When it comes to marketing your business, you need a solid source of leads, traffic, and content to build your business with, as well as great products that you can promote within your niche. Without all of those, you will struggle to make your business a success.
However, can you find a single place to find all of those?
Over the last 3 years, I have used forums to find all of those and more. In fact, they are often the first stop I make when looking into a new niche. Through them, I can find customers, content ideas, research material for articles, and even reviews for products I am considering promoting as an affiliate.
But, it isn't always quite so easy...
Every day, I am surrounded by people who are asking questions about forum marketing. People are constantly asking how to leverage them to improve their online business, and especially asking why they aren’t getting the same results that I have talked about through my blogs, guest posts, and even in the IM forums that I am active in.
One of the biggest concerns of most of the people that I talk to is that they are wasting time. In fact, most people are worried about how involved it gets to build a reputation, and maintain it, through forum marketing.
The truth is that it really depends on your level of involvement in the forums. If you put a lot of effort into it, you will reap the rewards that forum marketing has to offer. However, if you just use them for backlinks, and don’t become a real member of the community, you will find that forums are a hard task master, and will not be easy to gain trust with.
Today, let’s take a look at 4 key benefits that forum marketing can bring to your business, and how they help you to build your brand quickly and easily.
In Depth Niche Research
Building your online brand requires you to really know all the deepest questions that people have. You also need to be able to identify the questions that they may have but cannot articulate, or perhaps even don’t quite know that they should be asking quite yet.
If you spend any amount of time on a forum, you will find all the biggest questions, concerns, and problems that your target market is facing.
Through learning to answer the questions of the forum members, you can learn how to answer these questions, start writing content that you can share on your own site, and give you the reach needed to start your social marketing as well.
All this research will put you into a position of authority. Since establishing brand authority is critical to your success, this will help you reach more people and brand yourself as the best expert in your field.
Networking with Other Online Brands
You will find loads of really great people who are really passionate about your niche through the niche forums, including other business owners. If you take the time to get to know them, you will discover that it can be easy to make things with them take off.
As you get to know the people who are on the forums, find out if they have a blog or their own websites. Get to know them, and start chatting them up.
Engage in casual banter through threads in the forum, when appropriate, and make use of the space you are given to get to know them. This relationship could lead to a joint venture, email swap, or even promotion of each other sites.
I have used some of the forums to meet really great people in a variety of niche markets, and build my own brand across these markets.
Also, don’t forget the forum staff and especially the owner of the forums that you join. These are really great people to get to know, and often they have their own products, and you should consider becoming an affiliate of their products and services.
Finding Product Reviews Through Forums
While we are on the topic of finding products, forums are a great place to find great reviews on products you are considering promoting. People who are involved in a forum are usually going to turn to their trusted friends there before making a buying decision.
Often, you will get a much clearer picture into the product through forum reviews than by reading hundreds of affiliate reviews, which are just written to make a sale anyway.
Getting Highly Targeted Leads
The last benefit that I want to discuss today is leveraging forums to get leads and sales. Many forums allow you a link in your signature file or on your profile. This is a great opportunity to build your name across the niche, and let people know more about you.
I like to use this page to tell people a little about my experience in the niche. If the forum owner has their own products, I talk about my experience with their products, and then try to drive them into an opt-in or give away a free report (like this one) related to the topic of the forum.
This helps me to get leads into my list.
As I said earlier, many forum owners also own their own products, and a lot of the time, they use their private forums to offer customer support.
YOU NEED TO BE IN THESE FORUMS!!!
Those of you who know me probably realize that I spend a lot more time in the AffiloBlueprint and AffiloJetpack forums (when there are questions to be answered) than in the regular forum.
This is intentional! By focusing on the paid forums, you are sending buyer leads to your site, which are much more likely to value your information and your time.
Hope you got that. It's one of the most critical things that you can learn.
Private forums for products are full of proven buyers, and those are people that you want coming to your website, and onto your email list. Go above and beyond what you would normally do to help these people and give them a good reason to check out your site and sign up for your newsletter.
As you can see, it isn’t all that hard to use forums to build your online brand. These are just a few of the many benefits that you can get through forum marketing.
When used properly, you can get new leads into your list, find the hottest questions in your niche, and create long lasting relationships with other successful people who are involved in your niche market.
Start using forums today and build your online brand faster than you thought possible.
I am James Pruitt, AffiloBlueprint Success Story, blogger, and podcaster. Check out my brand new Forum Marketing Strategies Guide to learn my secrets to cashing in with forums, building authority, and creating your online brand.