The difference between business successes and failures can often be found in the marketing methods they use. While there are are a plethora of marketing methods, there is one method that we have discovered to be quite efficient, and does not have any cost, except the time you use. That sales method is forum marketing.
Humans are social creatures. They visit social sites and forums to gain information from other like-minded people on the subjects and issues they are dealing with. They desire advice, and as a professional in your niche, you can provide that advice and at the same time, you can market your business.
Why forum marketing works
Whether it is the car that needs repair, an idea for their home interior design, a simple medical condition, or any other number of situations humans find on a daily basis, they often search out top-ranked and reputable forums to get answers to their problems. People usually try this method first before hiring a professional that could cost them a lot of money.
When a person visits a forum looking for advice, they will recognize those who write with authority. When they actually use the advice or tip the person provided and it works, they will come back for more information. Knowing that you were able to offer the advice they needed, they will want to know more about you. They will visit the links you post, and more importantly, your business website or blog.
In a subconscious method, the people you helped will feel an obligation to “help you.” The help they provide will be in the form of sales. These people know deep down that your information saved them money, and they will “give back” a portion of the money you saved them. To top it off, they will be receiving a product or service in exchange for the money they are “giving back.”
These people will also have a trust that the product or service is high quality and reliable because you (the marketer and forum poster) provided high quality information that has helped them solve an issue they were seeking answers for. Essentially, it is a win-win situation for them.
Learn from other forum marketers
The best way to learn is to study other forum posters. We suggest you find forums similar to your business niche. Start reading the different posts and study which posters are actually contributing worthwhile and solid information. Keep in mind that you will discover a wide range of personalities on forums. Some of the posters will be “spam artists” who type just a couple of sentences and post links to their website of affiliates. Pay no attention to these posters, because you do not want to copy any of their methods.
The reputable posters will have good ratings if the forum uses a rating system. Their posts will be several paragraphs long, with good content that has tips with value. They normally do not post a link within the content unless it is of a high reputation, and is needed to fully explain their point. Normally that link will not be to a sales website, but is normally a video or a great article from a high ranked website.
These posters just simply put a signature at the end of their posts with a simple one line about their business with it all linked to their website. An example could be:
Your Water Treatment Pro (with the complete text linked to Johnny’s water treatment website).
Find the forums to market in
Now that you have learned the proper methods of posting at forums, you need to find the forums you will post at. Our advice is to start with local forums in your area. This will help you get practice, and you may come across people you have networked with who can “boost” your forum posts.
Use your existing knowledge and answer people’s questions and comments in a respectful way. While you may see questions that seem idiotic, keep in mind that many people have no knowledge of the subject. Use answers that will be understood. One example I am thinking of is the woman who has no idea what a lug-nut is on a tire. The best marketer would say, “Don’t feel bad, my wife didn’t know what they are either. They are the 4 or 5 nuts that hold your tire on the car.” By putting it in that way, the marketer just made a friend who will trust them.
Now veer out to other forums who are on a similar niche. You will want to keep track of your posts, so you can visit them on a regular basis to answer any new questions, or to acknowledge a thank you for your help. The key is to act as if you are talking with the person face-to-face.
Forum marketing works! As you gain respect, people will visit your website, and they will purchase what you have to offer. It has worked for me, and I know it can work for you.
About the author
As a book author and freelance writer, Greg Boudonck writes on a variety of subjects. His favorite subject is business management. With well over 10 years of professional writing experience, you will find Greg’s material easy to read and understand. Visit Greg’s website: Lancerlife.com to see more.