The building block of every brand is its community!
New-age brands don’t just market products to their customers, instead, they build a strong story that connects with their audience, creating a cult of followers, customers, and future prospects.
As internet space becomes more crowded and competitive, the proven digital marketing strategies to boost sales, reach, traffic can no longer suffice. An effective marketing growth strategy is to connect with your audience & ensure they convert to brand evangelists. Keep in mind, today’s customer is well-learned and needs to see if a brand cares, listens, and nurtures a relationship with its people.
Let’s deep dive into community building and why you need to incorporate it into your business strategy.
In simple terms, community building is a growth strategy of bringing together prospective customers through topics that make them connect and align. It fuels the brand’s growth as it puts the customer first, rather than the brand. Remember, community-building does not drive sales, instead, it is an art-form of curating a cult that will follow and engage with your brand for the long haul.
There was a time when community building was having a Facebook page & other social sites and interacting with the followers, fans, etc. However, humans have an innate need for connection, and hence there has been a complete paradigm shift in recent times where community building focuses on the customer’s interests, passions, beliefs, and desires.
So how do you build a thriving community that fuels brand growth and provides value to customers?
For a successful community, it is crucial to identify your customer’s beliefs & interests followed by your brand’s purpose.
Let us list a few key elements that will certainly differentiate your brand from others:
- Personalization: Reach out to customers through personalized communication. For example Emailers, SMS can have their names. On social media, give a genuine thanks to a loyal fan/follower. Post testimonials, reviews and tag the customers who are loyal to your brand.
- Conversations: Start a conversation on social sites, join forums or groups, reply to comments & DM’s on time and be available for the customer. Today, there are also options like Facebook messengers & Chatbot that make communication faster and simpler.
- Accept Criticism: At some point, you will come across a customer who is not happy with the product or service. Be open, acknowledge and listen to their concern before providing a resolution. Sometimes, feedbacks are the best way to improve business.
- Balance promotional & valuable content: Without appearing salesy, make sure your content engages the audience and makes them come back for more. For example – During the festive season, instead of posting about new products, highlight how the brand participated in a CSR activity.
Now, let’s look at one such brand that is rocking community building and marketing:
ZOMATO: Innovation and adaptability are at the core of Zomato’s marketing strategy. From meme marketing to witty responses, they largely focus on effectively interacting with their audience. Their tone of voice is engaging and has always made them stand out. Moreover, in a post-covid world, when all restaurants were rethinking their business, Zomato launched contactless dining. This proactive initiative garnered a lot of attention and highlighted the effort in keeping its community & business partners happy. Such a holistic and refreshing approach to Zomato’s marketing ecosystem has built the brand’s community and made them the pioneers of the social community. To sum up, there is no right or wrong way to build a community for your ecommerce brand. It is an evolving business where humanizing your brand by creating engaging customer experiences will win you a loyal alpha audience!