From time immemorial, there is a constructive evolution in the ways of marketing and pitching ideas in front of customers. The use and popularity of the marketing medium, the brilliance of the idea, and the value associated with the concept have always been the driving forces behind marketing.
Marketing has significantly moved away from traditional mediums and now hitched a ride on internet boom and technological advancement. It also has generated different forums and platforms to channelize marketing. Community marketing is an offshoot of online technology.
Online Community Marketing helps in building a long-term relationship with the existing customer by engaging and interacting with them regularly. It allows a marketer to target a niche group in one go. A more effective way in community marketing is to create an online community.
Building an online community allows a business to keep track of its customers’ needs and enabling it to retain for a long time. Companies can find and join other similar online communities related to their field of work and promote its products and services to like-minded people there. Online community marketing creates opportunities in terms of gathering insights, building a brand image, and improving customer retention.
By building an online community, companies can achieve quite a few benefits.
Better Customer Service:
The community of a brand or an organization provides better and quick customer service since it behaves as a direct link between the customers and the company. The company can respond to any customer problems instantaneously through the online community. It is here that the customers share their expectations and needs they would have from the company.
Through constant communications either way in an online community, a company is in a position to build a robust customer care platform, aiding the development of a life-long relationship between brands and their customers.
Spike in Customer Retention Rate:
All big brands have a loyal customer base. Customers of these brands are always devoted to their brands because of the trust that the brand has built over the years with their exceptional customer service and quality of their products. This also increases the retention rate of customers since there is increased engagement with the customer in online communities.
Brand awareness through word-of-mouth:
Die-hard fans of the brand and loyal members of the community are invariably the brand ambassadors of the company. They spread information about the products and services of the company through word-of-mouth.
These customers can influence other people to experience the services of the brand and act as a marketing channel. Companies or businesses can opt for a referral program giving incentives to customers to spread information about the company’s products and services.
Eliminate the need to invest too much money:
To have a strong market presence, one of the initial processes is to build a robust online community. If this step succeeds in developing a healthy online community, a company doesn’t have to spend big moolah on other marketing techniques. Companies can induce its customers to drive more sales just by posting relevant content in the community itself. Businesses can eliminate its dependence on paid advertisement, promotion, and other financials associated with marketing techniques.
Online community as a medium to gain useful insights:
Lastly, companies and brands can gather valuable insights into the needs of their customers through an online community. Companies can request their customers to participate in polls, quizzes, and provide reviews of the products and services and customer service, of course. With the help of online communities, companies can create new buyer personas based on demographics and new customer insights.
To sum up, it may sound a tedious task for a company to build a substantially sizeable online community, but then the opportunities and the possibilities it would bring to an organization or a business are so enormous that it is worth the investment. Online communities increase trust in the customers creating a keen awareness about the brand or company.