Community Marketing

Every single day, there are people online talking about your products, your services and your brand.

They’re talking to each other, and they also want to talk to you. Through community marketing, you can work these conversations to your – and their – advantage.

In this guide, you’ll get an answer to the key question “what is community marketing?”

We’ll explore the difference it can make to your organization, and get pointers on developing an effective community marketing strategy.

Hero image for article explaining community marketing

What is Community Marketing

Community marketing is the means of facilitating online interactions with your business, or about your business. This can take place either through live chats on your company’s website or mobile apps, or through conversations on whichever social media platforms you use. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to be directly involved in community marketing: it works just as well when customers interact with each other as it does when they interact with you.

What are the Benefits of Community Marketing?

When your community marketing is fully up and running, the difference it can make to the success of your brand is enormous. In particular, it can address particular challenges that can be difficult to solve through more conventional marketing practices:

Better Customer Experiences

Community marketing can deliver unparalleled levels of insight into customer sentiment and expectations, because they’re telling you directly what they want.

This information is invaluable in adjusting customer journeys and experiences to perfectly match what customers are looking for. At a time when it’s never been easier for customers to shop around, switch brands and abandon carts, these honed customer experiences can be critical for driving greater revenue.

Stronger Organic Growth

Research by Salesforce has found that nearly three-quarters of customers will share good experiences with other people. This underlines that, for all the depth and detail of modern marketing practice, good old word of mouth can still be immensely powerful.

Good community marketing supports that organic growth by encouraging people happy with their experiences to share them with others and act as brand advocates, thereby attracting more customers and expanding the community in a virtuous circle.

Deeper Emotional Engagement

Encouraging a customer relationship that is deep, loyal and long-lasting is perhaps harder now than it’s ever been. In no small part, that’s down to the fact that customers are increasingly resistant to marketing that doesn’t feel authentic and doesn’t appeal to their emotional drivers.

But people can talk to other people at a level that traditional marketing sometimes can’t, and this is why community marketing is so valuable at engaging emotional bonds between customers and your business.

Customers will share honest, heartfelt experiences that their peers can identify with and trust, and this helps to humanize the whole experience of dealing with your brand, products and services.

Community Marketing Tools

There is a vast array of community marketing tools that you can deploy, and many of these can combine and complement each other as part of a wider community marketing strategy. Most of these tools fall into one of two main categories:

Social Networking Tools

These are platforms that encourage peer-to-peer communication between customers and brand advocates, facilitating easy organic engagement. These can include all the main social media platforms and networks, more traditional areas of conversation such as forums and blogs, and even RSS feeds that allow customers to stay on the pulse of what’s happening with your brand.

Community Tools

These are initiatives that you can take as a brand, both to foster contact between customers, but also to open the lines of communication with your business directly. Email newsletters, webinars and podcasts all fall under this category, as they are marketing tools that can be used to start a conversation about your brand and products, rather than to market and ‘sell’ products directly.

What is Community Marketing

Community marketing is the means of facilitating online interactions with your business, or about your business. This can take place either through live chats on your company’s website or mobile apps, or through conversations on whichever social media platforms you use. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to be directly involved in community marketing: it works just as well when customers interact with each other as it does when they interact with you.

The Impact of Community Marketing for Organizations

When your company gets community marketing right, it can be transformative for your products, services and brand on so many different levels – and on your bottom line, too:

  • Lower costs: when the community does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of your marketing and comms, you can theoretically reduce your spending on traditional marketing, especially on paid media on the social platforms your community uses.

     

  • Increased loyalty: a strong community will build positivity about your brand and products, and encourage greater loyalty in the longer-term, especially if they feel particularly engaged emotionally.

     

  • Easier reinvention and innovation: when you need to make changes to your brand or product line-up, having a community available as a sounding board can be useful in testing the water. You can get the thoughts and feelings of your most engaged and loyal customers and get a good steer on whether a change will work or not, before committing to a firm decision.

 

How to Create a Community Marketing Strategy

Firstly, it’s important to understand where your customers want to have these conversations. This means understanding the demographic of your customer base, and ensuring that you focus on relevant platforms (for example, there isn’t much point in building a community on Facebook if most of your customers are under 25 and on TikTok). 

Then you need to work out exactly the kind of messages that would resonate with them, and consider how to deliver those messages in a friendly, engaging way that isn’t ‘salesy’.

Check the pulse of current conversations online about your brand and products, and use that as your starting point. Then you can develop content and messaging that will start positive conversations on that subject matter, helping bring more people together and strengthening community ties.

How Influitive Encourages Community Marketing

In a strong and vibrant community, customers will have conversations with you and with each other across a multitude of different platforms. Keeping track of all of them, and ensuring the right people are engaging with the right subjects, can be difficult – which is where a platform like Influitive can be so useful.

Not only does it keep tabs on all engagements by the customer community, but it can also incentivize them to keep engaging over time.

Customers can be recognized and rewarded for their contributions, and your team members can more easily play an active role in the community and build authentic, trusted relationships that last over time.

And the level of information and feedback you’ll see from your customers can better inform your future marketing and product decisions, ensuring you always deliver on their desires and expectations.

Build a Buzzing Customer Community with the Influitive Platform

Take a closer look at Influitive’s customer advocacy platform today and learn how easy it can be to build a big, strong, positive community that’s fully engaged with your brand.

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With Influitive, your advocates fuel business growth and customer success

Whether you want to generate more leads and references, drive more customer success, or even improve future products through direct customer feedback, Influitive has got you covered. We're ready when you are.