3 Online Community Advertising Strategies that Convert Guests into Registered Members!

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3 Online Community Advertising Strategies that Convert Guests into Registered Members!

Using paid online community advertising strategies can help you convert guests into registered members of your forum!

If you have some money to budget for paid advertising, you might as well give it a shot.

The most important thing about paid advertising is that there needs to be an ROI objective. ROI stands for Return-on-Investment. That means the money you spend on advertising should have some investment returned to you.

Most people who buy ads have an ROI objective to make a profit back that is more than what they have spent on ads. This could be the case for you if you’re trying to sell something in your community, such as membership, products, or something like that.

But in most cases, a forum’s ROI objective will be membership. You’ll pay for ads in hopes of gaining more registered members on your forum, even if no profit will be made. That is fine, but you should make low-risk advertising investments since you’re not getting a monetary return.

In this article, we’ll go over three different online community advertising strategies that are low-cost with an ROI objective of gaining new members on your forum.


Online Community Advertising Strategies #1: Social Media Ads

Social media advertising is probably one of the most paid advertising strategies online.

Many businesses, especially local businesses, use social media advertising features to get more traffic to their businesses, websites, and social pages for the business.

But can a forum use social media for advertising for membership?

The answer is yes, but it will likely not be easy!

This is because social media, in many cases, has replaced message forums. More people want to use social media than message forums. So, advertising to this crowd may have little to no membership increase returns for the online community paying for ads.

The best strategy for this paid ads type is to create lower budgets. Please don’t spend too much money until you know it is working in your favor. I typically have a $5 to $8 daily budget that I allow to run for 5 to 7 days.

But the real strategy comes from how customized the ad is. I typically choose the age range I target with my forum (13 and higher), geographical information (locations), and interests. I fine-tune the interests to ensure that I target people who get into what the forum niche is—for example, my Skywarn Forum targets storm spotting and storm chasers. So, I choose storm chasing, hurricane hunting, and tornadoes as some of the interests for the ads. I won’t select general “weather” because the audience for that is too broad. I don’t want to target an audience who likes the weather but doesn’t like storm-chasing topics.

After you fine-tune social media ads, try to A/B test different campaigns based on your chosen interests. Which did better, and why did they do better? That will help you make plans as well as budget changes when needed.

As for what social media to advertise on, I have found that Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are the best. Some forum owners also have good luck with Pinterest, too. Twitter and LinkedIn typically have higher ad rates that are not the best choice when your ROI isn’t profitable.

The best type of ad is going to be visually satisfying. This means you need to use a great photo integrated into the advertisement or a video. Video is going to be your best advertising method. This is especially true for Facebook and Instagram; both networks are trying to increase their video capacity. TikTok is also going to be best for video advertising.

In the end, remember to A/B test and see what works and what doesn’t work.


Online Community Advertising Strategies #2: Google Ads

Google Ads are going to be much like social media ads. You should A/B test and fine-tune the interests based on your forum’s niche or topic.

I suggest doing Google Searches of keywords relating to your forum’s topic and reviewing the ads purchased on those results pages.

These will give you an idea of what ads to display on your campaigns.

You also need to make sure you select the right keywords. Like typical SEO tactics, you must practice the same on Google ads since you effectively compete for keywords with other ad buyers and websites listed on the results page.

Some keywords will be a good choice, some may be too competitive, and some may not have an audience viewing them.

You have to experiment with Google ads until you find your sweet spot.

Like with social media, I recommend having smaller ad budgets for advertising message forums from the start. Test different campaigns out. Find what works. Find what doesn’t work. Increase your budget from there if it is applicable


Online Community Advertising Strategies #3: Forum Ads

In my professional opinion, Forums ads are the best-paid ads to purchase when advertising a message forum.



  1. You’re advertising on a message forum. You are targeting an audience of a forum to join your forum. Social media users want to stay on social media, forum users typically join other forums because they like forums.
  2. Forum ads are usually cheaper, and there isn’t a big headache in having to customize them. The downfall is that you typically lose any analytics, but you could customize a Google Analytics 4 process to help determine the traffic from any given forum you advertise.
  3. By buying a forum ad, you’re helping a fellow forum owner! Some people say forums are dying, and maybe they are. But by buying from forums, you give them a better chance of sticking around, which is something we all want, right?

Now there are some things you can do to ensure you choose the proper forum to purchase ads on.

For starters, try to choose forums on the same topic or those that are closely related. At times, general topic forums (called Off-topic forums) may be suitable for any forum ad since the audience niche is broad.

Another tactic is to choose message forums with the same software as your forum. This is helpful because their members use the same software you use. It will be easier for them to become a community member because they’re used to your software.


And that sums up this article. The online community advertising strategies above will help you grow your message forum membership. Whatever method you choose, consider the advice above so that you’re wasting your money. I hope you enjoyed this article, be sure to head to the forum to discuss these topics!

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