The art of marketing within discussion forums

Since 2000 the virtual gathering places for thousands of people have been discussion forums, and within those spaces, you have their undivided attention. Some are there to sell something, some are there because they have no real social life, and others are just trolling. One common factor among them all, is that they are all potential customers, but you'll never know unless you make the pitch.

Forum marketing is a high ROI strategy because making a good impression in front of this savvy and influential audience can help your marketing message spread far and wide. If a user is satisfied with the advice you provided, there is the chance they will share it within a network, and that means free viral marketing for you.

Tech support forums are a particularly great source for customers because the users are there seeking help for free, but will pay for solutions if they realize they cannot do it themselves. Take advantage of these "free" marketing hotspots and present your wares. WebsiteDons.com was able to earn $4,600 in 4 weeks just by posting at the Joomla "support" forum; sold 96 copies of software, and provided valuable services for 11 Joomla users who needed help and were ready to pay for knowledgeable help, They were contacted by private messages and email, or they initiated the contact with WebsiteDons.

Naturally the owners of these forums wish to keep marketers out, primarily to keep the users focused on whatever the owner is selling. But there are ways around the rules! The key is subtle and suggestive posting.

 

The First Action

Create multiple accounts from different IP addresses and log in using a multi proxy service such hide.me, hideMyass, hidester, anonymouse, zend2, megaproxy and many others. Use one account as the primary posting and marketing user, and the others are merely for supporting the primary with gratitude posts and inquiries which you answer quickly and even maintain a conversation.

Build Your Post Count

Many forums will have an initial post count required to be able to post links, add a signature or images. Complete that requirement, but do not spam! Stay on topic and post only what you know of. Information on anything is at your fingertips, so anything you don't know, you can quickly research and post. Even if it is verbatim copy. If it's based on support of an application such as Joomla, get involved in posts which have already been answered but no solution defined. Give a related opinion that makes some sense, though it may not resolve the issue. Within a few hours you will reach the required minimum posts. This is where your additional supporting accounts help because you can increase your post count quickly by asking questions and answering your own.

Create A Signature

Don't be quick to drop a linked signature, even if allowed. Start with something that gives credit to the application. Something like "Thanks to Joomla, websites are much better today". Let that run for a few days. Gotta be patient. Once your post count hits about 50 and you've contributed valuable assistance or advice, change your signature to represent your business purpose. You may have a limited character count so make it fit. A forum like Joomla will not allow short URLs so avoid long titled links.

Make The Forum Your Blog

Many forums will create a subforum called "Lounge" or similar where they allow posting of non related value. Use that area to post articles that subtly support your marketing purpose. If you sell plugins for the Joomla CMS, drop posts which advises on certain features that your extension provides, without mentioning the name or developer of the extension. For instance: If it's a slideshow for Joomla content articles, write about the benefits of sliding articles, the best position to place it, how it affects SEO positively and so on. If the discussion gets flowing, the post will remain at the top and the views will grow, and your signature link will be click just from curiosity. The secondary benefit is that search engines will cache the post, so try to make the title close to commonly searched phrases.

Send Private Messages And Emails

If the forum allows private messaging and emailing among members, use it! Again just be subtle, some members may be bitchy whiners who quickly report to the admins. Be selective. If someone has sought assistance and no solution has been provided by those 'helping', send a private message offering free assistance by email and give your email address, also give a clue that you do have knowledge of the technicalities. Once they communicate by email, give them all the options that will fix their troubles. Show them the free solution along with the priced.

Don't Get Into Fights

There will always be the haters who are upset that a newcomer is doing better that them and they will throw fighting words. Just ignore them, regardless of the aggression and childish insults. Stick to your purpose. 'Keyboard fights' will only waste your entire day and get you flustered and your productivity ends. That's what the fools want, so don't fall into their trap.This is also where your supporting accounts come in. Use them to thank your self for the help, even though the haters have discredited your post. Do not use all your supporting cast in many posts at the same time, else the haters will see a pattern and alert the board gods.

 

Conclusion

It is all about clean business. Your goal is solely to market your products and services without high advertising costs. There is absolutely nothing unethical or deceptive about forum marketing, and anyone who says otherwise simply holds a grudge and is a damn idiot.

All the same methods are applicable within Facebook groups which have the same massive buyer resource. Don't miss out!


Monday, 03 July 2017 03:53  |   597 views

 

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