Is your Brand spending on marketing and earning enough customers? Is your Brand connected with the customers 24x7? Is your Brand listening to what the customers want? If your answer is no, then this article is for you!
Today, an effective marketing effort means a two-way conversation with customers. If you throw generic branded content at consumers, don’t expect them to necessarily accept it with open arms. Consumers know how to avoid unwanted brand interruption and dodge unwanted messaging very well.
Marketing in today’s scenario is getting much more personal. Consumers now play an important role. They are not just one of many receiving generic content. Traditional forms of advertising have lost their effectiveness as other marketing approaches have come-in, to reshape how a brand sells its products.
Consumers no longer want to buy what the company wants to sell, instead they want to purchase products that meet their needs or are personalized according to them.
There are many strategies that exist to create, shape, or support your brand from positive PR to marketing campaigns to reach a new target demographic, or even undergo a rebrand if you're itching for a fresh start. But one of the best things you can do for your brand is actually starting your own brand community.
Consumers are craving for specific/niche communities now more than ever. Which means that the community is critical to the brands success. However, forming a community requires much more than just people gathering together or accumulating a certain number of users on an app or site.
If you want to build a successful brand, you'll need to build a strong community.
Successful brands are harnessing the power of their community to increase brand awareness, understand customers, improve outcomes, and build brand loyalty.
A brand community is essentially a group of people (your existing customers and target/prospect customers) who identify with your brand, and use your brand as a platform or backdrop to exchange ideas and contribute content. Successful brands harness the power of community to increase brand awareness, understand customers, improve outcomes, and build on brand loyalty.
The arrival of social media and newer generations of consumers ( millennials ) with completely different values have ignited this shift to community-conscious brand building. Brands need to become more human, real and adaptable and in some cases are being co-created with consumers being the more important component.
Building a community, builds human connections and human connections are vital for a successful business. Brands that stand out tap into the communal dynamic.
Communities that live on social networks like facebook, instagram, youtube etc, welcome anyone to like or follow their brand. Popular pages have thousands and millions of likes on their pages. But, only a small percentage of followers actively engage with the page. This means brands don’t know who their most influential customers are and they treat all the same.
When you create your own exclusive community, every member is an involved, top contributor. With exclusivity you can ensure that every member in your closed community is both influential and relevant to your brand.
Because influencers must apply for admittance or receive an invitation to your brand community, they have to earn the privilege of being exclusive members. With this in mind, once admitted, they will be more intrinsically motivated to be actively involved. Influencers find value in contributing their ideas and opinions and are more likely to increase their engagement when they know your brand has chosen to listen to their opinions in a private environment.
Members of a brand community drive the brand message (and their passion for it) into the market. They have the ability to influence their friend’s and family’s purchase decisions through the power word-of-mouth. Because they are influential and relevant to your brand, they’ve probably sent new customers to your brand in the past. But, once you admit them into the exclusive influencer community, they will be even more likely to talk about your brand because their influence is recognized.
When a limited number of people are admitted into your community, members will likely connect with each other because the space is more intimate. Brand communities bring people together whom otherwise, may never have interacted despite having similar passions. In your community, members can discuss certain topics and enjoy the benefits of being exclusive members together. As a brand, this can amplify your overall impact.
With the declining reach in today’s social media world, brands have to pay to reach the fans of their pages. But, why pay to rent your social media communities when you can own a community? Instead of continuously paying and struggling to find the right eyeballs, you can take action and own a community where your most influential customers will always see your content.
A group of relevant and reliable consumers is an incredible resource for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data to get a better understanding and build a detailed profile of who you’re selling to. Ask group members what they think of a certain campaign you’re thinking of running, poll them about current operations, or get feedback on a new product before it’s released. With a selective brand community, you have the ability to crowd-source for customer opinion much more effectively than other tactics such as putting together focus groups.
As you continuously collect data from your influencer community, you can integrate your other systems to match. Integration allows you to leverage data from your community to improve your CRM system. Imagine if a top influencer went to one of your in store locations and because of the integration, they were able to bypass the long queues or receive a discount or a gift.
Because brand communities are cohesive groups, marketers can treat customers like subscribers and create membership-oriented programs to improve and lengthen customer relationships. Members can gain access to certain communication programs like magazines, websites, ebooks, live events, etc. This way, you can amplify the effectiveness of your promotions and lower your costs. These members can also receive special discounts, sample items, and other rewards for being part of an exclusive community.
When you create your brand community, you’ll have a group of your most engaged customers. As mentioned, this group of influencers is inevitably the rightful owner of your brand. They are an incredibly valuable resource with a variety of insights. Allotting some of your marketing budget to create a branded community of top influencers is a great way to gather opinions about your other marketing efforts. If you’re planning to run a campaign, you can simply ask your community to see what ideas resonate best.
Create a brand community for your most influential consumers to boost your overall marketing strategy. Not only does a brand community help you to retain your best customers, but it also helps you collect new ones via word-of-mouth. Gather data about who you are selling to and gain insight to improve your other marketing efforts.