One of the most powerful marketing techniques for me for years has been to identify a target audience and then find a place where they gather and interact with them to build relationships.
One of the best places to find these people is forums. Forums are often overlooked in this fast moving age of social media, but they are often BETTER than social media for gathering your audience.
Here is why:
1. Many forums have had years to build a membership base.
2. Unlike social media, forums are laser targeted on a topic.
3. They have deeper, more involved interactions than the short updates in Twitter and Facebook.
4. Unlike social media, forum postings remain around for years, creating backlinks and traffic to your web sites.
Here are some examples of forums with great targeting and membership that I actively follow for my business and hobbies:
* Warrior Forum - 253,367 members who talk about Internet marketing
* Cloudy Nights - 45,529 members who talk about astronomy
* Mobile Read Forums - 95,133 members who talk about ebooks and ereaders.
Even Facebook is in the forum game. They call them groups.
While the overall membership of Facebook is larger than any single forum, no one group on Facebook has as many members and as much content and interaction as the top forums on the Internet. Warrior Forum has hundreds of posts a day and many of these posts end up getting read thousands of times. Pretty good return on investment for a single post.
When I look through Facebook groups for Internet marketing, they only have a few thousand people at most and have nowhere near the number of postings that Warrior Forum has.
So when you are planning your next social media campaign, make sure you include the forgotten social media: Forums!