It is hard to think about internet marketing without thinking about forums as they have been around for ages. Forums are a great way for internet business marketers to promote their products and services as well as swapping ideas about internet marketing. Being free it is one one of the most popular advertising methods online today.
What is Forum Marketing?
All you need to do is join a forum in your niche and join in the daily discussions about your niche. It also helps to if you can help solve the problems of other forum members when they ask for advice. It is considered spamming to write about your business in your forum posts and will certainly get your post deleted but may also get you banned from the forum.
Your Forum Profile
After you join a forum it is important to set up your profile as it helps promote your product online. If you market in many different niches it is a good idea to set up your profile for only one of those niches so that you are seen more of an expert rather than a marketer. If the forum covers more than one of your niches consider registering under another id and creating another profile. It is also important to include your keywords in your forum bio and hyperlink it back to your blog or website.
Your Signature File
However you can promote your products or services in your signature file which you can set up so that it is automatically inserted in every post you make on the forum. Be aware though that when you first join a forum other forum members are wary of you so start off with only your name in your signature file.
Gradually add your marketing links to your signature as the number of forum posts you make increase. Be careful not to add too much as to confuse people and I suggest keeping all your links in the same niche. By doing this you are more likely to be considered an expert in your niche and not merely someone trying to make money promoting products and services within that niche.
Forums are also good for research in that you will learn of what problems or burning desires people have in your niche. Use this information to target your products and offer solutions to these problems in your blog posts. Ask questions in the forum that your own products are targeted to solve but do not offer solutions using your products as that is spamming. Forums will also show you how things are changing in your niche so that you can create future products to solve the new problems that people may have, thereby keeping up to date.
The most important thing you should do on forums is socialize and occasionally get involved in things outside your niche so that people see you as human not some marketing machine that just sells stuff. As you get known in the forum you can start to answer questions and offer solutions to problems as people will start to trust you and see you as some sort of expert in your niche. When this happens make sure your forum signature is updated with your relevant links and hyper linked back to your blog or website as this is where you will ultimately make money by participating in forums.