A community is generally characterized as an interconnected group or place for the sharing of common interests. Although, when you hear the word “community” an interactive online space isn't usually the first thought which comes to mind, unless you are marketing technology nerds like us!
An online community houses groups of people or businesses with common interests who connect by creating and sharing content, interacting with one another, and more. These online communities can serve as the hub for entire ecosystems of targeted industries, verticals, special interests, etc.
When establishing a community, understand that it is an ongoing process of continued involvement from developers, audience members, stakeholders, and community managers. Content marketing, the skill of connecting with your customers without pushing a hard sell, plays a vital role in the success of communities. Consumers have forced professionals to get rid of traditional marketing habits and jump into the world of creating and publishing new and innovative content that continually enhances knowledge and engages users.
Prepare for success and maintain a thriving online presence with these key elements:
Recognize why there is a demand for your community and what will compel people to want to join, share, and interact. Develop a clear understanding of what you want to be your community’s purpose and have a roadmap of how you plan to get there with a clear thought out business model.
Outline the projected time associated with the process of not only building your community, but growing and sustaining it as well. Factor in the time to build the site and its business model, create graphics and establish and identity, and develop a marketing strategy to bring in large numbers of end-users, exhibitors, advertisers, sponsors, and other participating companies.
Social media should not be your only strategy, but it should be a driving force. Have a social plan be an essential part of your marketing efforts, send out teasers of what is to come, share exhibitor information, and get people talking by creating a buzz. Push content out to your social media sites with links to different areas of your community platform, blog posts, or white papers, videos, webinars, and more.
Online communities serve as a place for sharing and engaging with others. Encourage exhibitors and individuals to share not only their tools, products, and opinions, but also advice and other helpful tips through questions and comments. By creating an area for open conversation, you are creating a strong foundation for a successful online community.
In establishing successful communities, invest in community managers to serve as a crucial component to its success. Know that managing a community is an ongoing process to ensure your site grows and remains successful..
Create original valuable content for others in the community to read that doesn’t come with a sales pitch, but rather broadens their knowledge on your offering. You want to earn the loyalty and trust of potential consumers by consistently delivering fresh content so that they ultimately reward you with business.
Contact us today to begin developing your community. Create an interactive online marketplace to connect groups of people involved in target industries or those of which share common interests.
Get the latest resources for content marketing!