Brand Community Platforms - How To Make Them Work For Your Business
Have you ever wondered how all the big names create such astonishingly successful marketing campaigns? Chances are they have been using a brand community platform to fuel their marketing insights. Let’s have a closer look.
What Is A Brand Community Platform, Anyway?
It is a mesmerizing concept, really. Brand communities; they replace the old fashioned one-way flow of information in marketing with a joint experience and approach with their customers.
What branded communities do is simple. There’s no person in a business suit telling you what you should buy. Here, a business (person) invites you for a drink and asks you how they should sell the product. Simple, but ingenious!
The Many Benefits Of Brand Community Platforms
Besides forming the bulk of major brands’ marketing effort, branded communities benefit businesses in several more ways:
- A reduction in customer support costs – 49% of businesses with branded communities cut such costs for about 10%-25%.
- Allow you to sell without selling – a marketing effort without any effort.
- Quality feedback – two thirds of all businesses use communities to test new products and services.
- More engagement and more customer retention.
- A pre-formed market for your goods – a perfect channel for placing your product and gathering insights before the official release.
By utilizing interactive or branded communities, you can genuinely communicate with your audience and receive useful feedback. Let’s delve deeper into how each of these is achieved.
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Use A Brand Community To Drive Consumer Insights
Consumer insights aren’t just about dry info on how a product affects a specific demographic. Contemporary consumer insights go all the way to the core of understanding why consumers do certain things in certain ways, how they communicate among themselves, and how they perceive cultural influences.
Whether you seek a long-term study of the market or desire to conduct a shorter project study, a brand community platform is a perfect basis. With tools simple enough to be used by everyone, and powerful enough to bring in results, it comes ready for all kinds of research.
If your platform allow multiple customizable modules for interactive tests, you can start idea contests, diary studies, public discussions, and basically anything you can think of, so long as it returns results. Here a different kind of tool comes in handy: tools for tagging and categorizing content which help you segment user profiles based on their responses.
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Strategic Considerations When Starting A Brand Community
A community platform should be a welcoming space for all members of your digital society. It should customers to share stories, ideas, and experiences. It can be a forum, a chat room, idea contests… Any of these could come in handy; and the more – the merrier!
1. Consider Going Mobile First
And if you want to go a step further, you will adapt your platform to be mobile-friendly. As mobile marketing is getting bigger, the on-the-go audience is increasing – use that as an additional gateway towards your branded community!
2. Stimulate Feedback, Especially The Not So Positive
We all like to have our voices heard – your audience isn’t an exception. Gathering feedback gives them just that: the chance for them to express their thoughts and feelings about your product or service. It is a win-win situation: even negative feedback helps you improve in the long-term. Plus, feeling heard can get even the most pessimistic customer on-board.
3. Consider Using Gamification
We’re speaking engagement here. Ultimately, you can introduce gamification, a concept that maximizes participatory experience. So now your customers don’t just buy and leave. They buy and stay. These are the differences between the brands and other businesses. Why keep yourself in the latter group? Join our community – to develop your own.
4. Find Your Ambassadors
A vital factor in the interaction of communities and brands for the benefit of both is participatory experience. We’ve already mentioned forums, chat rooms, idea contests, feedback, etc. A crucial part is to empower individuals to make the wanted changes themselves – and to motivate them to actually contribute to your business and brand. Spot your “preachers”!
You can do this with the most useful feedback that you receive: spot these people, and establish a closer relationship with them. They will have high ratings and/or high level of contribution. They will be the most likely to commit further purchases, refer your business to friends/family, and commit some of their time to affect your business in various ways.
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