If you want to improve the success of your marketing strategy, you should consider using a community-driven approach. Many successful marketing strategies involve the use of community building. The art of creating an engaged following of both new and loyal fans. Businesses that use this as part of their marketing strategy can see incredible results. For example, the fitness brand, Gymshark. They focused on building a community where individuals could interact. Be part of a supportive network of like-minded gym-goers and athletes. The success of Gymshark’s approach led them to become the fastest growing business in the UK. They have grown to a $1.45 billion valuation in 10 years.
Other than driving business growth, what are some of the other benefits and reasons why you should consider community building? I’m going to cover the 5 benefits of community building for your brand and a few tips on how to get the most of your community-building strategy.
#1 Builds Trust
Building a community comes with the ability to significantly boost brand trustworthiness.
When customers feel like they can easily communicate with your brand, and that you’re regularly contributing to the community, they can perceive your brand as more trustworthy.
Now, it’s important to note that if you want to build long-lasting trust, you need to be very active within your community. Be as helpful and responsive as possible. Make sure everyone’s needs are being met or that followers are being heard.
Leverage your community to build a good reputation as an active and responsive brand.
#2 Brand Loyalty
Following building trust, work on building a community that your customers want to join. It will create a higher percentage of loyal customers.
Creating a community gives you the ability to easily engage with people who are fans of your business. When you make the effort to engage with them regularly, you will be able to build brand loyalty that could extend for years.
#3 Keeps Your Brand Relevant
Communities can help keep brands not just relevant, but thriving for years.
When people regularly engage with brand communities, they’re constantly being reminded of the brand which they like.
This isn’t just about followers actively engaging with communities, it’s also about social media platform algorithms. Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram use algorithms to show you content most relevant to the users by calculating what types of content and the brand that the user engages with most.
The more people engage with your brand’s social channels, the more relevant you’ll become thanks to the social media platform algorithms.
#4 Helps Customers Feel Connected
The sense of feeling connected has become very important as most people spend a lot of their time isolated while online.
This isn’t just relevant to the recent events of lockdowns and social distancing. Feeling connected in the digital world has been important for a long time — as things become more virtual and online-based, there can be a disconnect that often doesn’t get addressed.
By being engaged with your audience, you’re also helping your followers feel connected — not just to your brand, but also to other followers.
Feeling connected feeds into all of the above-mentioned benefits of trust, brand loyalty, and keeping your brand relevant.
#5 Creates Hub for Social Listening
One of the great byproducts of community building is that you can utilize your community as a social listening tool.
As discussed in a recent blog post, social listening is where companies use their social media platforms to better understand consumer sentiment and the needs of customers. Companies use the results of their social listening analysis to inform their business or marketing strategies.
When you’re building or managing a community for your brand, you’ll likely find an endless amount of data that you can use to fuel your brand’s growth if you decide to use social listening as part of your marketing strategy.
The data you’ll find while analyzing your social platforms for comments and feedback regarding your brand will be more useful coming from your community, as most times the customers who care about your brand will give more constructive, useful feedback.
Social listening isn’t necessarily your primary goal when community building. But it is an important aspect to consider and utilize when building your marketing strategy.
Staying Authentic When Community Building
When building a community, it’s very important to stay authentic. Nowadays, people can see through inauthenticity quite easily when it comes to online marketing campaigns.
I’d like to stress that when you’re building a community, the community and people within it come first. Your intention shouldn’t be to instantly sell things, but to build a network of people who can connect with your brand and that you can offer valuable content to. You also want to create a space where other like-minded fans can connect.
In time, the trust built from your efforts of contributing to your community will pay off in loyalty, growth, brand awareness, and the ability to sustain your business over the long term.
For more information on marketing strategy and business growth, read through the latest posts on the Intentionally Inspirational blog.
Written by Lewis James