marketing strategy relies on building and maintaining customer relationships.
strongest relationships are built
upon trust, transparency and consistent communication. For many businesses,
a branded community provides a great opportunity to develop customer loyalty, increase
awareness and drive sales. And yet, most businesses aren’t taking advantage of
the different ways they can use branded communities to maximize their marketing
created an infographic outlining “21
Incredible Ways Marketers Can Use Branded Communities.” In this blog
series, we’ll examine five of these ways (in each blog post) in an effort to
learn more about how marketers can leverage branded communities to unlock the
value they have to offer.
1) Lead Generation: Turn community members into qualified leads
The easiest way
to optimize your community for lead generation is by simply asking community
members to share information or invite others they know to join your community.
Those who know and trust you can best educate others and raise awareness on
your behalf. Research tells us that
a friend or influencer talks, people listen.
According to the
IBM Institute for Business Value, approximately 6
in 10 global consumers say that friends’ social media posts influence their purchase choices.
Additionally, sales converted as a result of a referral from a friend or
likely to be more loyal
to a brand, spend more and stay longer than those who have no direct
relationship to your company.
2) Revenue Growth: Generate revenue
by creating demand in the community
It’s a common
misconception that a company builds loyalty by driving sales; instead, companies
drive sales by helping people meet their needs. Branded communities provide a
forum through which you can learn more about what your customers (or
prospective customers) want, what they don’t want and how they want it. If you
community’s expectations, you can work to deliver a product or service that
meets their needs.
branded communities offer companies an opportunity to experiment and test new
features and services. Each improvement a
company makes has the potential to unlock new layers of demand, which can
create more incentives for customers.
3) Inbound Marketing: Create content that attracts new visitors and members
inbound marketing strategy may include content creation and distribution that
aims to generate, nurture, and close leads. The basic idea is that content you
publish will align with your customer’s interests, so you can organically attract inbound
traffic and potential sales from prospective customers. When you publish and
distribute content through traditional online and social channels, it’s
sometimes hard to know which content
your audience finds relevant and engaging.
When content is
published to a branded community,
can interact directly with it, so you can see which content they look at,
share, comment on or ignore. Additionally, since you know who these customers
are and they (hopefully) know and trust you, it’s easy and comfortable to engage
with them by asking questions so you can improve the quality of the content
4) Customer Engagement: Create a deeper sense of engagement with your brand
It’s no secret
that engaged consumers can positively impact consumer loyalty, satisfaction,
empowerment, connection, emotional bonding, trust and commitment. And yet, so
many businesses expect that these benefits will just happen magically. The
truth is that
communities are strongest
when everyone plays a role. Companies can’t afford to sit back and pretend
that customer engagement will just happen: they need to get involved.
5 Incredibly Valuable Ways Marketers Can Use Branded, Online Communities
engagement to be successful, both company and customer must get something out
of it. Customers should be able to easily access the information they need to
make an informed decision, while companies should be able to glean insights
that can improve what they do and how they do it. If successful, a branded
community will become an essential hub of information and communication,
creating value for all who participate.
Read this customer case study, which highlights Microdesk's use of an online community for customer engagement:
5) Email Marketing: Build your email database by asking members to subscribe
When it comes to
email marketing, we like to think that our emails are reaching the right
people. The challenge of getting the right people to subscribe and engage with
your email messages can be daunting. With a branded community, companies can
encourage members to sign up for emails so they can receive relevant
information. As your community grows,
can help to streamline announcements
and notifications to those in your
community who are interested.
companies can use email marketing to promote their branded community to others
who have yet to join. To entice others to participate, companies can easily
leverage community member testimonials and provide examples of community
5 Down, 16 To Go!
As you can see,
branded communities can have a lot of offer marketers. But we’re hardly
finished. In our next post, we’ll examine
five more incredible ways marketers
can use branded communities.
Have a look through the full infographic, “21
Incredible Ways Marketers Can Use Branded Communities.”