When you hear the phrases “online marketing” and “small business” you probably think of social networks. But even though online marketing seems to be happening across this type of platforms, there are other strategies that are worth the time. Forum marketing is among them and it is now making an unexpected comeback. Forums are not as mainstream as social networks and because of that many companies used to generally ignore them as a marketing tools. However, things have started to go in a different direction, and more and more businesses today see the beauty in forum marketing – easier audience targeting. That is why we have decided to reintroduce this marketing trend which has regained some of its old glamour.
What is forum marketing?
Forum marketing is similar to social marketing. The difference is that instead of social networks, you post on forums. Unlike social marketing, forum marketing requires more interaction and communication with clients on a more personal level, as well as discussions which directly or indirectly concern the sphere or category of the services and products you try to promote. Therefore, forum marketing often requires higher level of expertise and experience compared to other online media practices.
Advantages of forum marketing
This type of online marketing can offer businesses many benefits. The biggest of them is that it comes at a low price. Membership in most forums is still free or it comes at a low cost. Therefore, you can add this practice to your marketing strategy without having to break the bank or to even set up an additional budget for it.
Also, forum marketing can be effective in attracting new clients, since forum users are usually people with specific interests. This can be a wining technique in niche marketing. In addition, it can help you increase your traffic.
Disadvantages of forum marketing
Even though forum marketing can lead to come great results, it does have its downsides. While you won’t need to invest a lot of money in it, you should prepare to dedicate a lot of your time, skills and knowledge. That is because, unlike promo campaigns in social media websites, marketing in forums should never be presented as a content which is openly advertising. Otherwise, it will be viewed as spamming and you will eventually be banned. Therefore, you will need to pick only forum websites are connected to your business and to post in threats which are relevant to the products/service you offer. Publishing a simple promo sentence with a link to your website will be nothing more than a waste of time. The true essence of forum marketing is interacting with other forum users and actively participating in the discussions. So, if you are not sure you can afford to invest much time in it, than forum marketing is not for you.
Forum marketing can be effective only when it takes a leading spot in your advertising strategy. Therefore, if you are an avid forum user or you do not plan to become one, you should probably stick to social networks. Nevertheless, companies that are looking to target a specific audience group should definitely explore this option.