Today, regardless of the industry, a vibrant community not only serves as a defensive shield against the competition but can also spur learning, innovation, and value. Also, whether it's hiring a bunch of power users, software contributors, content developers, or a group of superfans, we're now witnessing thriving communities leading to greater brand awareness and helping great passage, not to mention a solid debut in public markets. It is equally essential to what community exactly means and how it can become the leading "Go to" marketing strategy in 2022. Therefore, let's start with the term community itself.
What Does a Community Mean?
The term community can mean a lot of things. It can be a support group, a networking forum, an open-source project, and even a tribe of rugby fans that could all qualify as a community. A more helpful taxonomy is classifying communities based on members' motivation, whether related to the product, practice, or any sports. Furthermore, the essence of a community lies in understanding why people collect information about a company's commitment and its goals for its community. Also, when it comes to communities, digital communities are likely to show massive growth when implemented into the marketing strategies.
Digital Communities represents the communities formed by people on various online platforms such as Twitter, Clubhouse, and the latest cryptocurrency platform Binance. In fact, for Binance Co-Founder and CMO Yi He, the community has always been an essential part of his career path, as well as the driving force behind the creation of one of the world's most popular digital asset exchanges. Binance's business model, which includes executives who interact with the community daily, has reached over 15 million users in just three years. So, what are the reasons that drive community as such a powerful phenomenon? Also, it is likely to become the best marketing strategy in 2022 especially for entrepreneurs launching a startup. Let's check the reasons behind it.
1. Community Management and Marketing is Cost-Effective and Impactful
Community management and marketing are more of a mindset than a strategy. It's about focusing on the users and developing their activities and actions. Community marketing includes live broadcasts such as AMA sessions, webinars, and social listening and participation. It is an overnight task that can only reflect one's ignorance. Building a community is a testing process and requires a lot of patience.
In Yi's words, "Building a community takes time, and it's worth it. Personal connections with a community are vital to ensuring continued growth. That includes responding to issues and taking feedback into action, which requires strong collaboration with customer support and product teams."
The cross-functional effort required in it can seem extremely difficult, but it can become well organized and profitable if done right. Yi further adds, "It is significantly more cost-effective to organize an AMA session with the CEO or executive, which allows customers to connect with the company and address issues or new products, than broadcasting noisy ads."
2. Community Engagement Reflects Authenticity and Loyalty
The best way to create a meaningful community is to stay authentic. Transparency builds trust between a company and users and within a user base. As a result, it helps in strengthening the community over time. Yi says such interactions are vital as it "allows customers to have a personal connection with a company that translates to higher engagement and loyalty."
Furthermore, if a company lacks a public-facing executive, it focuses on micro-interactions to help humanize a company and its mission. Yi adds here, "Community marketing requires knowing what your customers need and care about, and what they don't care about too. Ultimately, focus on customers to deliver products and services they want, need and will like."
3. Strong Community Activates Brand and Brings Innovation
More awareness, meaningful presence, and customer experiences are the keys to building a solid community. It further leads to brand activation. As per Nielsen, nearly 92 percent of customers prefer suggestions from friends and family over advertisements. It further reflects why word of mouth marketing is the most powerful marketing tool a business can have as it comes from a user, not from an ad or directly from the company. In other words, it is like funding a business with self-financing.
In the world of digital asset exchanges, competition is fierce, and users are not lacking in options. Brand activation can be the key differentiator here. On brand activation, Yi says, "When a brand is activated, customers are more engaged and become more long-term customers. Strong community marketing also brings more personable and emotional connections to its customers, which helps activate brands."
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