Marketing is thinking beyond money. When you start designing your marketing strategy on this note, then deriving marketing goals and tactics become easy and achieving those goals becomes a believable job. Another important aspect of good marketing is authenticity. Your product can be the best in the world but it will go waste if you are unable to connect with people. You have to treat your customers and team like real people and establish a strong connection that they choose you from the existing clutter of similar products. That is what exactly holds true for digital marketing as well.
It’s important to understand that your digital marketing strategy needs to be integrated with your overall marketing goals. You have to strike a balance between revenue and brand goodwill while aligning your goals. The right path to take is to start as a visionary by understanding your business and brand and then finally analyzing and deciding the marketing goals for the company. For instance, your brand might not need to be on a particular social media platform because your target audience isn’t found there. You need to thoroughly research and understand how your product and service will add value to your market and how can you position yourself better than your competition.
Community building can come to your rescue while designing your online marketing strategy. You might wonder if community building does help in online marketing. But, the fact is it does! Communities are not built by companies but people who associate with it. Communities are formed around a meaning, a common interest, a mutual feeling that people share. Therefore, as a business you need to continuously listen, improve, and validate their faith in you to nurture a healthy community. Your focus while marketing should be on building customers, community and team, wherein the community can focus on and validate that your marketing efforts are fruitful.
Community building is hence based on word of mouth, the relationship that you share with your customers, credibility and brand loyalty. It broadens the prospect and opens up a direct channel to reach your consumers by talking to them, learning from them and engaging them in various activities to create that strong bond.
The next big question at this point is ‘Are niche communities a good way to reach your consumers?’ And the answer is a BIG YES! Your communication will die out eventually without leaving an impact if you try to appeal and reach all audiences. It is therefore, a better idea to speak to the concerned by focusing on a niche audience and creating relevant impact. Niche communities have more passionate supporters since a one-on-one relationship is easier to strike, which helps in building stronger and long term relationships with them.
Attracting the right audience
To build communities, you need to have a right set of like-minded people, which is a difficult task – unless you follow the following steps.
- Identify your marketing goals
- Identify the target audience and influencer/persona groups
- Focus on the top 3 groups to reach your audience
- Design appealing communication to reach your audience
- Test run your communication in the persona group to validate that you are speaking to the right set. Validating can be via site-date or through one-on-one discussion and feedback sessions with your target audience.
- Building an integrated, cross-channel brand experience can be advantageous.
Building a community is not enough, you need to gauge if it is fulfilling your marketing goals. Ensure that your performance indicators are aligned with your marketing goals and emphasize on both qualitative and quantitative results. Do not judge the performance on the basis of members in your community since it’s much more than that. Quality connections that support and become a part of the conversation is what counts. If there is engagement via relevant conversation know that the battle is half won. The other half will be won with maintenance and sustenance via listening and improvising the existing strategy.
So are you ready to build your brand community online?