Let’s assume that you already recognize the value of an engaged audience and you’re sold on the benefits of WordPress forum plugins. You might still be unsure about whether or not running an online community is a good use of your time, especially when compared to other tasks that drive a more explicit return on investment (ROI).
While heading a forum does require work (although many people tend to overestimate the amount of input required), the rewards are significant. And if you’re on the fence about launching a community, it’s helpful to be aware of the main benefits.
Here are the top reasons to run an online forum from a business perspective:
Build engagement with your audience
Forums enable you to build engagement with your audience. When your potential customers repeatedly return to your website to discuss topics that are of interest to them, they will form a deeper connection with your brand.
Even if you don’t account for paid communities, forums offer a myriad of monetization options, from premium sub-groups to in-post advertising to gated content. And if you ever decide to sell your business, your forum will almost certainly increase its value.
“Own” your audience’s online home
If you decide to host your community on a third-party platform like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Reddit, you don’t really “own” your members. Facebook can choose to ban you on a whim. By hosting your forum on your domain, you’re in control.
Easy to outsource day-to-day tasks
Running a forum isn’t as time and resource-intensive as many imagine. Your most active members will do a significant chunk of the work when it comes to contributing to conversations and starting new threads. And it’s always possible to hire somebody to take care of day-to-day admin tasks.
Improve your value proposition
An active online space where your customers can come to engage with topics they care about, solve problems, and meet new people is an excellent addition to your value proposition, especially if you’re selling online products or services.