9 Forum Marketing Secrets
9 Forum Marketing Secrets That Can Take Your Business To The Next Level
If you are looking to promote your online business on the internet, you have your
work cut out for you. You really do. The difficulty does not come from finding
traffic options. In fact, the difficulty comes from the fact that there are just
simply too many options out there. It is too easy to get caught up in all the
available traffic generation options, and spend a lot of time, effort and money
only to have very little to show for all your marketing efforts.
If you are serious about driving highly targeted traffic to your website, one of the
best moves you can ever make is to carry out a forum marketing campaign. It is
easy to understand why forum marketing works. Regardless of how obscure your
niche is, there are already people congregating online at certain websites who are
talking about different aspects of whatever it is you are promoting. They are
congregating at online message boards also known as forums.
Here are the 9 secrets to forum marketing that can take your online business to the next level.
Secret #1: Niche targeting is crucial to forum marketing success
If you want to drive high-quality traffic to your website, you have to understand
that you cannot just target any and all forums. That is a sure recipe for disaster.
Why? You are not targeting these forums based on interest.
Every forum has a specialization. Every forum is geared towards certain subject
matter categories. It is very important to find forums that are specialized in the
particular niche of the product or service you are promoting, and stick to those
Do not fall for the common trap of thinking that since there are few forums that
deal with your niche directly, you have to pick any and every forum. That is
completely wrong. You are only setting yourself up for your failure if you think
Secret #2: All your forum traffic must have an archive-able HOME
It really would be a shame if you put in all this time, effort and energy driving
traffic from forums to your target website only to have that traffic evaporate.
Unfortunately, that is precisely what you are doing if you are just promoting a
link. Many old school marketers used to do this, and it used to work fine.
Unfortunately, as forum visitors have become more sophisticated over the years,
the old tricks simply are not going to fly. People expect more. People are not
simply going to convert right off a link. I do not care how well written your
landing page is. I do not care how well put together your sales page is. People
This is why I highly recommend that you
create a blog. Many people think that a blog is a waste of time or it would take
too much effort, but the reality is that thanks to outsourcing, it has become very
easy to keep a professional blog.
You want that traffic to go to specific pages on your blog, and you want other
specific pages on your blog to work to convert whatever traffic you drive to your
blog. You have to remember that different people have different interests. They
have different reasons for clicking on a link to go to your blog. Your blog has to
present the value proposition you bring to the table in many different ways, so as
to maximize the commercial appeal of whatever it is you are promoting.
Secret #3: Forum link dropping campaigns WILL blow up in your face
One of the most commonly used forum marketing methods is to take simple links
and just drop them in posts in forums. The problem with this way of marketing is
that there is really no added value as far as forum readers are concerned. They do
not have a clear idea as to the context of the link and how that link will add value
to their lives. All they see are some catchy text encouraging them to click on the
link. They do not even know in advance whether the link will be directly relevant
to the niche of the content that they are interested in.
Not surprisingly, many marketers that engage in simple link dropping campaigns
have very little to show for all their efforts. In fact, most of them have nothing to
show for their efforts because these forums end up banning them. That is right.
If your account gets banned, all your posts get deleted.
This is a serious problem because many forum marketers market by simply
dropping a link in either the body of their post or in their signature line.
Regardless of whether you are using forum post body text or signature lines to
promote your affiliate product or your own website, if you get banned, you will
get to no benefits. This is why it is really important to understand that while you
are, at the end of the day, promoting a link, you should not just promote the link.
You have to promote content. You have to provide some sort of context for your
Secret #4: Credibility is the name of the forum marketing game
In secret #3, I have outlined the importance of content. Content is crucial
because you cannot just drop naked links all over the place. People would not
know what to do with your link. They would be very suspicious. They would be
very skeptical and would often end up wasting all your time, effort and energy
just dropping those links.
Also, forum posts that only contain naked links look awkward. They look
incomplete. At the very least, they look suspicious.
How do you build credibility? First, you have to offer real content. This is
content that adds value to people’s lives. This is content that actually answers
specific questions that people have.
Credibility arises from the usefulness of your participation in a forum. One thing
is clear. Somebody who simply just drops links all over the place is a completely
useless forum member. On the other hand, somebody who is always there to
answer people’s questions and steer them to the right direction will not only be
viewed as a helpful person, but people are more like to click that person’s links
because they trust that person’s information.
I hope you see the difference. In fact, the difference is like day and night. If you
are serious about making more money online through forum marketing, you need
to start with a serious credibility building campaign.
Secret #5: Build faster credibility by piggybacking on competitor content
I know that the discussion on secret #4 may have gotten you worried. This is
completely natural and perfectly understandable.
The good news is that
you can build credibility without spending money on original content.
Best of all, you can build quite a bit of credibility quickly. The solution is actually
quite simple. The solution, at least in the beginning, is to simply use your
competitor’s content. That is right – you piggyback on their best content.
You might think that this is some form of plagiarism. You might even think that
this is some form of theft. That is absolutely wrong. In fact, your competitors
would love you for this because at the end of the day, you are driving traffic to
them. Little do they know that their best content is actually benefitting you as
When you answer questions in forums with the best content produced by your
competitors, you build credibility. People can see that you are always ready with
the very best useful content. This can only improve your stock as far as forum
popularity is concerned. If you keep this up long enough, you can become quite
an authority when it comes to certain subjects. That is where you need to go and
the best way to do that is to simply piggyback on your competitor’s best content.
How do you do this? You compile a decent list of all the top competitors in your
niche who offer the very best content. When you see niche-related questions on
forums, you can then do searches on your list of target blogs and websites to find
the very best answer. You then post a link along with an explanation of as to why
that link is a good resource. At the very least, the link answers the question being
asked as well as providing other value. If you keep this up long enough, people
will consider you the “go to” source for certain concerns. You can quickly become
an authority in certain subjects.
Secret #6: The key to forum authority is being indispensable
By being quick to answer niche-specific questions that deal the subject area of the
items you are promoting, you quickly become indispensable. Other experts
might not be available. Other authorities may not respond to quickly.
If you respond to niche-specific questions very promptly and you always supply
really good answers, it is very easy for people to think that you are simply
Try to be the first person to answer. Not only will you be able to build your
credibility answering quickly, but the high placement of your answer ensures that
you get more eyeballs. The more eyeballs you educate regarding your subject
matter expertise, the easier it is for people to think you are indispensable. You
need to keep this up until you become a solid authority.
The good news is that the timeline from zero to hero varies from forum to forum.
Highly active forums take a longer time to be viewed as an authority at very busy
forums because there is a lot more content being published. However, in slower
forums, you can expect to become an authority quickly since you are one of the
few people posting on a regular basis.
Secret #7: Mix only your best content with your posts
The secret to forum marketing, of course, is to get people to click on your links.
This is going to be a problem because as I have mentioned in secret #5, you are
using other website’s content to build your credibility. This is going to conflict
with your overarching end goal of getting people to click only on your content.
How do you make this happen? It is very simple. You mix your own content with
the best agreed or high quality content produced by your competitors. In the
beginning, you are only offering competitor content. However, as your authority
begins to build, you start mixing in more and more of your own posts and your
own website links.
It is really important that regardless of how much of your own materials you mix
in with best agreed competitor content, that you exercise a high degree of
discrimination as far as your content is concerned.
It is important to note that “best” is defined in this context as something
extremely relevant. In other words, if somebody asks a question regarding
toothpaste, you need to show your own blog’s content that deals directly with
toothpaste. I hope that much is clear.
Secret #8: How to get other forum leaders to build your credibility
A forum is like an online neighborhood or an online city. In any city, there are
influential people. These are people that other neighbors pay attention to. These
are people who call the shots.
There are two kinds of leaders. There are natural leaders and there are self-made
leaders. Natural leaders simply ooze charisma. For some reason or the other,
people are inexplicably drawn to these people. For some reason of another, other
people give these individuals the benefit of the doubt. They simply attract people
There are forum leaders that fall into this camp. For some reason, the way they
post, the way they joke, and the way they carry themselves naturally draws others
to them. They have a very strong personality that is very hard to resist.
This is not going to work all the time nor do not expect this to produce stellar
results overnight. This is something that you do consistently over a long period
of time. The more you mention these other forum leaders, the sooner you will get
on their radar. Once they start looking at you as some sort of ally or some sort of
equal, do not be surprised when they start talking about issues that you raised
before. Do not be surprised if they start sharing links that you shared in the past.
This is what you want to happen because they lend you their credibility. They
lend you whatever authority that they have built. If people in a forum think that
they are people to be trusted, subconsciously those followers would start trusting
you as well. Why? The people that they trust find you credible. In other words,
these forum leaders vouch for you.
Secret #9: Increase conversions through targeted forum posts
If you apply the first eight secrets of this list, chances are very high that you can
drive quite a bit of traffic to your landing page or your squeeze page. That is all
well and good, but the problem is all that traffic is not really going to benefit you
all that much if you cannot convert that traffic into sales.
The whole point of online marketing is to convert online traffic into dollars in
your bank account. Unfortunately, if you turn a blind eye to conversions, you are
simply rolling the dice with all that traffic. Nine times out of ten, that traffic is
just simply going to bounce out of the landing page, squeeze page or blog post
that you are directing that traffic to. In other words, you are simply wasting your
time. You have to focus on conversion.
In the beginning of your forum marketing campaign, you can be forgiven if you
forget about conversions. The key focus at that point is to simply position you as
an authority. At that point in time, your main goal is to build your credibility, so
people can trust you enough to click your own content links once you start
sharing your own content.
However, once you start sharing your own content, it is really important to make
sure that the traffic that you are sending has a high chance of converting. One of
the best ways to do this is to post selected content. In other words, you create
highly specialized conversations that deal with topics that are directly relevant to
your own content links.
The secret to all this is the know-like-trust buying process. When people click on
your link, they are not yet ready to buy. They do not know enough to trust you.
The key here is to give them more information. Get them to feel that they know you.
Once you give them that content and they really like your solution, the next step
is to link them out to your sales page. The sales page should then be written in
such a way that it maximizes the trust people have in your solution. That is how
it works. For anybody to buy anything from you, they must first trust you.
However, for them to trust you, they must first like you.
In turn, for them to like you, they must first feel that you know what you are
talking about. These are all interrelated. You cannot just jump from the know
stage all the way to the buy stage. It does not work that way. Keep this in mind,
so that your blog or website content mirrors the know-like-trust process that is
playing out when people read your targeted posts on forums.
Forum marketing can either be a hit or miss affair or it can be like
shooting fish in a barrel. It all depends on how you carry yourself.
Follow the 9 secrets outlined above to take your forum marketing
results to the next level!