A community is easily one of the most important concepts in marketing. By making your customers feel they are not alone in their experience, but rather part of a larger group that shares the experience with them, you engender a feeling of being an important piece of a larger body.
Individual customers are the building blocks of a successful business, but by bringing them together and giving them a sense of being in a community you can connect with them in ways not seen in traditional business/customer relations. This will transform your customer base from a list of names into a useful tool that can be used to further your marketing goals.
1. Campaigns with Engaging Content
- Rather than using generic campaigns to throw a wide net, aim for content that can speak to your customers on a personal level. Find out what they need that differs from others, and make sure that your campaigns convey that you can give it to them. A company with an engaging campaign that can address a customer’s needs before they bring them up will feel intensely personal and go a long way towards building a sense of community.
2. Foster a Sense of Friendship
As a customer of a large company, it is easy to feel like you are viewed as a statistic on a screen. You want your customers not to feel like stats, but rather like friends of the people acting as their points of contact. There are many ways to do this, and it can be as easy as having a conversation or asking them about something they mentioned the last time you spoke. If you remember that the customer’s daughter was having a birthday and ask them how it went, they will be reminded that they are talking to someone who genuinely cares about them and is interested in their needs.
3. Content and Community Hubs
Sometimes the best way to create a community is to literally create a community. Have an online community hub that will bring together all of your customers in one space, allowing them to interact with one another on forums. This not only allows them to more easily find solutions to any problems they might be having but also connects them with other customers who share the same experiences as them. A lot of times all a community needs to grow is the proper space to grow within. Here is just one example of the type of community hub that Viewstream can assist you in creating: http://civil-community.autodesk.com/
4. Hold In-person Events
Having your customers communicating on a forum is a great way to plant the seed of a community, but to truly begin to build bonds it is important to have them meet each other in person. Whether it be a large conference or a small mixer, having your customers see each other face-to-face can be the catalyst that takes them from being names on a forum to true members of a thriving community.
5. Improve the Customer Journey
Take a look at the journey a customer takes when using your company’s services. Does it feel like a cookie cutter approach that is applied to every new customer, or does it make them feel as if the entire experience was made just for them? In a real community, the specific needs of each customer are taken just as seriously as what is needed by every customerViewstream is here to help you to create everything from your own community hub to campaigns with engagement as the main objective.