One of the most effective ways to get a word-of-mouth campaign going online is to use forum posting to market a product. Forums are wildly popular and are often visited by people with very specific interests. There are forums for people with children, for singles, for those who work in certain professions, those who love online games, and more. There are forums that have tens of thousands of members and are teeming with people who have an interest in the general topic.
To use these populations to your best advantage, it’s important to belong to several forums that have some type of relation to what you’re selling. If it’s an E-book about horses, you might choose a forum for horse lovers, one about pets and one about activities for kids. All of the posters at these forums will be potentially interested in what you’re selling.
To start marketing through forum posting, sign up with a user name that sounds friendly and non-promotional. If the regular forum posters see a new member with a name like “buy-horse-E-book,” it may put them on the defensive. Instead, you want to integrate yourself as a part of the community. Choose a name that is friendly and perhaps even funny. Once you have an account, personalize it with a signature file. This is what will occupy the space below each of your posts. A few words about the product you are selling and a link to where forum members can buy it is a good use of the signature space.
Spend some time introducing yourself and talking about the topic before ever bringing up the item you are selling. Forum posting should be a somewhat subtle form of marketing because many forums have policies against posts that are too promotional. Post anytime someone asks a question that can be resolved with your product and you may see a spike in sales. Even when your forum posting isn’t about your product, however, some people will click on your signature link and discover what you are selling for themselves.
One way to hook forum members and make them eager to buy from you is to have some type of deal to offer forum members only. This may be a coupon code that forum members use to get a percentage off the regular price. When offered a special deal that is only available to them, the members of the forum may not be able to pass it up.
One of the most important things to remember when using forum posting as a marketing strategy is to always stay within the rules of the forum. Stay in the good graces of the other members and follow the rules or you will alienate the regular members and build a bad name for yourself as well as for your product. Familiarize yourself with the rules and notice the way people talk to each other on the forum before diving in. This will ensure that you are accepted as one of their own and can use this marketing opportunity to its best advantage.
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