Is forum marketing dead?

25 replies
Hi, Max here. What is your experience marketing on niche forums? Mine is really bad. Too much time consuming with the poorest traffic results no matter how hard you try to interact with people and contribute value. Some marketers say forum marketing is dead nowadays or at least lost its effectiveness. Meanwhile others boast good results from it, may be just for the sake of making content. What's your progress? Do people view signatures? Most of them just switch off signatures to be able to communicate on forums without the necessity to be bothered by ads while creating their own signatures for someone who might feel OK with that. What's your thinking on forum marketing? Thanks.
#dead #forum #marketing
  • Profile picture of the author Mitch Barber
    Hey Max,

    Great question! I'm not sure there is such a thing as forum marketing now. Not if you want quick traffic anyway. However formum contribution is alive and well!

    What to I mean by that?

    Well, if you spend time contributing real value to a forum (or anywhere else for that matter), then people will be interested to find out more about you, and perhaps what other value they can get from you! But it takes time to do that. You need to build a reputation. And forums are an excellent place for doing that!

    I misunderstood them for a long time. But now totally believe that signatures should not lead to a sales page. They should lead to a 'value' page - where people can learn something for nothing.

    In the long run this will contribute to building a solid, long lasting business.

    I think the problem today is that everyone wants instant results. We live in a Mc Donalds society now where everything is instant. But that's for the consumer! The producer (the provider to the consumer) needs to have a longer term strategy. And 'forum marketing' as it's known is more of a long term, producer type strategy.

    That's just my humble opinion. I hope it helps or is at least thought provoking :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Max Greenflame
      Originally Posted by Mitch Barber View Post

      Hey Max,

      Great question! I'm not sure there is such a thing as forum marketing now. Not if you want quick traffic anyway. However formum contribution is alive and well!

      What to I mean by that?

      Well, if you spend time contributing real value to a forum (or anywhere else for that matter), then people will be interested to find out more about you, and perhaps what other value they can get from you! But it takes time to do that. You need to build a reputation. And forums are an excellent place for doing that!

      I misunderstood them for a long time. But now totally believe that signatures should not lead to a sales page. They should lead to a 'value' page - where people can learn something for nothing.

      In the long run this will contribute to building a solid, long lasting business.

      I think the problem today is that everyone wants instant results. We live in a Mc Donalds society now where everything is instant. But that's for the consumer! The producer (the provider to the consumer) needs to have a longer term strategy. And 'forum marketing' as it's known is more of a long term, producer type strategy.

      That's just my humble opinion. I hope it helps or is at least thought provoking :-)
      Thank you, Mitch, totally agree with you. Brilliant thoughts. Though, I'm still not sure if it's worth time building reputation on forums and how it's built right. I know, by contributing pure value on the regular basis, this is the key, however, it's often not rewarded. Plus there's a competition even between contributors.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Oh boy. Not yet another 'death of' thread.

    Everything is dead. Nothing to see here guys. Move on.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...d-threads.html
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    • Profile picture of the author Mitch Barber
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Oh boy. Not yet another 'death of' thread.

      Everything is dead. Nothing to see here guys. Move on.

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...d-threads.html
      Is it possible you're being a bit hasty in your judgement here Will? From Max's post I can see he's talking from personal experience and asking some genuine questions which deserve a genuine response IMHO.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Mitch Barber View Post

        Is it possible you're being a bit hasty in your judgement here Will? From Max's post I can see he's talking from personal experience and asking some genuine questions which deserve a genuine response IMHO.

        Forum marketing is not dead.

        Just because Max has had bad experiences with it does not mean it is dead. It only means that he is not doing it well enough to profit from the experience.

        There are two primary things that must be accomplished in forum marketing to be successful:

        1. He has to become a valued member in the community; and
        2. He has to offer a compelling call-to-action in his signature.

        If he fails on either count, his success with forum marketing will be non-existent.
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by Mitch Barber View Post

        Is it possible you're being a bit hasty in your judgement here Will? From Max's post I can see he's talking from personal experience and asking some genuine questions which deserve a genuine response IMHO.
        I was just commenting on the title of the thread. Just because something doesn't work for one person doesn't mean it's dead. People keep using those titles to try and get eyeballs on an otherwise general topic.

        Of course forum marketing is not dead. Not even close.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mitch Barber
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          I was just commenting on the title of the thread. Just because something doesn't work for one person doesn't mean it's dead. People keep using those titles to try and get eyeballs on an otherwise general topic.

          Of course forum marketing is not dead. Not even close.
          Hey Will, I get where you're coming from. However, we've really gotta hand it to Max then - and the other newbies who are using this technique! They're quick learners and are doing EXACTLY what internet marketers should be doing - getting eyeballs to their content!
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  • Profile picture of the author datingworld
    It's not dead at all......
    Most of the people use forums for marketing purposes, a small minority doesn't use it for this purpose though.. [forums are best for Learning new things as well marketing + interacting with people]

    You have joined recently, maybe that's the reason you have this concept, you will realize with time that it does work very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    It still works. Why? Because people are on forums. Duh. If there are people congregating in one spot who are all interested in the same thing, and you can get in front of them, you will get traffic. But here's the problem...

    Actually, there are a LOT of problems. Let's take the marketing "triangle" for example; you got your three classic issues: Market, message, media.

    Well, obviously the forum is the media or medium you are using (in this case) to get in front of people. So that's one problem. In reality, it's just one media and you should be using (and tracking the results of) several. Not relying on any one given thing.

    That's what they call putting all your eggs in one basket. We're all guilty of it. To start, it's just normal to work on one thing and get it working, and move on to the next.

    So you've got to diversify your traffic. When it comes to any one single offer... it's not really multiple streams of income. It's multiple streams of traffic that leads to the income.

    Problem number two is the match between the market and the message. Take my signature for example at the time of this post. It sucks. I'm well aware of it.

    See, the market that's congregating on this forum is interested in quick ways to make a fast buck, and they want to see income claims. They are also very receptive to plugins, automated software that does things for you, and SEO products and services.

    Now, a tiny little slice of the market knows they want and need to create a product because it's a really good tool to have in their tool belt, but basically if I just relied on this I would be in a lot of trouble. It's not really compelling and it sounds like work.

    That being said...

    Since I just said my signature sucks, I will take the liberty to say that yours isn't that sexy either. You're trying to be cute with this phrase about milking the stars, but that doesn't really mean jack you know what to the market place. It's cutesy.

    Cutesy really sucks for marketing. As far as structure goes, it's much better to hone in on a specific benefit that appeals to people in clear language, tie an impressive time deadline to it, and say it in a way that makes you stand out that is compelling. None of this vague cutesy stuff my friend.

    Then, as for the actual "substance" of message, it's super important that you're on target. Change your signature to a SEO offer with a specific income claim in X period of days, WITHOUT doing any back linking or whatever (<--- point of difference) and watch your click through rate go up dramatically. Not saying you have that offer, just saying if you did have it, it would perform better.

    But what you offer the marketplace is ultimately up to you, isn't it?

    Case in point: Pretty much anyone who offers SEO services here, can sell it halfway well, actually delivers on their promises, does what they say they will do, and who get people results, guess what? They have no trouble finding customers on this forum. Just talk to some of them about their business and that will become apparent. It's not really that surprising when you consider the marketplace: Internet Marketing.

    Marc

    PS. Then there are things like building relationships with people who have a following. I mean, you have to do that actively.
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    • Profile picture of the author Max Greenflame
      Originally Posted by Marc Rodill View Post

      It still works. Why? Because people are on forums. Duh. If there are people congregating in one spot who are all interested in the same thing, and you can get in front of them, you will get traffic. But here's the problem...

      Actually, there are a LOT of problems. Let's take the marketing "triangle" for example; you got your three classic issues: Market, message, media.

      Well, obviously the forum is the media or medium you are using (in this case) to get in front of people. So that's one problem. In reality, it's just one media and you should be using (and tracking the results of) several. Not relying on any one given thing.

      That's what they call putting all your eggs in one basket. We're all guilty of it. To start, it's just normal to work on one thing and get it working, and move on to the next.

      So you've got to diversify your traffic. When it comes to any one single offer... it's not really multiple streams of income. It's multiple streams of traffic that leads to the income.

      Problem number two is the match between the market and the message. Take my signature for example at the time of this post. It sucks. I'm well aware of it.

      See, the market that's congregating on this forum is interested in quick ways to make a fast buck, and they want to see income claims. They are also very receptive to plugins, automated software that does things for you, and SEO products and services.

      Now, a tiny little slice of the market knows they want and need to create a product because it's a really good tool to have in their tool belt, but basically if I just relied on this I would be in a lot of trouble. It's not really compelling and it sounds like work.

      That being said...

      Since I just said my signature sucks, I will take the liberty to say that yours isn't that sexy either. You're trying to be cute with this phrase about milking the stars, but that doesn't really mean jack you know what to the market place. It's cutesy.

      Cutesy really sucks for marketing. As far as structure goes, it's much better to hone in on a specific benefit that appeals to people in clear language, tie an impressive time deadline to it, and say it in a way that makes you stand out that is compelling. None of this vague cutesy stuff my friend.

      Then, as for the actual "substance" of message, it's super important that you're on target. Change your signature to a SEO offer with a specific income claim in X period of days, WITHOUT doing any back linking or whatever (<--- point of difference) and watch your click through rate go up dramatically. Not saying you have that offer, just saying if you did have it, it would perform better.

      But what you offer the marketplace is ultimately up to you, isn't it?

      Case in point: Pretty much anyone who offers SEO services here, can sell it halfway well, actually delivers on their promises, does what they say they will do, and who get people results, guess what? They have no trouble finding customers on this forum. Just talk to some of them about their business and that will become apparent. It's not really that surprising when you consider the marketplace: Internet Marketing.

      Marc

      PS. Then there are things like building relationships with people who have a following. I mean, you have to do that actively.
      Thanks, Marc, excellent example. Also I appreciate you reviewed my signature. When I was creating it the thinking was to put something freaky. I though it would work because people seem to be sick and tired of ads, especially with offers that look like get-rich-quick schemes, magical software, one click solutions, etc. I was sure they're looking for valuable ideas. I found weird marketing tips and tricks with weird titles brought good attention. I was mistaken so far. It doesn't work. I'll change it. By the way I like your signature, it doesn't suck, looks and sounds great.

      Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    By the way, forum marketing is content marketing. Plain and simple. Content marketing doesn't always reward you immediately.

    If you read Napoleon Hill's work, you will often come across the principle of delivering value to people, without the expectation that you will receive something in return immediately. Or even directly from the person you helped. Instead, that it may come from elsewhere, and at a later date.

    Also, he talks about how you shouldn't contribute to other people with the sole purpose of receiving something in return, as it can compromise the quality of your work and the effort you put forth if you don't immediately meet your expectations. There ought to be other reasons like a mission.

    He says that you should have faith that by doing good work, it will come back to you ten fold. Even if what you receive in return is not necessarily monetary in value. Say, e.g. the long-term, lifetime value you gain in understanding your marketplace better, for example. Or new, valuable connections.

    Marc
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    Hey Max,
    It's alive and well. Sure enough in a lot of niches, the volumes of traffic/interest are not there. Or take a lot of digging to find. But it's very much alive, and when it comes to linking. Is more beneficial now then ever before.
    At least for me anyway.

    btw. Citations normally work better than Sigs in my experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    It really depends on the niche in my experience. Some are very responsive, some could care less.

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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by PPC-Coach View Post

      It really depends on the niche in my experience. Some are very responsive, some could care less.


      LOL

      If a person could care less about your niche, is it because they could care less about the niche, or they could care less about how you presented your offer?
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  • Profile picture of the author HumbleGuy
    @Mitch, good points!
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  • Profile picture of the author himanuzo
    Forum marketing is not dead. Maybe you are on the wrong forum.

    Warriors make money $$$ from this forum for internet marketing niche. This is one example.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesfranklin128
    Originally Posted by Max Greenflame View Post

    Hi, Max here. What is your experience marketing on niche forums? Mine is really bad. Too much time consuming with the poorest traffic results no matter how hard you try to interact with people and contribute value. Some marketers say forum marketing is dead nowadays or at least lost its effectiveness. Meanwhile others boast good results from it, may be just for the sake of making content. What's your progress? Do people view signatures? Most of them just switch off signatures to be able to communicate on forums without the necessity to be bothered by ads while creating their own signatures for someone who might feel OK with that. What's your thinking on forum marketing? Thanks.
    No, you are wrong forums marketing is still effective but you have to do something more with forums.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Originally Posted by Max Greenflame View Post

    Hi, Max here. What is your experience marketing on niche forums? Mine is really bad. Too much time consuming with the poorest traffic results no matter how hard you try to interact with people and contribute value. Some marketers say forum marketing is dead nowadays or at least lost its effectiveness. Meanwhile others boast good results from it, may be just for the sake of making content. What's your progress? Do people view signatures? Most of them just switch off signatures to be able to communicate on forums without the necessity to be bothered by ads while creating their own signatures for someone who might feel OK with that. What's your thinking on forum marketing? Thanks.
    I agree with you when you say that forum marketing is a time consuming marketing technique and many times the results are not encouraging. I stopped doing it.

    First of all the forums in my field don't allow signatures... but if you are in a niche related to internet marketing forum marketing works. You have many facilities, everything is allowed.

    In different niches, there are many complications. Some things that work for internet marketing don't work for different niches.

    They are profitable, but you have to use different marketing techniques.




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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Silvey
      I think one of the most important factor in forum marketing is to be a real contributor or persona on those domains.

      People will tend to ignore new members whos only effort is to link bomb a forum and jet out a minute later.
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      • Profile picture of the author amcg
        Originally Posted by Chris Silvey View Post

        I think one of the most important factor in forum marketing is to be a real contributor or persona on those domains.

        People will tend to ignore new members whos only effort is to link bomb a forum and jet out a minute later.
        This is true. Thought leadership still counts - look at the best companies in their industry and most are thought leaders i.e they invent the best products, have the best brand, attract the best employees.
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  • Profile picture of the author dsouravs
    Hi Max
    Everything works if done properly....
    Article marketing works, Google Plus works, Pinterest works, Twitter works.. yeah...Twitter...

    But you have to do it properly and knowing that exact proper working method is the challenge.

    I know some guys in India wo are earning thousands of dollars per month through adsense using blogger... and people say adsense dont work... blogger is this... blogger is that... and you can imagine what 1000$ pm in India means.
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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    It depends on:

    1: The people on the forums
    2: You

    If you're on "lousy" forums where there's hardly any activity, then you could be wasting your time. (I'd be hesitant to make that claim, even. A really slow moving forum is easier to "target", and you can kind of "colonize" it better.)

    It's far more likely (I'm sorry, just being probablistic here) that your efforts aren't paying off because you're either not contributing to the forums you're participating in, or maybe you're expecting too much too soon. Possibly both.

    I like to think of forums as an opportunity to receive an education from the people you're hoping to sell to. You want to be genuinely valuable and useful, and to do that you need to get to know your audience better. If you're thoughtful and hardworking, it'll ultimately influence the what you're selling, too- you'll tailor it better for your audience (who you now understand better), which improves the base rate of your sales.

    So as Mitch suggests- stick around. Don't worry so much about selling. Focus on learning, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the sales (or positive input/criticism) that come your way.

    Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    Is forum marketing dead?
    ...as a dodo. Yes.

    Along with article marketing, list building, googlemail, seo, affiliate marketing, bookmarking, spinning, product creation. All dead and gone.

    The only reason people go online these days is to create "is xxxxx dead" threads. Soon "dead" threads will be dead. Then all will be right with the world.
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