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Learn How Building a Brand Community Will Drive Exponential Growth
Community Marketing works to boost engagement, increase conversion rates, and strategically boost market share. Community marketing strategies are a secret weapon – the sharpest blade in the toolbox – for both B2C and B2B brands that utilize them. To help you realize the limitless potential of community marketing, this paper will cover:
- Definition of Community Marketing
- Psychology of Humans Desiring a Community
- Three Major Benefits of Community Building
Table of Contents
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way that we couldn’t do as individuals.” - Jean Vanier, Community & Growth
Data fetched from the 2020 Community Industry Trends Report indicates that over 88% of community professionals believe that an online community is critical to a brand’s mission. About 1/3rd of customers have reported online communities to have a major impact on their purchasing decisions. Community members – who are a part of an advanced community with well-defined and measurable strategies in place – enjoy a gigantic 9.16x ROI. Community marketing works to boost engagement, increase conversion rates and strategically boost market share.
These days, we’re witnessing an ever-increasing number of businesses invest thousands of dollars in different digital marketing and advertising strategies like SEO, PPC, growth marketing, email marketing, and countless others. While these strategies deliver impressive results upon systematic implementation, what most brands are badly failing at is building an emotional connection with their audience.
Without a doubt, strategies like SEO, paid ads and email marketing work. But do they help brands build an emotional connection with their audience? Or do these strategies make your audience feel anything?
Our guess – the answer is ‘no.’
In today’s digital landscape, your audience’s mailboxes are already flooded with thousands of worthless promotional emails. At the same time, they are swamped by thousands of ads – with an average person reported to encounter between 6,000 and 10,000 ads each day.
From startups to large enterprises, companies are spending billions of dollars combined on marketing and advertising. And there’s a high probability that you are spending your top dollars as well. However, in today’s ever-competitive landscape, if you want to conquer your business goals and achieve tremendous success, you need to connect deeply with your audience. You need to build an emotional connection with them, irrespective of whether they made a purchase or not. This will help you boost customer engagement, drive customer loyalty, increase retention rate, and systematically grow your brand.
There isn’t a better way to build a long-lasting relationship and emotional connection with your audience than with community marketing.
Some of the well-recognized and most popular non-profit organizations are doing the same.
Upon strategic implementation, community marketing is a secret weapon – the sharpest blade in the toolbox – for both B2C and B2B brands. To help you realize the limitless potential of community marketing, this paper will cover:
Definition of Community Marketing
Elizaveta Proselkova, the founder and CEO of EP-Advisory, once stated, “Building a community around our brand has been at the core of our business strategy from Day 1. We’ve produced a large amount of useful free career-related content in various formats, namely videos, articles, interviews, webinars, and more. Doing this has helped us build a 110k (during the time when she said that) online community and gain loyal clients, ambassadors, and partners.”
Unlike traditional or digital marketing strategies that are only focused on lead generation and conversions, community marketing is a growth strategy that helps brands build an emotional connection with their audience by building a space where their audience can share their thoughts on or discuss topics that are aligned with or related to (directly or indirectly) your brand or market. It’s about giving your audience a platform to start discussions or be part of one. This will help them feel recognized, heard, and important. After all, everyone wants their voice or opinions to be heard. This will help them feel comfortable and at ease, which will in-turn result in higher retention rates and increased customer loyalty.
At the same time, it’s a place where you can roll out major announcements or host events.
GitHub, the largest and most advanced software development platform, is home to a community of more than 73 million developers – who work together, ask questions, share their thoughts and help build projects. GitHub community is one of the most authoritative and patronized communities all across the globe – which is why more than 3 million companies, including Fortune 50 companies, use the platform.
Similarly, thousands of companies have been subject to higher returns, better engagement, and increased sales as well as profits after giving their audience a platform to share their opinions and thoughts and interact with other like-minded individuals.This brings us to our BIG question.
Why do people want to be part of a community? Let’s have a look.
Psychology of Humans Desiring a Community
“Different people – different stories. But the one thing all of us have in common is the fact that we love being a part of communities of our interests.”
As humans, our brains are hotwired to build connections. These days, we’re more connected than ever before. However, despite rapid technological advancements, over half of Americans feel isolated and all alone. That’s the reason people are craving communities now more than they ever did before. Building meaningful connections is something we crave the most – in fact we crave it as much as power and other incentives like fame and money. Being a part of communities makes us feel happy and successful.
If you are a developer, you may already be a part of Stack Overflow, GitHub, Hackernoon, HackerNews, and many other developer-focused communities. For marketers, marketing-focused communities like Demand Curve, Swipe Files, and Superpath, are pure GOLD.
Junior SEO specialists based in Asia can connect with veteran SEO specialists based in the United States in no time (not considering the time zone difference) via SEO-focused online communities like Big SEO. That’s the reason we’re always on the lookout for placing ourselves in communities of our interests. Community marketing is way more than increasing brand awareness and taking the much-needed measures to skyrocket clicks, conversion rates, and relevant metrics. Instead, it’s about helping your audience be a part of something meaningful. In fact, it’s about making them feel recognized, heard, and important.
And that’s the reason community marketing works as well as it does and helps brands boost engagement, increase their conversion rates, and strategically boost their market share.
3 Major Benefits of Community Building
Now we know what community building is and the reason why people want to be a part of communities of their interests. And with an ever-growing desire to be a part of online communities, brands need to capitalize on this opportunity.
Successful companies like Apple, Lego, Fiverr, Red Bull, JUNO, and many more are already doing it.
1.Increase Customer Retention Rate
Acquiring a new customer costs 5x more than retaining already-existing customers. Even a slight 5% increase in customer retention rate can boost a brand’s profits by 25% to 95%.
Let’s admit it. Apple products are expensive. The same is the case with luxurious brands across the globe – Mercedes, Porsche, Rolex, and others. But despite being so expensive, people still love purchasing their products and die-hard fans of these brands never consider switching to their competitors.
One of the reasons why people love interacting with these brands is because of their respective online communities. You don’t need to build a brand like Rolex or Mercedes for your community marketing efforts to work. But if you don’t build a brand community, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to generate a buzz around your brand.
Everyone has a voice. As we mentioned above, people want their voices and opinions to be heard. Building a community around your brand will help you give your customers ownership of your products. Either they can start their own discussions or participate in already-existing ones, helping them feel a part of something big. Not only will it help your customers give a sense of belonging, but they will also feel emotionally invested in your brand – just as you are.
At the same time, they will be able to connect with other like-minded individuals or experts that they can learn or engage with. Branded communities are platforms built only for the users, allowing them to interact and engage with others with the same interests. It’s a platform without an endgame of selling products and services in mind. Building a community brand will help you build a great impression in front of your customers; in fact, they will even appreciate your efforts.
If you do it right, you’ll see an ever-increasing number of customers hosting conversations and building deeper relationships on your website – which will, in turn, result in an increased retention rate.
2. Provide Customer Discovery
Community building fosters brand loyalty and facilitates business growth. Apart from this, one big benefit most businesses fail to discover is how these communities can act as an honest and valuable source of feedback. Old-school tactics like surveys and focus groups aren’t as effective as they were before. These days, if you want to gather feedback around your products or services, you can do so by tapping into your own brand community.
Let’s say you are a C-level executive at a popular software development company and want to gather feedback on one of your latest feature releases. Either you can have your department heads reach out to their customers or ask them to submit their feedback via email (which they probably won’t do), or you can just gather feedback from your brand community. You may let one of your community members start a discussion. Or you can ask one of your moderators to do it for you.
Through this discussion thread, you can not only let your audience know that you are laser-focused on building the best quality product, but you can also dive deeper into their needs and desires. As they start leaving their opinions, you can start gathering them – based on which you can further roll out future updates or make important business decisions.
3. Create Advocates to Grow Brand
Over 92% of people trust recommendations or referrals from their family members, friends, close ones, or people who have actually tried a brand’s product or service over anything else. In today’s digital era, there are thousands of businesses trying to put their products or services in front of you. They wouldn’t mind using the words like “High-Grade,” “Cutting-Edge”, or “World-Class” to convert you into paying customers.
Consumers know this already now. That’s the reason they are more likely to purchase a product or service based on recommendations or referrals. By building a brand community, you can transform your customers into brand advocates or ambassadors.
Doing this will help you increase brand awareness – as your brand community members will act as megaphones to drive awareness. In fact, you can even reward them with a community badge for getting your message out there and directly or indirectly recommending your products and services to others. At the same time, you’ll see them spending more than what an average shopper does.
Transforming existing clients into brand advocates will empower them to educate people who don’t know about you, as well.
An Online Engagement Platform
Brand community marketing has always been our secret ingredient to success. We’re so glad to share it with you.
Throughout this paper, not only did we learn what community marketing is but we also looked at why it works as well as it does and what makes people want to be a part of a community. At the same time, we discussed the three major benefits of community marketing to help you understand how building a brand community can boost customer engagement, increase your market share, increase retention rate, build long-lasting healthy relationships, and systematically grow your business.
At JUNO, we connect, engage, and grow communities throughout the year with live and on-demand content capabilities, rich analytics, and personal engagement tools that reduce friction plus complexity.
Community building can help businesses boost customer engagement, increase conversion and retention rates, and strategically boost their market share. We’ll help you build a Single Destination Platform where your audience or members can attend events, engage in online courses, network, and do so much more. JUNO is a single destination platform for events, learning, and networking data that will help you save time, money, and human energy and at the same time gain engagement, trust, data, and new members.
Tap into the potential of community marketing with JUNO.