As a business owner, one of your prime focuses is on expanding your customer base. Developing your product to fit customer needs is half the story and finding and retaining those customers is the other half of it. Most businesses fail to see that retaining their current customers is as important as gaining new ones. Two main reasons businesses experience customer loss are that customers feel poorly treated and businesses fail to solve a problem in time.
According to a study by Conversion Research, 54% of millennials stopped doing business because of poor service followed by 52% of baby boomers and 50% Gen-Zs.
Now the fear arises:
- How to keep customers engaged?
- How to retain existing customers?
- How to solve customer problems so that they continue doing business with you?
All these questions have one answer - Community.
Successful companies such as Salesforce, Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have gained significant results by investing in both digital and in-person community platforms. Let’s take a closer look at why you should harness the power of community for your business growth. Before jumping to the why let’s first understand what are the major factors that will make a community successful. These elements will help you focus on what’s important right from the beginning.
7 key elements of a Successful Community:
i. Shared Purpose
This is as simple as having an answer to The Why? Why are you doing this? Why should your customers join the community?
ii. Easy Access to Knowledge
Our lives are busy and our attention span is very low. If you don’t hook your user in the first 6 seconds, you lose them. The value that you are providing to the community should be easy to understand and find.
iii. Easy to Share and Create Value
Your users should be easily able to share their knowledge with others in the community. The process of sharing should be crisp, simple, and provide immediate satisfaction.
iv. Acknowledgment, Incentives and Rewards
Appreciate contributions such as information, knowledge, support, or technology that provide value to the members and reward community-centric behavior such as leadership and mentoring. This will let your members know that they are valued and help bring your community together.
v. Well-Crafted Accountability within the Eco-System
Peer reviews are an important part of the online community workflow as it might be difficult for you to get to each problem. Hence, enforcing a clear peer review system for events, reviewing content, etc will increase collaborations and drive better results.
vi. Healthy and Good Leadership
When you, as a leader, involve regularly in the community and ensure good conduct, it spreads positivity among the members and reduces toxicity. When a leader has good moral values, they are automatically imparted to their followers.
vii. Imparting Responsibility
Enabling the community members to play a role in the dynamics will help create value and impart a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Now that you are aware of what a successful community consists of, let's learn about why you implement community building as a part of your marketing strategy in 2022.
Why should you build a community?
We’re well aware of the fact that everything is digital now. The way we interact, solve problems, transact, and more. Digital mediums are one of the easiest ways for you to reach your audience and what better way than hearing from them directly! And with the world in a pandemic, people are craving a community more than ever - the need to connect, interact, build relations and share values are gaining importance in a new way. Here are 3 main reasons why you should build a community.
FREE Brand Awareness
Word-of-mouth is still the most popular form of advertising out there, and what better way to reach a wider audience for FREE than a community! Your audience is a part of so many communities alongside yours.
If you happen to be a startup or SMB, the chances of you being popular are slightly less. When you engage in the community, you educate your audience about your business and bring them closer to you. Further, there’s a good chance they mention you in their conversations with others.
“The more they talk about you, the more awareness you gain.”
Better Understanding of Your Customers
During the initial stages of building your product, you conduct various surveys to examine the viability of your product. As a business, you are always evolving, and so are your customers. Communities are a great way for you to understand firsthand what your audience wants, what problems they are facing, and how you can solve them.
Further, they are also your honest critiques. You can test your product features with them before officially releasing them.
While online communities help you understand your customers' desires and needs, they also are a source of good reviews and user-generated content.
Builds Brand Loyalty
Your audience won’t purchase your product unless they trust you. This is significantly important in today’s highly competitive market. Hence why it is important for you to gain their trust in order to keep them coming back.
According to a report by Accenture, two-thirds of customers will spend more on brands to which they are loyal.
Retaining your current customers is equally important to gaining new ones. As a part of engaging your current audience, keep them in the loop and share valuable information in your online communities. This way, even when they are not purchasing a product, they’re still with you and remember you.
On the whole, building a community contributes a huge deal to your business and enables you to be a part of it. The more open you are to your audience, the more they empathize with you and stay with you through your journey. Members of the community helping other members results in great results with fewer costs of service. Through communities, you get to be more than just a product that’s looking to be sold and provide value and support to your members. We urge you to start building your community today, or if you are busy with other aspects of the business, we’re here to help. Sign up for our free 15-min consultation and let’s talk about leveraging community marketing for your business.