful information
- Provide opinions,suggestions and tips
- Otherwise contribute in ways that provide value
and support to the forum community at large
- Be Patient
Note: Under no circumstances should you actively or directly market or promote your products, sites or services within the body of your posts.This includes placing url or anchor text hyperlinks within the posts themselves.Doing so is almost universally frowned upon and usually detailed amongst the forum guidelines for posting. Failure to comply with guidelines and accepted practices will almost certainly see your contributions deleted or modified and could ultimately lead to you forfeiting your posting rights and possibly having your account closed entirely. Consider yourself warned!
Online Forum Marketing
Forum Marketing: The Right Way to Get Forum Traffic
Whilst you may not openly advertise within the body of your posts, you are normally allowed to place a link (sometimes 2) within your signature file which appears at the bottom of every post you make.So every time you post you provide others the opportunity to decide to click through a link within your signature which naturally brings them directly to your site or product.
Some people will click through out of general inquisitiveness but this is were your time and effort will be truly rewarded. People who you have helped or interacted with, as well as people who have come to respect or otherwise appreciate your contributions and even those have just become more familiar with your online presence will be decidedly more inclined to click through your links. They will also, as a result of the reputation and trust you have established, be considerably more likely to follow through and make purchases from you.
You have the added advantage of not being perceived as a salesman or marketer. Nowadays people don't like to feel their being sold or marketed do and are usually much happier to purchase when they feel the decision is entirely theirs. They may even direct others, if not to your products and sites directly(which happens too BTW) but to your threads and posts and in doing so they also confer some of their already established trust in you,onto others.I hope you can see how powerful this can become as online forum marketing is still overlooked by many.
Great Internet Forum Marketing Video by Daegan Smith.
- Note:Whilst most forums do allow their members to have signature links this is not the case for all forums.Some forums may also have certain criteria which must be met before allowing you to add signature links to your posts.A typical requirement may be that you have made X number of posts (usually nothing too arduous e,g. 10 Posts) or that you have been a member for a particular period of time. Other than the forums that flat out don't allow you to place any links this should not necessarily put you off particular forums.It just means you'll have to put in a bit more time initially but if it's a quality forum it will usually be worth it. In fact, often it can be indicative of the fact that a forum is well managed and moderated etc.
Tips on Finding and Using Forums by Lasse Rouhiainen
Online Forum Marketing: Additional Benefits
- People frequently use forum search functions. As your posts remain on the forums long after you've made them, they have the power to continually generate traffic for you well into the future.The more popular they are and the more numerous they become, the greater this effect will be and the more traffic from forums and potential sales you will create
- In the process of regularly using and participating on forums you will gain invaluable insights into the needs and problems of your potential customers. You'll then be perfectly placed to cater for these needs and to offer solution to their problems.You will be continually able to refine and tailor your products and offerings to best match the desires and requirements of your chosen market
Initially it may seem a bit laborious to get your forum traffic going but if you stick with it, this is a strategy with exponential potential (sorry i couldn't help it). An internet marketing strategy which will allow you to take full advantage of online forum marketing to generate traffic and repeatedly gain you more significant levels of increased and trusting traffic and therefore sales, in addition to providing you with a greater and invaluable new awareness of your markets needs and desires.