Not so long ago brand marketing used to be all about advertising. Who could buy the most television time or fill the newspaper with the most ads and who could call more homes would be able to build brand awareness around its products or services.
Inbound marketing has disrupted previous forms of marketing, giving consumers the power to find the products they want and need on their own.
Marketing has fundamentally changed over the years, from stuffing keywords into online articles for SEO purposes to building online communities where consumers can get the information, service, and recommendations that augment their buying power.
Building a community isn’t easy, takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it. Following are some considerations for developing a community that will improve your brand’s presence.
Make Your Community Easy to Find
Building a community is much more arduous process than creating a company Facebook page. While Facebook is a logical choice, there are a variety of social channels that can be leveraged to bridge the gap between your brand and your community.
Identify where your target audience lives online, and build a presence on social pages, groups, and channels where your community is most likely to engage.
For example, reaching generation z and younger millennials might mean creating an Instagram community, where 70% of people ages 13–17 and 60% of 18–29 live. These are also the age categories you’ll reach if you decide to create a YouTube channel, where you will reach the majority of 18–45-year olds.
Provide Help and Guidance
You will enjoy hearing positive feedback for your brand and seeing plenty of shares of your content around the online world. However there will also be complaints, questions, and general issues that need to be addressed.
Even when other members can help peers with their problems, your brand needs to be present at all times to provide feedback and support.
Connect With the Online Community
Brand communities can have a powerful impact when building loyalty, but your advocates will be looking to connect in the offline as well.
Experiential marketing is gaining traction right now because it offers the opportunity to bring your community together for special branded events.
It may be an in-store event, a party, a concert, or just about anything that gives your buyers a chance to connect and exchange ideas with the brand. Aside from the pleasant offline experience, everyone there will be taking photos and videos — a way to generate plenty of content to share, both your own and user-generated content.