What is a marketing forum? It is sharing a knowledge base about your area of expertise on public platforms like digital advertising or social media. Here people ask questions and you give answers and some basic knowledge. Forums are very helpful for people conducting their business online since your visitors can read and post topics of common interest. It is important to participate in these forums, whether as a moderator, member or owner as you can achieve recognition within a business community and connect you to high-qualified business leads.
Before you attend any forum it is important to read the terms and conditions of each forum to know what is acceptable. Failure to this can have negative consequences, being permanent ban from the community or tarnishing your site’s reputation.
Guidelines on how to use forum marketing for small business owners
If you own a small business and you would like to participate in a marketing forum such as DIY Digital Strategy’s marketing forum we have guideline to show you how you can use forums to market your products.
Be on the lookout for forums where customers are engaged
It is important for your business to find forums where the customers are actively engaged in regular discussions. Just pick one so you can understand how things work. The easiest way to find it is by searching keywords in specific topics that are likely to be mentioned by customers. For example if you are a photographer, words like wedding will lead you to forums where they will be actively discussing photography.
Before you register and account, browse through the forum to make sure there are lots of recent discussions to participate in and those discussions are real. Some forums are not moderated, looking from the outside, there is a lot of discussion going on but in real life they are not meaningful in any way
Remember that engaging customers actively does not mean you’re going to sell to them. It simply means you are creating awareness for your product.
Make sure you join the forum as a person
People like to make conversations with other people, to know you as a person before they know what you sell. As you are present there to promote your business, you are advised to make an account under your name and not your business.
Ensure you read the rules before attending
Once you have identified the forum you’d like to attend and created an account with them, look for the guidelines and read through them. Most forums are very strict when it comes to self promotion and moderation of discussions that do not meet their guidelines. When you’re keen with this, you won’t post things that will be later removed by the forum thus wasting your time.
Make a profile for the forum
Forums allow you to make a profile where you can share some information about you, a short paragraph about yourself, your location, social media profiles links and your website link. Make an effort with this as it introduces your business to the person who comes to read your profile.
When you attend these forums, the goal is not to sell products or services but to have discussions with people who relate to your products and services. These discussions have the potential of leading a new customer to you without having to approach them in person. All it takes is spotting a good forum.