A lot of marketing professionals are starting to come around with different brand campaigns but they still have a long way to go. Looking at the current situation in marketing, only a few still understand the connection between content and community and how it can change the brand’s function both internally and externally.
The roles communities play in marketing and communications process is misunderstood and many brands are not involved in community marketing activities of even have a community marketing strategy.
The value of customer/fan communities is quality and efficiency of reach, feedback, communication cycles and amplification. You might already be focusing on communities for either support (enabling customers to support and inform each other), reputation (using communities, social network presence and influence marketing in an effort to build brand reputation) or research (using a closed interest based community to study/control customer patterns).
Community marketing strategies have a massive amplification power but it is under-utilized by many brands because they prefer sending corporate messages rather than customer oriented information.
There is a strong connection between community and content and that connection creates a strong round trip funnel: Value added content attracts community prospects. They interact, share and talk about the contents. These activities attracts new members to join the community and participate.
Here are some tips for your community strategy:
1) Have intersection points between customer networks and communities:
Do you know your community or its member life cycles or how long someone will remain a community member? New moms are new moms for about 24 months, hence you should be planning acquisition cycles on a regular basis.
2) Have the right materials:
You will need to have value added interactions with your community to keep it active and fresh.
3) Design contents to measure community strength.
Content that is strategically designed can be measured.
4) Identify the customer and community narrative:|
Customers or community members have paths, patterns and cycles. You must be able to predict or direct your communities’ action. i.e. ”If I put out Content A, my community members will not interact with it because……..
Once your brand can understand the power of their customer communities and how it can be effectively deployed, you will be able to shift from campaign-driving programs to long-lasting relationship-building efforts.
Wonder why #ShareACokeCampaign by Coca Cola was a viral success and #MadeOfBlack by Guinness wasn’t as viral?
How have you been using community marketing or how would you want to tap into it.
Please drop your comments and questions.
Abiola Fabio is a social media strategist and a #GrowthHacker with vast experience in different Engagement Marketing Campaigns both online and offline. He is the founder & Chief Hustling officer at Erdters . Prior to setting up Erdters, Fabio was the Head, Social Media and Communities at Kaymu Africa.
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Reach out via email: Fabio@erdters.com
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