Forum Marketing – still worth if for Traffic & SEO

Forum marketing feels like old school digital marketing as it was one of the original ways toforum_marketing_tips drive visitors to a website and get inbound links.

With the advent of SEO, forum marketing fell out of favour, as more web masters looked at short cuts for getting inbound links. Buying links or doing guest blog posts seems to have been the key areas where people have focused their attention to get inbound links.

Short Cuts to Inbound Links

With the recent updates from Google where people have been blatantly guest blogging purely for SEO purposes or buying links, people need to look at more sustainable ways to get inbound links. Business owners seem to want to get the rankings in Google but not put the effort or resources in place to achieve this, which is why they end up doing short cuts. These short cuts get websites into trouble and end up being penalised in Google, which in turn jeopardises the business.

Forum Marketing Making a Come Back?

Forum marketing over the years has fallen out of favour, but perhaps it’s time to dust down the keyboard and revisit this? For a lot of SEO agencies, the key challenge is how they resource this or collaborate with a client on identifying potential forums and questions. However, I truly think that it’s worth the investment of time, because if it’s done sincerely and genuinely, it’ a great opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and knowledge in the business, which will only drive the credibility further.

Cheap Drum Scanning Forum Marketing

For http://cheapdrumscanning.com/ we have only focused on forum marketing as a key way to build visitors to the website, grow credibility and off the back of that get inbound links.

Below are two examples of mentions of the website on forums, by other forums users.

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These were genuine mentions by these people rather than choreographed posts, which makes it all the more real. [You'll have to excuse the techy talk in here!]. Tim Parkin my business partner spends time each week supporting people in relevant forums on their film photography, answering questions covering a wide range of topics from which film, lens, processing to scanning. It does take an investment of time to achieve the results.

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Thinking about Forum Marketing

If you are active in SEO and also thinking about how you can diversify your traffic sources so you’re not totally reliant on Google, forum marketing is certainly worth thinking about. However, it’s about the sustainability and authenticity of the postings. If you want to get back links and mentions, it takes a while to build up your presence, and it’s no short cut, compared to buying links.

What do you think? have you tried forum marketing and how have you found it?

Walking the Talk on SEO and SMM

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. You may have thought I’d given up the ghost on this blogging malarky. Not so, I’ve been focusing on other online marketing.

It’s been a busy year, after losing my sister in law after a courageous battle with cancer, we’ve headed over to near York to be closer to my older brother & his kids. On top of that, I’ve been focusing my efforts on the other two businesses that I’m involved in. So I’m back in ernest.

Walking the Talk

There are so many people, agencies, and companies offering social media from web design companies, to PR agencies, to niche consultancies all offering to help companies with their social media. This is a reflection of the diverse ways social media can be implemented. Running a campaign for an event or book launch is very different to brand awareness for a B2B company or running a customer services channel for a blue chip company or running a SEO campaign for a niche international company.

With new technologies and techniques being launched every day, it’s an effort to keep up with the evolving market place.

Bespoke Drum ScanningI’m passionate about walking the talk rather than talking the talk, which a lot of other companies and people seem to do. Running a consultancy or agency delivering campaigns is all very well. Actually being in the client’s shoes and seeing the campaign from their view is imperative.

Seeing the Campaigns from the Client’s View

It’s not just about the big ideas or going through the motions or the glossy images or the Landscape Photography Magazineglitzy campaign. From my own experiences of running the online marketing for Cheap Drum Scanning and OnLandscape I’ve certainly learnt a lot over the past 18 months, even though I’d say I’m a seasoned online marketeer.

I’ve tested new techniques and old techniques for link building, content creation, building a community and so much more.

Delivering results is what it’s all about, and aligning the campaigns both SEO and social media to the business outcomes, and that’s the key learning. I doubt I could have all these amazing insights if I haven’t taken the leap of faith and decided to walk the talk.

Now I’ve built up this knowledge, I already share those insights with our clients, giving them the depth of my expertise and knowing that I’m talking from a place of experience as a business owner, not just yet another agency, trainer, consultancy going through the motions.  That’s also given me more focus and passion back into what I do.

Testing new software, old techniques, new ideas and having a place where I can test these out is a great opportunity. Admittedly it can be hard work juggling the old time management [which I've got uber good at now!]. But being at the cutting edge of some ideas which are emerging, and actually to be in the space in the new emerging digital economy.  OnLandscape is a  paid for content business model, which works on a freemium basis, where 1/3 of the content is free, but the exclusive webinars, videos and articles are paid for. Not many people have got that to work.

Enough of my ramblings. Thumbs up to being back, and look out for my blog posts sharing my insights on SEO and social media from someone who’s walking the the talk…..

Would be great to get your comments – do you walk the talk and if so how?

 

 

Hosting a Live Facebook Chat

Increasing your reach and fans on Facebook is about 1 key thing, affinity with your existing fans. The more comments, likes and shares you have, the higher the chance your content will appear in your fans timelines.

Just sharing links and photos isn’t enough to stimulate activity, which is why content design and creation for Facebook is key.

563136_234435806695227_340601749_nWith the launch of reply to comments on Facebook pages a few weeks ago, this made having conversations on Facebook pages easy as people can respond to specific comments.

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Social Media Interview with Sharon Cain

quest-prIn this interview we catch up with Sharon Cain from Quest PR. Social media can take different angles depending on the scope and outcome of the campaigns.

We talk to Sharon about how blending social media with PR can increase reach and opportunities. Creating a newsworthy content is key to success…so hear how this can work for you.

 

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Hootsuite vs Sproutsocial – which best to monitor your social campaigns?

I’ve been using Hootsuite for about a year now, prior to that I was using Spredfast and Tweetdeck.  So what made me decide to change?

Reporting in SproutSocial

The level of reporting is stunning – and that’s one of the key reasons why I moved over. I run a number of campaigns for clients and reporting is important for measuring the ROI forImpressions in Facebook the social campaigns.

Walking the talk is important for me as well – and for one of the other businesses I run, On Landscape, I wanted to measure the reach of our campaigns more efficiently.

Understanding the demographics of the followers and fans is imperative, so you can seTwitter followers statse that you are targeting your audience. More importantly you can then respond to the information about your followers e.g. On Landscape we realised quite a lot of our subscribers and followers / fans are international so are now targeting more international content.

Feeds

Pulling in RSS feeds is great, so you don’t have to dive off into Google Reader. More importantly the lists can be managed and viewed here.

Smart Inbox

Being able to move tweets that you’ve responded to into the archive is an efficient way of managing Twitter & Facebook. The ability to see a track of the conversations with users and add notes is useful. Certainly for our business On Landscape we can marry this up with users on the site which makes it more of a social CRM in that aspect.

Hootsuite doesn’t alert you to when you have a RT nor a new follower, which is a key thing when building an audience and community. SproutSocial does both, which is a great feature.

Any downsides to SproutSocial?

Sprout Social doesn’t support Google+ which is a bit of an annoyance having to manage that separately. It does cost more than Hootsuite, but Hootsuite has a lot of hidden costs, as you add users and extra credits for reporting, it soon adds up.

Conclusion

Sproutsocial has made me more focused on the campaign managment as I get more reporting on the types of content, so I can evaluate what content generates more engagement, which in turn drives more fans and followers.

IzziWizziKids Interview: Using Social Media for Customer Research

We caught up with Alison Boxall Gordon, founder of IzziWizziKids based in Wakefield, Yorkshire. In this interview we hear from Alison on how she’s used social media to grow IzziWizziKids, an online interactive play forum.  Using videos, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the online community of parents talking and sharing know-how of kids play has been a great success.

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Interview with Chris Allen, Blacks Solicitors: How Social Media Has Boosted Business

We caught up with Chris Allen, Managing Partner at Blacks Solicitors. Chris talks how he has taken the business online using Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging.

Blacks Solicitors have a great profile on the various social media sites which have proven successful in boosting brand awareness, customer engagement and PR opportunities.

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Interview with Ahead Partnership: How social media helped engage with their audience & partners

We caught up with Lucy Boaden from Ahead Partnership to talk about social media.

Leeds Ahead recently rebranded as Ahead Partnership and have gone national. Social media has played a key role in increasing their reach, engaging with their audience and partners.

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