Thinking about building a brand community around your business? Here are six reasons you should.
#1. You’ll stand out from competitors
Both offline and online, customers are being bombarded with advertising. Over time, this causes ‘content shock’, which causes customers to become habituated to any form of advertising.
To prevent this from happening, you need to build uniqueness into your brand community by separating yourself from your competitors with a unique selling proposition (USP). To find your USP, analyze your competitor by the quality of their marketing, looking at whether it is:
- Social media-based.
- Email marketing based.
- Centered around their website.
- Reliant on discounts rather than information.
The results of the analysis will highlight two things: the weakest part of your competitor’s marketing and your new USP. Where your competitor is weak, you can become strong. If your competitor has a large audience on Facebook with no Reddit presence, start a subreddit. If your competitor uses only discounts, start a customer support Facebook group.
Remember, the platform you choose must meet your customer’s needs. For example, an eSports company may be tempted by the growing eSports fanbase on Youtube, but over 70% of live matches are watched on Twitch.
Stand out from your competitors, and you’ll become their customer’s first choice.
#2. You’ll target the right customers
Target the right customers, and you’ll save money on marketing. While many big brands have success with large scale marketing campaigns, few very small businesses have the capital to invest in expensive advertising.
Instead, niche businesses are best connecting with their customers through marketing that is personal, relatable, and informational.
However, before you dive into creating your brand community, you’ll need to work out who your ideal brand community members will be through a customer profile. A customer profile is an overview of your customers basics traits, including their:
- Demographic information = age, family structure, and generation.
- Geographical information = country, state, and language.
- Psychographic information = interests, values, habits, and lifestyle.
- Socio-economic classification = salary range, occupation, and education.
This profile will help you build your brand community around the needs, interests, and preferences of your target customers. Master these, and you’ll be able to create low-cost content with a high sales conversion rate.
#3. You’ll build a unique brand identity
Good brand identities are more than just graphics and a logo. As Jeff Bezos put it, “branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
The best brand identities are crafted to encompass several key things, including your business values, products, brand story, voice, and imagery. When maintained across all marketing platforms and long-term, a unique brand identity can help your business:
- Market the brand to new customers.
- Build credibility and trust within the industry.
- Create a lasting impression.
- Strengthen the relationship with existing customers.
- Develop products that meet customer and industry needs.
Naturally, brand identity should be at the core of your community. To ensure you keep your branding consistent, develop a branding guide to be used by all customer service representatives. Your branding guide should cover how you speak to customers, what tone and language you use, and how you run your community.
Master this, and you’ll be able to create a community harmonious with your business and customers.
If you want to take your brand identity to the next level, create an app just for people in your niche.
#4. You’ll increase brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty is the key to keeping customers long term. When you develop a loyal relationship with customers, they will view you as a partner working with them to achieve their goals. Loyal customers also make repeat sales, refer other customers, and act as brand advocates.
To increase brand loyalty, start a community that welcomes new customers, and celebrates old ones. You can do this by providing a space that promotes:
- Customers asking questions and receiving answers.
- Customers sharing their stories.
- Sharing product-related videos and tutorials.
- Informative how-to content that describes industry terms and concepts.
Once you establish a community around your brand, your relationship with your customers will become its own form of brand marketing.
#5. You’ll establish yourself as a leading brand in your niche
Once your social community grows big enough, your brand will become a leading brand within your niche. Leading brands are businesses that set the standard for their industry, making their names synonymous with quality and excellence.
Once you’re a leading brand, you’ll be asked to weigh in on news stories, provide commentary on changes in the industry and provide mentorship to smaller businesses. This will make your business more recognizable and more trustworthy to customers.
Think of it this way: are you more likely to take industry advice from a brand with 1,000,000 Facebook likes or 250 likes?
To establish yourself as a leading authority, create comprehensive product guides designed to help new customers navigate your niche. These will win you new customers, as well as strengthening your authority.
#6. You can give back to customers while marketing yourself
Building a brand community is a great way to advertise your business while maintaining excellent customer service. When customers ask questions or engage with the community, their posts will be seen by other customers, providing you with free (and doubly efficient) marketing.
Long term, this will give you the ‘noble edge effect’, meaning your community engagement will become an active part of your branding. This will make your brand community very attractive to new customers, as you can supplement your community with comprehensive advice, how-to tutorials, and buyer’s guides.
To ensure your brand community stays on the right track, ensure you are prioritizing giving advice that is:
- Not overtly sales driven.
- Personal for each customer.
Create a brand community that gives back, and you’ll increase your brand loyalty without any extra marketing costs.
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