Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Let start with a question: How much community marketing are you doing?
If you answered “none,” don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. But that’s not to suggest you don’t need to change the situation.
In the past, we marketed on radio, TV, magazines, and billboards. Then we moved to online banner ads and email campaigns. Then social media and influencer marketing filled out our digital marketing plan.
And while most of those are still necessary and effective, the marketing trend for today and beyond looks to be 'Community Marketing'.
Unlike traditional advertising that focuses on reaching new customers, community marketing is about connecting, engaging, and establishing long-term relationships with existing customers within a group or community of similar people.
It’s more about conversations (than selling). In today’s world, business is about the relationships you forge with others. Consumers expect more from the companies they support. They want to feel recognized, important and heard.
Community marketing bridges the gap between 'brand and fan' so they become equal partners. Shoppers are willing to shell out more for a product if it comes with that little bit extra: great service, great connection, or great overall experience.
While community marketing can be targeted any place where customers and fans gather, it’s specifically social media where community marketing really shines. Why? Because social media has some of the largest communities, and engagement is fast, easy, and convenient.
Creating an active presence (and not just pitching your product) in these spaces allows a business to learn more about customer wants, needs, and complaints, and allows for direct responses, follow-up questions, and communication between the two groups. Companies get valuable insight and feedback, while customers and fans feel appreciated.
Other potential benefits include cultivating loyalty, encouraging user-generated content, identifying customer concerns, anticipating needs, eliminating barriers and creating enthusiastic word-of-mouth advertising.
You’ve got to work to keep your fans and customers happy. But it's absolutely worth it:
A happy customer tells an average of 9 people about their experience,
You’re 14x more likely to sell to an existing customer than to a new one,
A 5% increase in retention can lead to a 25-95% increase in profit.
Creating a space for them to talk about their experiences – both good and bad – is a no-brainer. Word-of-mouth can improve the effectiveness of your marketing by 54%.
When done correctly, community marketing is incredibly powerful and much cheaper than traditional tactics.
Ready to see for yourself?
Keep an eye out for our next update in which we’ll talk about how to navigate the community marketing roadmap.