Traffic is king. You want it. You need it to be successful – and so does your bank account. Quality traffic is what leads to conversions, and converting traffic is what makes the wheels of commerce turn for your business. Forum marketing is an effective means of generating high quality website traffic – traffic that leads to subscribers, to sales, to clients. Building links is not the end-all to having a profitable online business. The real key is generating traffic that relates to your niche; visitors that buy your products or services, or subscribe to your list. If you are looking for a solution, forum marketing may just be the answer you’re looking for.
1) Find High Traffic Forum Threads And Jump In The Conversation
First off, I’m going to assume you have located the highest authority forum for your industry. I find it worrisome to say this, but for those of you wasting time posting in unrelated forums simply for the link – you are doing it wrong. That being said, you should find the most popular threads, with the highest views, and join the conversation. Focus on adding value. The goal is to stand out from the crowd with your insight and industry knowledge. This is an excellent marketing strategy. You build links and establish yourself as an authority.
2) Start Controversial Threads That Invoke Responses From Both Sides Of The Fence
Controversy always causes people to react strongly. It’s a marketing strategy that can be very effective, if used correctly. Of course, you want to play this card carefully. You do not want to offend the wrong person, or showcase yourself as unprofessional. What you do want to do is find ways you can turn people’s theories upside down, or use your knowledge to play the trump card in the discussion. If you can stir the waters, you’ll create an active thread that garners more attention. If you play your hand correctly, the spotlight will be centered on you.
3) Be Seen: Make Your Presence Fill The Forum And Captivate The Audience
If you’ve chosen wisely, the site you are focusing your forum marketing efforts on has the following characteristics:
- High PageRank
- Indexed Boards
- Dofollow Signature
- High Traffic
What you want to do is build a strong reputation. You want to be a fixture in the community. Someone who is seen and respected. Where the conversation is busy, you should be there. When people are looking for advice, you will be the one to give it. When a new trend is buzzing in your industry, you will start the conversation. All of this occurs under the watchful eye of Google – which means these discussions are getting indexed, receiving traffic – and you continuously stand out from the crowd.
Note: If you are having trouble finding a forum that perfectly matches your niche, choose a forum that is as close to your niche as possible.
4) Use Your Forum Signature To Not Just Build Links – Start Selling
What you don’t want to do is just focus on cramming your forum signature with nothing but your keywords. Instead, choose a few keywords wisely, and be sure to include a strong call-to-action. If you write a compelling headline for one of your hyperlinks, it will stand out much more than a simple keyword. It also has a higher probability of getting clicked.
5) Be Helpful: Become A Bastion Of Knowledge And A Resource For Others
Chris Brogan lives by this mantra – and for good reason. By simply “being helpful” you’ll draw the attention of others. When people are searching for answers, be the person that takes the time to spell out a helpful post that points them in the right direction. This will increase your reputation and earn the respect of other forum members. This, like before, will also increase the chances of someone clicking that link.
6) Position Yourself As A Thought Leader
People look up to those they see as being at the forefront of their industry. In order to lead the charge, you need to walk the walk. This goes beyond simply using forum marketing strategies to get more traffic to your website. You have to constantly strive to create, reinvent, and build upon everything in your industry. Then, bring that knowledge to the forums.
7) Create A Landing Page For Your Signature And Take Forum Marketing To The Next Level
This falls right in line with being ahead of the pack. If you want to go the extra mile you can create a special landing page on your website that is geared specifically towards forum members. Simply combine a stellar landing page with a killer call-to-action in your forum signature, and there you have it – you’ve just created the perfect recipe for high conversion rates.
Is There A Conclusion?
Marketing is a never-ending process. There are always new methods, a new way of doing things. How do you use forums to market your website?