Too few brand communities deliver the value they should be delivering.
The problem isn’t usually a lack of resources, but a lack of awareness in how the community can support so many areas of the business.
This graphic below gives a number of examples:
A successful community supports every stage of the funnel. For a breakdown
In the awareness stage, communities can:
- Attract more search traffic.
- Help build a mailing list.
- Create retargeting opportunities through pixel tracking.
- Nurture advocates for the brand.
- Host events that attract new prospects.
- Provide PR teams with success stories to promote.
- Provide statistics that can be promoted publicly.
- Be targeted in a particular topic to attract a broader base of customers.
In the interest stage, communities can help members become more interested in buying the product or service. This includes:
- Members getting answers to product questions (notably which are best for them).
- Community-created lists of recommended products/services for different use cases.
- Members publishing reviews on shopping and comparison sites.
- Members creating content that is featured in marketing material.
- Members creating long-form guides solving particular problems with your products/services.
- Automated email campaigns guiding members to buy items based upon community participation.
- Members giving ideas and feedback to improve products.
In the conversion stage, communities can increase the number of interested prospects who make a commitment. This includes:
- Sales staff using community data to help convert leads (knowing what people have searched for and looked up before).
- Member testimonials and quotes featured on product pages.
- Including purchase links directly to mentioned products.
- Members getting referral fees to help sell products.
- Short-term exclusive offers to members only.
- Using social proof and statistics throughout the community.
Communities play a role (although often overstated) in retaining members. This comes via:
- Members having an improved experience by getting high-quality support from other members.
- Members sharing and learning tips/best practices to get more value from their products.
- Members feel a powerful sense of community.
- Members participating in shared activities together and befriending others.
In the advocacy stage, communities can:
- Turn members into advocates who promote the brand through social channels.
- Members sharing content created within the community with others.
The biggest win for many of us building communities professionally is to build the relationships, processes, and features necessary to ensure our community supports as many aspects of the business as possible.