How To Stop Getting Distracted When Forum Marketing

In this article I am going to talk about using forums to generate traffic to your squeeze page. Also I want to suggest ways that you can use forum marketing so that you don’t get distracted.

Forums are a great place full of enthusiastic people who want to interact and share. There are so many forums now that you will find a good one in any niche area.

As an internet marketer you can use forums to build peoples awareness of your business and brand and also build valuable relationships.

To use a forum effectively for marketing purposes you need to add value. Everything you do must be for the benefit of those in the forum so that you are seen as knowledgeable and helpful.

Most forums allow you to have a signature link where you can promote your business. This is the place where you can add a link to your squeeze page and offer something valuable and helpful to people on the forum.

This enables you to build your email list with targeted prospects – people who are interested in your niche topic and if you continue to add value you will find that they become loyal followers and repeat buyers.

However, one of the downsides of using forum marketing is that it is so easy to get distracted while interacting in the forum itself.

Forum Distraction

Have you ever spent hours in a forum and at the end you realise that you didn’t actually provide any value yourself? All you did was read and read! You got distracted and hooked into the discussions going on.

This is exactly what you must not let happen – although it is the very situation that you yourself should create for others in the forum. Provide such interesting posts and threads that people get hooked!

This is what I recommend you do if you want to use forums for marketing your business and are struggling to stay focused.

  • Decide to add 10 valuable comments or posts to the forum. It is better to use a specific number of posts rather than set a time limit because time can pass by distraction whereas if you know you have to add 10 posts then you will not get distracted so easily.
  • Look at the threads in the forum and pin point the 10 that you can add value to.
  • Open up all threads in a new window so that you have 10 windows open.
  • Now go through each one adding your helpful comment.
  • Shut down the window when you have completed your comment and work on the next.
  • Eventually all 10 windows will be closed and you can then move on and do the next task which might be product creation.

Doing it this way really helps to keep you focused.

What Exactly is Social Media Marketing?

“SMM combines the goals of internet marketing with social media sites such as Digg, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube and many others. The SMM goals will be different for every business or organization, however most will involve some form of viral marketing to build idea or brand awareness, increase visibility, and possibly sell a product or service. SMM may also include online reputation management. Most online communities don’t welcome traditional direct or hard sell techniques so an effective SMM campaign will require more finesse to execute properly. SMM campaigns must be targeted to the community you want to reach with a message that appeals to them. Some common ways of achieving this are with authoritative information, entertainment, humor or controversy.”

– Wikipedia 2007

Social media marketing can be thought of an indirect method of marketing your business. It is a powerful process which utilizes the principles of traditional marketing to programs with social ends that ultimately promotes your business through social media channels. Social media marketing is the new wave of online marketing and might be considered an indirect method of marketing. Traditional marketing focuses on immediate sales and gets right to the point. This is who we are, this is what we do, this is why you should buy our product or service, now buy it. The length of traditional sales cycles vary within industries but the goal is always the same – close that sale.

Social media marketing has the same goal but the means to the end are very different. It is generally frowned upon to try to do sell your product or service on industry forum sites, for example. Those forums are in place for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and networking. Most forums have a separate advertising section where businesses can pay for advertising. The idea behind participating in forums is to establish yourself as your industry expert. Sharing your knowledge and learning from those in the same industry or your target market results in exposure for you and your business.

If you provide helpful information, make constructive comments and ask appropriate questions, you will be offering value to potential customers and they will, eventually, come to look for more value from you. Naturally, your ultimate value is in the product or service you are trying to sell. The inherent problem with social media marketing is that it takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the eventual desired result – that being the sale. Many business owners either don’t have the time to devote to something that does not provide immediate desired results (the delayed gratification theory) or they are resisting utilizing the powerful social media marketing available options specifically because of its indirect approach to sales and the time it takes to see results.

Social media marketing is really no different than social networking off the internet. When you attend a trade show or a company event, you are networking in a social environment with the desired result being to increase your customer base. Companies that sponsor golf outings, company picnics and other social events, often invite employees, customers and potential customers. What do these three groups of people do at these events? They socialize and network. Although some may develop friendships at such events, the main reason for and ultimate goal of such events is to increase the bottom line – meaning the company’s profits.

The Internet offers massive sources for networking through blogs, forums, communities and of course the immense number of social networking sites like Facebook, Bebo, Dzone, Gather, Ryze, Squidoo, Tagged, Xing and many, many more. The networking concept is the same; the platforms are exponentially greater and different. The vast number of sites can be overwhelming (http://traffikd.com/social-media-websites/), so it is a good idea to focus your social networking on sites that are specific to your industry as well as some of the larger, widely used generic sites like Facebook, Plaxo, Linkedin, etc. I prefer to use the sites that are more business-oriented like LinkedIn and Plaxo – but that is a personal preference. To me, my Facebook profile has information and photos that are more appropriate for friends and family than business associates, but there are those who don’t agree. Again, that is a matter of personal preference.

For discussion purposes, let’s consider traditional (or direct) marketing to be a one way communication channel and social media marketing to be a two-way communication channel. In traditional marketing, a business might send you a direct mailer, an email, or you might see an advertisement in a magazine. These types of marketing campaigns cost the business a whole lot of money and don’t always result in large volumes of sales. Now consider participating in two-way conversations on forums, blogs and other social networking sites. You, as a representative of your business, are engaging in “conversations” with your prospective clients and hopefully providing valuable content (content is King in social media marketing). Over time, you and your business will become more visible (as you increase your online presence), your reputation and value will increase and in time, your prospective clients will know who you are, the value in what you are selling and where to find you.

I always like to put myself in the other person’s shoes to understand where they are coming from. I don’t purchase anything before going on the Internet to find everything I can about the product or service I am considering buying. I read the reviews as well as what is being said about the competitive product or service. This being said, why would I expect anyone else to not do the same? If you think about social media marketing in these terms, its value, albeit a time-consuming process, may become more apparent to you.

It is important to keep in mind that social networks consist of loyal and engaging large audiences. Social media marketing can greatly benefit any business as it compliments your brand (an incredibly important topic in its own right), business and online profile. However, social media marketing takes time and serious dedication but the ultimate return you will receive will be well worth the time spent.

Whether or not a business owner embraces the value of social media marketing, there is no escaping the fact that the Internet is the new frontier for marketing. Social media has taken on a life of its own and if you have not jumped on the bandwagon, you are missing the boat. Social media marketing can greatly benefit any business as it compliments your brand, business and online profile.

How to Generate Traffic Using Forum Marketing

If you’re wondering how to channel more traffic to your website or blog, I wouldn’t hesitate in using Forum Marketing as the vehicle for potential customers.

For example, there are millions of forums on the Internet for all kinds of niches.

From pet grooming, parents and teenage counseling, gaming forums where teenagers are playing games between friends, open forums for political, social, and environmental issues, small business forums and of course Internet Marketing Forums. The list is endless and this becomes an invaluable resource to share your ideas and learn from others within the same niche.

By far, the most important lesson to learn when you enter any forum is to follow the rules. Once you have these rules understood, you should have a lot of connections with like-minded people who will be willing to help you whichever way possible.

It’s within these forums where people get to know you and what you intend to deliver.

My recommendation is to build relationships with fellow forum members. Like all customer building relationships, their needs to be trust, credibility, responsibility, and accountability and if you already have these attributes, then this would not be a problem.

Having said that, the best thing to do is look at the questions members are asking and try to provide answers from your experience that members will appreciate.

And of course, you can add your questions that are on your mind and you’d be surprised how many people are willing to contribute to the thread of information during the discussion.

Similarly, once you have shared your thoughts and knowledge over time, if you are confident to take your business to another level, you may connect to forum members, to form a JV Partnership.

Whilst you are enjoying the opportunity to form these business relationships, you will find that visitors, members will click on your forum signature and link to your website. This is obviously your ultimate goal.

Furthermore, I would suggest you be careful not to add affiliate links in your signature unless the forum rules allow this and one such forum to be careful in this regard is the “Warrior Forum.” This forum is full of Internet Marketing Gurus willing to offer their services to help any individual to make money online and help you develop a full-time business. But still, you are not to add affiliate links. You must have your own website URL.

By the same token, my suggestion would be to focus on adding your value of contributing to each discussion and over the long-term, people will notice your sincerity and honesty.

Finally, to summarize some key points:

1. Keep to the Forum rules.

2. Make an effort to contribute your wisdom, knowledge and experience to each discussion and give your best answers and opinions.

3. Do not post affiliate links unless the forum allows.

4. Develop lasting business relationships, which could possibly encourage JV Partnerships.

5. Participate in Forums that fit within your niche.

6. Use Forum Marketing as a long-term strategy.

7. Stay away from sales pitches. Build the relationship first.

My last advice before I wrap up this article: Never ever be offended in forums where they maybe heated discussions. In other words, do not get caught up in your prideful emotions just because someone did not agree with you.

The best option would be to turn away and join another discussion.

I hope this article has given you some insight; using Forum Marketing and if you don’t want to use this medium as a traffic source, there are other traffic generating resources.

Click the link below to learn where to advertise your website to funnel 2000 guaranteed website visitors and more…

Mistakes You Should Avoid in Forum Marketing

When it comes to finding potential consumers and directing traffic towards your business’s website, online forums can be a great platform. These are web locations where users informally interact with one another on selected topics. This is particularly why forum marketing can be beneficial, since you may be able to find a cluster of potential customers all at one place. For instance, you can look for a topic of interest related to your product and then use the top forums to market your product or services.

This may be done through social media pages, recommendations and direct interaction. When doing this, however, you must make sure that you avoid some common forum marketing mistakes.

For one, you must never market your services through guest usernames on popular forums. This may make it look like spamming, and can cause you to be banned permanently. It will also make your marketing look scattered and unconvincing. Therefore, always register yourself, preferably with your brand name, and use the same identification to post information around the forum.

Secondly, you must avoid direct and abrupt marketing. Web users today are efficient enough to distinguish good marketing strategies from fraudulent ones. If you immediately begin to use your username to post back-links and direct information about your product, it will eventually leave a negative impact on all those who come across it. Naturally, this does not make you seem like you are providing a solution, but like you are merely trying to make quick money. Therefore, make sure that you assist potential customers appropriately and make a recommendation for the product only if they genuinely seem to need it.

Moreover, you must make sure that you avoid all fraudulent strategies that might land you in trouble later. For example, it is a very common practice to make multiple accounts on forums and post information pretending to be regular users. This is likely to be eventually recognized as spamming, which can leave a lasting negative impact on your business. Therefore, make sure you only use legal and appropriate strategies for forum marketing.

Another mistake you must avoid is to try to hide negative responses. Often, negative reviews are pushed out of sight by loading a page with positive ones. A better way to deal with negative criticism is to respond to it politely and to discuss it with the customers. Instead of ignoring embarrassing complaints, assuring customers that you will take care of the problem will go a long way for the reputation of your business.

How Businesses and Entrepreneurs Can Use Online Forums For Marketing Research

Market researchers have many options available to them as they explore their target customers and try to understand how they think. Each of these methods involves tradeoffs, so none of them is necessarily better than any of the others. Forums can be a powerful tool for market researchers, particularly entrepreneurs who have limited resources. Since most forums allow members to view and post for free, they serve as one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to conduct marketing research. In addition to being low cost, forums have a few other advantages. Unlike most surveys, respondents can give detailed descriptions regarding how they feel about a particular product, service or issue. Forum respondents are more patient participating in forum discussions than in market surveys because they typically are participating on their own volition.

Since they are not being pressured into responding and don’t have to give up a single, sizable chunk of their time as they would in a survey, they are willing to reply to more than one threaded discussion or post more than once to a thread. Reading all of the posts that a user places on a forum can give market researchers a more thorough understanding of their preferences and opinions. Forum respondents are also often more likely to be honest if they feel that they can respond with anonymity. The biggest challenge that market researchers face is not in acquiring data, but rather analyzing it. When people post in forums it is typically difficult to authenticate what they are saying or why they are saying it.

Forum users could post overly positive information because they have a vested interest in promoting a specific type of service or product or post negative feedback because of a grudge they hold. Another problem is that it is difficult to develop a true and accurate assessment of the demographic information of the posters, which is obviously a very important element of any marketing research study. Fortunately, there are ways that market researchers can address these shortcomings. With experience, researchers can learn to identify when forum users seem to be straightforward and when they seem to have ulterior motives for what they are saying. Of course, given the anonymous nature of the Internet, it is never possible to determine for certain whether or not they are being completely honest. Many forums give users the opportunity to create profile pages describing themselves.

Market researchers should try to focus on using these forums, because they can read these profile pages to learn more about the forum users. If such information is not displayed on a profile page, researchers can scan the posts they have made in the entire forum to see what demographic information they have said about themselves. Forums can be a tremendous medium for market research but has been largely overlooked by researchers because they feel that it is difficult to authenticate the information being posted. However, there are a few approaches that they can use to authenticate this information to open up a new channel for conducting marketing research. On the other hand, social media sites can still be better for niche research because demographic information is more readily available.