Community is the future of digital marketing. It combines the two most effective marketing tactics of all time - word of mouth and content marketing.
Building a community brings people together for a common purpose. The goal of digital marketing in today’s world is to bring together existing and prospective customers in a low pressure, but high engagement environment.
It’s key to structure your community in a way that helps you achieve your goals. Do you want to convert more leads? Retain more customers? Create better customer experiences? A strong community does all of these things and more.
What does not matter in your community?
Building a community is easier than you think. Many teams think that two factors - Size and High Production Value Content are factors that make it difficult to build a community. They’re not Here’s why Size and High Production Value Content shouldn’t deter you or your team from creating a community.
The size of the community does not matter. You can have 10-20 people in your community or 10,000-20,000, what matters is that you all are coming together for a common purpose. The size of your community will grow as those in your community start feeling the value of the content and people they engage with.
High product value content
You do not have to spend an insane amount of money to have content that your community will value. Your content needs to be relevant, valuable and authentic. You need to do the hard work of delivering value to your audience. There are no shortcuts to value no matter how much money you throw at it. The types of content you create will be greatly determined by the industry and customer base you have, but by and large, you can create content that pulls in your existing customers and industry experts to discuss the most relevant topics.
Some of the most valuable content to build community are events that educate and show that you understand your audience’s struggles and opportunities. Together, you can find the solutions that are needed. Content that educates, is branded, and hits the core issue of your audience will always be valuable and have longevity.
What matters most to building an effective community?
Distribution of Content
Building content does not have to be a one person job. This is where a distributed community driven by your clients, employees and prospects comes into play. Unlike a single blog or newsletter, a community provides content from everyone. One of the most important reasons to build a community is to get word of mouth going. You can only do that if there are voices of your customers talking, not just yours. To be clear - we are not prescribing your customer to sell your product or service. We are simply saying you have to provide your customers with a platform to share relevant content related to their industry, job function and challenges they may be currently facing.
This one is a bit more up to interpretation, but enthusiasm is the emotion that brings together an entire community. Enthusiasm is the key ingredient to a vibrant and growing community in that everyone wants to be a part of it and is constantly trying to grow it. The only way to bring enthusiasm is to be passionate about the core reason the community is coming together. As long as the core purpose of your community is clear and your audience cares about it - passion will become infectious, and that is what a community is all about.
In the coming years brands will need to have thriving communities in order to thrive themselves. It is clear that B2B or B2C require compelling and authentic content to get buyers to the table and then word of mouth to push them over the edge. With the right ingredients, a community will do just that.
We'd love to have to join our community! Click here to see some of our upcoming events taking place within the VisitDays community.