By: James Schramko
While having a great sales page is very important in internet marketing, what is vital is getting traffic to that sales page. The best sales copy in the world is useless if no-one reads it.
A lot has been written about SEO and Web 2.0 content sites to help build your traffic, so this article will focus on a more demographic-specific form of traffic building: forums.
Internet forums, and their newsgroup predecessors, developed to give like-minded people a place to discuss their favorite topics. These topics can be anything from cooking to skydiving; whatever you’re looking for, there’s a forum for it.
For the purposes of internet marketing, forums are an invaluable research because they are entirely populated with people who are already predisposed to buy your product.
To illustrate, say you are working with a product that teaches people to build websites. If you go to a forum filled with web design novices, then you have pinpointed potential customers, making it more likely to get sales.
When using forums at a marketing tool, you have to remember one key tenet: you must provide value in order for potential customers to buy your product. This tenet is true in every other stage of marketing, but doubly so on the forums. You cannot simply post a bunch of links and expect people to click on them and buy your product. You must post useful information to the topic at hand.
Continuing the example of web design, if somebody posts a question about formatting images on a website, don’t simply write a post saying, “Buy this product,” write something along the lines of, “To format an image using HTML you do this, but if you would like to bypass the hassle of manually formatting images each time, you can try out some web design software like This Product.
It will cut your work time down on trivial things so that you can focus on more important site issues.” This provides the value of knowledge to the members of the forum and also makes a soft pitch for your product.
As you build a presence in a forum community, you will have more people clicking your links because they will appreciate the knowledge you contribute.
One final word: be sure to understand the forum’s rules before including too many links. Most will allow you to have a link in your profile that you can lead to your site, but make sure what the guidelines are before starting.
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