The following post is part of WTWH Media Marketing Lab’s ongoing blog series from MozCon 2017.
As marketers, we all solve problems for our customers, but we are neglecting a goldmine of existing customers who would help you hit marketing goals on your own. Most marketers have no idea how to truly engage with customers who have already bought from them or customers who have not converted. The solution to this problem? Building communities.
Debunking Myths about Communities:
- Companies in my industry don’t need communities
- We’re focused on ROI
- Our Company is a service/agency
- Our company is too large for a community
Using communities will not only help you reach your marketing objectives, but will also solve problems for your customers. Research found when customers joined communities, they spent 2.5x longer on landing pages which ultimately led to higher conversion rates. Research also found the top percent of active community members spent 10x longer on pages.
Four Questions to Consider to Build Communities:
- Should our community be public or private? Public communities like Sephora, use live chat and user profiles that link to other social sites. The discussions on public forums correlate to purchase patterns for community members. Sephora links the user accounts in community to Sephora loyalty cards for increased customer engagement. Private communities have a unique selling point of converting new clients to enhance user engagement for existing clients.
- Can our community be low tech? Your community does not need to be fancy. It can be as simple as a Facebook group. The more members, the more revenue.
- Should it be a social-first or content-first? Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival used the social first approach with forums. This kept customers informed on set times, regulations, lodging and more. Smaller brands used the content first approach by creating webinars, q&as, events, and communication that is centered around content.
- Should our community be gamified? When gamifying communities, research found it increased engagement among customers and clients, increase up-sell rate for current customers. Fitbit challenge groups found 84% of users were more active when challenging friends.
In conclusion, customers are forming and finding communities with our without you, so it’s important to leverage it to your benefit. If your industry does not have communities, you should be the first!
Tara Reed is a tech entrepreneur & marketer. After running marketing initiatives at Google, Foursquare, & Microsoft, Tara branched out to launch her own apps & startups. Today, Tara helps people implement cutting-edge marketing into their businesses.