The point of advertisement is to spread your company image into the minds of the masses, but this can be incredibly expensive and sometimes unnecessary. While traditional methods of advertising definitely have their merits, they cannot accomplish what you can alone with business benefits of participating in forums.
By being an active participant in industry-specific forums, you can build a reputation with your consumer base on a personal level, but you want to make sure you’re building a good reputation, so below are a few tips on how to see the business benefits of participating in forums.
Finding Your Niche – The Business Benefits of Participating in Forums
The first thing you have to do to make sure you’re maximizing the business benefits of participating in forums is to post in forums that are relevant and active in your industry. Don’t go to some ghost site that’s been abandoned by all save for two moderators trying to keep the dream alive – head for the site that has the traffic you want to be injected into.
Obviously this is common sense, but the problem is that many businesses think they’ve struck a high-traffic forum only to find out that they’re in a low-medium populated site by comparison to some other sites. Make sure to do a little research and check hub boards to find out to what corner of the internet-pen the majority of your potentials clients are flocking to.
Your forum profile is like your business card, so you want to make it as impressive and easy to read as possible. Keep all your pertinent information where it can be easily spotted and identified, so make a few test templates and show them to your employees to see who can find the information in the shortest amount of time.
The template with the shortest time becomes your profile for the site, so outfit it with an eye-catching picture of yourself (or your company building and logo, if they look nice) and make sure your logo is somewhere prominent but not invasive. Users who enjoy your posts will look to your profile to see what your background is, so make sure they see everything they need to know to find you. To really see the business benefits of participating in forums you want everyone to know who and what you are quickly.
Cut Out the Middle Man…
…and talk directly to your audience. By talking through a forum, you are communicating and interacting directly with your consumer base on a one-to-one and one-to-many basis, saving money on costly advertisements and public relations efforts that can readily be scrapped in favor of a more forum-present approach. This is where you will see the business benefits of participating in forums.
The user base of any dedicated forum is almost wholly populated by people who are involved enough with your industry to want to partake in any products or services you provide. And by building a reputation with them as an industry expert (as well as one who takes the time out of their day to talk to their customers) you’ll create some dedicated clients as well as a powerful online presence that can’t be achieved through traditional advertising means alone.
Traditional advertising methods are effective, this is true, but they aren’t the only way, and they don’t always optimize the exposure-cost ratio like they used to. Today, with the internet and the spread of information, a single person becoming active in a forum can singlehandedly build the reputation of a company, and that is a powerful tool.
[ “7474, 7320, 7146”]