Online Forums: Should They Be Considered Critical Parts of a Company’s Marketing and Communications Strategy?

In this blog post, you’ll discover how an online forum can be an essential part of your company’s marketing and communications strategy…

Why Should You Consider Using Online Forums?

The first and most obvious reason why you should consider using online forums is because they can be an essential part of your company’s marketing and communications strategy. An online forum gives your company the opportunity to have open and frequent communication with your audience. This open communication can take the form of a conversation (i.e., online discourse) or a series of questions and answers (i.e., an FAQ). It can also be used to collect customer feedback and suggestions on your products and services, as well as to engage with followers, fans, and customers on social media channels.

In some cases, an online forum can even be considered a more effective way to engage with your audience than through traditional forms of marketing and communications, such as billboards, radio commercials, or magazine or newspaper ads.

How Can An Online Forum Help With Marketing And Communications?

An online forum can help with your company’s marketing and communications by providing a space for you to engage with your audience. The open and honest exchange of ideas and feedback between you and your followers, fans, and customers through an online forum can be an effective tool in building credibility, trust, and brand loyalty.

For example, you could start a blog discussion about your industry and its challenges. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your competitors are frequently attacking your company’s credibility and work ethics in their marketing campaign, so you decide to counter this negative publicity by discussing similar issues in your own industry. Using social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, you could start a conversation with your audience by sharing your insights on these issues and asking their opinion.

An important factor to keep in mind when considering the use of online forums is that not all of them are made equal – you need to select the right forum for your needs. Your chosen forum should match your company’s goals and objectives, and it should tie in with your overall marketing and communications strategy. For example, if you’re aiming to establish a public relations platform, you might want to consider using a forum that’s already well-established in your industry. Or if you want to use an online forum to drive sales, you could opt for a more personal approach and create a forum around a single product or service.

Consider The Different Types Of Forums

The above example used an open forum to engage with your audience, but that’s not always the best approach. Sometimes, you might want to create a private forum for employees or another type of closed forum for customers, partners, or suppliers that have a direct connection to your company.

Closed forums often provide more benefits to your company than open forums, so you should consider these types of forums whenever possible. Private forums can help with a variety of tasks, such as driving sales, gaining market share, identifying weak spots in your product or service, and gathering operational or strategic information. They can also be used to provide an atmosphere of trust and safety, where employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions and ideas without fear of repercussion.

One of the advantages of a private forum is that it can be used to generate more authentic conversation and better content. Since everything is controlled by you, the moderator, you have the opportunity to shape the conversation into whatever format makes the most sense for your needs. For example, if your company is aiming to conduct business through social media channels, you could create a private Facebook group to build a following, while also using this group to communicate with your customers.

Choose the right forum for your needs by considering the format (i.e., open vs. closed), the platform (i.e., LinkedIn vs. Facebook vs. Twitter), and the location of the forum. You also need to think about how you’ll use the forum. Will you use it to engage with your audience or will you use it to provide information?

Why Should You Consider Using Different Platforms For Your Fora?

It’s important to remember that not all forums are created equal, so you should try to find a platform that’s the best fit for your needs.

Most forums are designed to work on a desktop web browser, so you’ll need to make sure that your website, blog, or social media channels are accessible to anyone who visits them from a desktop computer. If you run an e-commerce store, you’ll want to ensure that customers can find what they’re looking for without any problems. In all cases, you’ll want to make sure that everyone, including customers, are aware that the content and information found on these forums is for marketing and informational purposes only – you should never reveal any personal information about yourself, your employees, or your customers.

Since most forums are designed to work on a desktop computer, you’ll need to use various plug-ins, extensions, and other software to ensure that your content is displayed and accessible on mobile devices.

Create A Welcome Mat For Newbies

If your company is trying to establish itself as an expert in your industry, you could use the above-mentioned blog to provide helpful information and engage with your audience about industry-related topics.

To make sure that everyone who visits your blog has a good experience, you could create a welcome mat for newbies by placing a link to an FAQ or a frequently asked questions section in the footer of your blog. This would be a short FAQ or A-to-Z list of topics that new visitors to your blog may have questions about – maybe you’re worried about losing customers due to high fees or unclear billing practices, or you just want to know what your customers think about your product or service. Whatever the case may be, this introductory information is something that new visitors to your blog may need help with and you could provide it through an FAQ or A-to-Z list in the footer of the blog.

The key is to put yourself in the shoes of a new visitor to your blog. What information do you need to know where you are starting out? Which parts of your site are you finding the most difficult to navigate? What do you have to manage just to get the gist of what your company does? Why should anyone care about your company and what you do? These are all things that you, as the founder, should be able to provide to newbies (i.e., first-time visitors to your blog) to make them an asset to your audience rather than a barrier.

Create A Knowledge Base

If your company already has a website and you’re looking for ways to increase its value, you could create a blog or a wiki to host your industry-related information and establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your niche. A knowledge base is a great place to house information about your industry, products, and services. If your company already has a website, you could use it as a starting point for a blog or wiki.

Blogs and wikis can be a great place to establish your company’s credibility since they can be easily curated to provide a high degree of quality and consistency. They also make it incredibly easy to access and update information about your industry (and your company, of course) whenever you need it. If you’re looking for a single place to house information about your industry, you could opt for a wiki or blog since they are both customizable and easy to update whenever you need to.

The Final Takeaway

To conclude, we’d like to remind you that not all forums are created equal and you should try to find one that’s the best fit for your needs.

An online forum can be an essential part of your company’s marketing and communications strategy, providing you with a place to have open and frequent communication with your audience. One of the primary benefits of an online forum is that it provides you with the opportunity to establish your expertise in your industry while also creating an authoritative and trustworthy space for your followers, fans, and customers to engage with you.