RELATED: 5 Incredibly Valuable Ways Marketers Can Use Branded, Online Communities [Part 1] | [Part 2]
So far we’ve learned a lot about how marketers
can use branded, online communities to engage customers and leverage insights
to improve the overall customer experience. From promoting events and creating
content that attracts new members to building significant relationships with
customers, there are
so many ways to tap into the potential that branded
communities have to offer. But, we’re not done yet! We’ll
now examine another five incredible ways marketers can use branded communities.
1) Customer Support: Encourage members to assist and help one another
Sometimes those who know your services or products the best are
the ones that use it the most: your customers! A branded community can put
their knowledge to use by empowering them to
help other users answer questions or troubleshoot common issues.
Not only does this help to assert your customer as an authority
to others, it also serves to
free customer service representatives to focus on
more in-depth issues
and problems. For customers who step up to help others,
branded communities can serve as a way for them to share their experiences,
while helping companies streamline their customer service workflows.
Check out this case study, which highlights how Microdesk is
using an online community for customer support.
2) Online Events: Host webinars for
We all know how helpful webinars can be in facilitating
relationships and leads with your members, but it’s not always clear
what topics to focus on. A branded community can provide an opportunity to
learn more about the issues customers are facing and the challenges they may
have, as well offering a convenient platform through which to provide engaging
When community members are able to engage with content that
directly addresses their questions, they’ll understand the
value that your branded, online community has to offer. Webinars also provide
additional value for facilitating engagement.
3) Content Creation: Crowdsource great original content from your community
User-generated content can be a
powerful source of information
for companies and customers alike. Not only can it provide valuable insights,
it can also give prospective customers an unfiltered, transparent source of
study from Bazaarvoice showed that “over
half (51%) of Americans trust UGC [user generated content] more than content on
a company website (16%).” How can you facilitate effective
user-generated content within your community?
It can be as easy as monitoring what your customers are already
saying or asking your community members to share their experiences with their
networks. When a brand advocate posts a comment, shares a photo or creates a
video about your product or service, their audience is going to take it more
seriously than content coming from you—because it’s authentic. These insights can then
be incorporated into your community’s testimonials and sales enablement
4) Executive Briefings: Have executives brief members on key topics
Executive briefings aim to deliver a unique experience that stimulates discussions between a
company’s top executives and its customers and partners. Typically,
briefing programs attempt to work with customers to propose solutions for their
most pressing challenge, but identifying the right customers to participate isn’t
always easy. Fortunately, a
branded community can bring together the right
people and resources
so you can seize new opportunities, respond to competitive
pressures, and meet evolving customer requirements.
Additionally, branded communities provide advanced capabilities
that can make it easier to facilitate one-on-one briefings, video tours,
peer-to-peer collaboration with customers and employees around the world. No
5) Product Ideation: Collaborate with customers on new product ideas
One of the biggest challenges companies face is staying relevant
as your customers’ needs grow and evolve. Will your
product meet their needs while staying competitive in the marketplace? A great
ensure that your company remains relevant is to probe your customers for
5 Incredibly Valuable Ways Marketers Can Use Branded, Online Communities
Marketers can use branded communities to create opportunity
statements, identify customer wish lists, facilitate brainstorming as well as
other product ideation techniques. Giving community members the opportunity to
contribute to new product development not only shows that you value their insights, it also gives
your company valuable information and ideas to navigate the way ahead.
Hotcakes Commerce is using their online community as the
authoritative source to inform their product roadmap. Read their case study
15 down, 6 to go!
With five more tools in your marketing tool box, it’s
becoming quite clear that branded communities can offer many incredible ways to
engage with customers. Stay tuned for my next post, in which I’ll
share more invaluable ways that marketers can use online communities.
Have a look through the full infographic, “21
Incredible Ways Marketers Can Use Branded Communities.”