The online space is an ever-present reality for more and more people in our digital age. Therefore, online communities are extremely popular. Creating your own online community is a great customer engagement model for businesses that want to connect with their customers on a deeper level, and keep their relationships current and relevant. Below are some of the best benefits to building your own brand community online.
Helps You Get to Know Your Customers
A key to any successful business is, first and foremost, understanding your customers. Once you know your target audience; what makes them tick and what they like and don’t like, you can create a business strategy that fits in with this information.
When you create an online community for your brand, it provides you access to customer information, much more than you would get otherwise. With this information, you can see what your customers like and dislike about your products, about your marketing strategies, as well as the things you can incorporate into future products and brand expansion.
Boosts Customer Interest
The biggest advantage or value that can come out of building an online community for your brand is the positive effect it has on customer retention. With a proper client engagement model in play, your brand can cultivate die-hard fans and consumers who will choose your product over any other.
To make that happen, you need to give your customers a way to develop an emotional connection with your brand; become relatable somehow. Research customer behavior and figure out what makes them tick, and then get to work incorporating that into your brand.
Adds Value to the Shopping Experience
If you want to make people do what you want them to do, the easiest way is to incentivize them. While building and maintaining an online community, the same logic can be applied.
Shower your loyal customers with discounts, early product launches, as well as coupons and points with every sale. This will add value to their shopping experience and they will keep coming back for more.
Creates Organic Advocates for Your Brand
Once you’ve developed a loyal customer base, you will naturally get some customers who will essentially work as advocates for your brand. The key to making it happen is, once again, getting your customers to develop a sense of relatability and connection with your brand.
It is human nature to want to re-experience things that make us feel good, whether it’s about us or the world around us. Those loyal customers will not only boost your sales, they will also bring in more customers through word of mouth.
Decreases Dependency on Ads
When you build up a customer base and create a strong online community for your brand, it will have a direct effect on your sales. Instead of the sales being dependent upon or driven by ads, they will be driven by customer relations and word of mouth. This will decrease your brand’s dependency on paid marketing techniques and promote organic growth of your business.
Is an Online Community Right for Your Business?
Only you can decide. Client engagement models that incorporate building online communities into their strategies can do extremely well, but it does take commitment and consistency to build a community that’s active and thriving. Assess your business, weigh the pros and cons, and decide whether you have the bandwidth to commit to that kind of endeavor.