How to Use Content Marketing to Grow a Brand Community
A brand community grows from building lasting relationships. One of the best ways to build lasting relationships is to use content marketing to release useful information about the niche and market you are in. When done right, a community will grow that will become your most influential fans. In this article, we talk about how to use content marketing to grow a brand community.
Introduction to ‘Community’
A community is a feeling of belonging with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. The term ‘community’ used to be a local idea. But that all changed with the invention of the internet and the ability to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations around the world. We live in a world with almost 8 billion people, yet it can be lonely for those who have a hard time finding others who are passionate about and share common beliefs and ideologies.
Introduction to ‘Brand Community’
A brand community is a community formed based on attachment to a product or brand.
A brand community grows from building lasting relationships with others who are passionate about the niche and market you are in. Brands that can bridge the gap and connect these people will find themselves in a unique position of influence. One of the best ways to build lasting relationships is to use content marketing to share news and valuable information.
Brand Communities Are Strongest When Built Out of Passion
It’s not just about building a connection between your brand and your customers, it’s more about connecting people with other people so they can share and feel welcome in a community of people who have common interests, goals, and passions.
Nadav Wilf, a speaker on TEDx has spent his life building communities and shares his belief that passion is the key to building communities who will take action towards achieving a vision. Nadav encourages us all to, “Find and share our passions freely and often, as we never know who shares them and is just waiting to meet us”.
Brand Community at Large
People love to be in a community where others share similar beliefs and interests. They are fueled by the excitement that each other get and want to share the things that they know others will relate to and find interesting. A brand community should encompass all aspects of your organization. You should consider a brand community right from the very start of when you begin building your brand. The people you hire, the people who invest in you, the partnerships you foster should all share a passion for the vision your brand represents. When all these synergies align it resonates with a strong sense of brand community.
People who are passionate about what they do will be more creative, they will come up with better ideas, they’ll talk about and share what they are up to with positivity and enthusiasm. This helps to attract others who have a passion for the niche and market you are in. A brand community is a powerful way to grow a brand online.
Using Content Marketing to Grow a Brand Community
To conduct content marketing effectively, it needs to be done so as a two-way conversation. The content you put out into the world needs to be quality content that provides value. If you throw garbage content to your audience that is how they will perceive you. Consumers today know how to differentiate between sales-focused advertorials and content designed to educate and inform.
With marketing getting to be a more personal way of sharing information and the consumer playing a more critical role, traditional marketing such as display ads have lost effectiveness. Influencer marketing from friends, family, and niche community networks have started to take a larger role in the way brands promote and share their products.
A brand community can take time to develop and is much more than a simple marketing strategy. Building a brand community is forward-thinking, consumer and market understanding, and a well thought out business-wide strategy.
A community forms to help people and meet a variety of their needs – not just to drive brand sales. Common reasons people involve themselves in a community is that they are looking for answers, recommendations, support, status, inclusion, common ground, and ways to give back. In many cases, people are more interested in the various social aspects of being part of a brand community then they are in the actual brand itself. By releasing content that provides the value you can relate to your audience and build relationships between your brand and them as well as consumer to consumer relationships.
How to Use Brand Community Sub Groups
Brand communities are great for creating a welcoming environment for anyone interested in participating. This can include a social networks fan page, a chat group, a community meetup or other types of organization. It can be hard to narrow in and talk to specific segments of a brand community when it gets to be too large.
A way to reach specific audiences within your community is to create subgroups. When a limited number of people are put together that all share a deeper understanding or similar interest they are more likely to connect because space is more intimate and direct. A subgroup can further connect those who may have not found each other otherwise. A subgroup can be made exclusive for different reasons depending on a brand’s purpose. Some examples include validators, programmers, beta testers, premium members, and volunteers. A few platforms that work well for creating subgroups are telegram, discord, and facebook.
To help grow community subgroups you can create specialized content directed towards the target audience with a call to action to join the group in some way. Once you have these subgroups you can use them for various purposes, such as gathering opinions and other niche data.
Ask community subgroup members what they think of an upcoming campaign you’re thinking of running, ask them about current operations, or get feedback on a new product or service before it’s released to the public.
How to Use Brand Community Membership Programs
Membership programs, both paid and unpaid gives customers a feeling of special privilege. Marketers can treat customers like subscribers and give them premium content to improve and lengthen customer relationships. Special content shared with smaller groups and not the public at large strengthens and holds onto customers for a longer period. The ability to share and learn from smaller groups can amplify the effectiveness of promotions and lower costs.
Content marketing can be used with smaller groups to share things to them first before sharing them to the public, membership groups can receive special insights and data, they can receive special discounts, freebies, sample products, and other rewards for being part of a brand sub-community or membership program.
A Community Brand Can Be a Passionate Think Tank
When you are successful at creating a brand community you will have created a powerful component of your business. A brand community along with its subgroups gives you a grouping of your most engaged customers. This group of customers inevitably becomes your most influential spokespeople. They are a valuable resource that can provide a variety of insights. They will share your news, like your posts, buy your products, tell you when you are doing things right and when you start to go off course.
The Take a Way
Content marketing is a great way to attract a brand community. By creating and sharing content that provides value to your consumers, niche, and market you will bring people together. Passion breeds passion, it is important to understand your consumers, what they stand for and how your brand fits into their lives. Your brand should not always come first and the content you create does not always have to have your brand in the middle of it. Think about the needs of the people and create quality content that they will enjoy and benefit from.
Creating a brand community grows your most influential consumer base and boosts your overall marketing strategy. A brand community helps to retain existing customers, build new relationships, gather data, gain insight, and improve your overall understanding of your audience.