As customers, we want to feel our needs are met and our voices heard. The more businesses or brands can do to treat us as valuable community members rather than faceless revenue streams, the more comfortable and motivated we are to advocate for and engage with them. This concept is the basis of community marketing strategy.
While most traditional marketing strategies are focused on finding new customers, a community marketing approach helps a business build relationships through conversational, approachable and transparent communication.
By utilizing two-way conversations and regular interaction with community members, you can increase brand awareness, nurture a more loyal customer base and grow your business with ease.
To find a starting point for community marketing, turn to your social media channels. Social media marketing strategy should include some manner of community marketing work already - think replying to comments, asking questions or hosting events.
While community marketing can begin simply with active engagement, many social media platforms have tools and features perfect for creating communities.
Some community marketing examples might include creating Facebook groups where your customers can interact with each other, or using Instagram Live to invite customers into exclusive conversations.
One incredible result of community marketing is nurturing customer loyalty. However, through community engagement, you also create a space for community to foster loyalty for each other as similar consumers.
Rather than "you versus them," the source of growth and success becomes "us" - and that sense of belonging can have a huge impact on your brand as a whole.
Your community marketing efforts will help establish strong relationships and trust among your brand community. One key example of this benefit is the change in impact of customer reviews.
Reviews are increasingly dominating the shopping decision-making process for brands and consumers, both online and in person. One too many bad reviews on Facebook can turn potential customers away. However, if there's a strong community advocating in favor of your brand, these negative reviews hold less power.
That's not to say you should let your loyal customer base handle your damage control. It's still crucial to respond to criticism or bad reviews in a transparent, approachable and positive way. That said, having the support of your members will show other potential customers the level of trust and positive sentiment built around your brand.
Another positive aspect of community marketing is the potential to reduce strain on your budget. If your marketing efforts lean heavily into paid advertising, an increased focus on community marketing can help you gain traction in more organic - and inexpensive - ways.
For the majority of online users, banners, pop-ups and other web advertisements are largely considered low-quality and irritating.
Websites asking users to deactivate their ad blockers are sometimes met with enough annoyance to drive users elsewhere entirely. While certain types of paid advertising are still effective, it's wise to diversify your strategy.
By employing community-based marketing, you can rely on the power of your brand and your community members to carry some of the load.
If you're already active on various social media platforms, you might already be reaping the benefits of community-based marketing strategy.
By focusing on quality engagement, conversation and brand loyalty, you can effectively grow your business through the power of your community.
Ready to engage with your target audience, their community and get the most out of your social platforms? Join us for one of our social media inclusive webinars! From prospecting leads on social media to generating a successful followup strategy, we’ll guide you through the digital marketing and lead conversion process one step at a time.