I have the idea to open a user targeted community. This is based on an unusual business case where the software developped is actually also / mainly used in house (and planned to be turned into a product) and the in-house activities would like to have a community for their activity (which is using the software, but others do the same with other software).
This is a community for a specific type / market of people. I am myself participating in a number of similar communities (but I think I can make enough a difference to get people to us).
THe main question is - how does one go into marketing a community? I have a small list of email addresses from the target people that I collected, but besides that I am a little at a loss. The usual SEO activities definitely make sense, but I am not sure that search engines will drive a lot of people to that particular community type.
Any "list of good standard activities" to get some people?
Go to forum admin communities (Theadminzone.com for instance) and discuss your new forums and get ideas for improvement. There you can also get some post exchanges or paid forum posting. They might ge frowned upon by some, but it can kickstart your community. If you're smart and move OK, in 2-3 weeks you might move OK with the forums.
Announce your subscribers from the main site *if you have them, about the new community.
start an advertising campaign online (adwords, buysellads etc.)
Comment in similar topic blogs and put the link. Comment in similar forums and have a link in the signature.
Keep on adding content and work on the forums.
It's not too hard to make a forum work, but it's not too easy either.