A Community-Building Program Can Be More Effective Than You Think
As time passes, we are entering an era of extreme competition between products and services that are lining up on all advertisement platforms to grab our attention. This increasing demand for advertisement spaces has obviously made it increasingly expensive for brands to place their adverts on massive billboards or even before the start of a YouTube video.
Brands around the world are now coming up with creative and unique ways of promoting their products and services, and community-building programs are slowly becoming the preferred way to do it. While it may be more exciting for you to see your brand everywhere on the roads (which is very expensive to do now), if you are looking for long-term customer retention and loyalty, then focusing and investing on a community-building program is the best way to promote your brand.
Limitations of Conventional Advertisement Channels
It is very difficult to influence the purchasing decisions of your customers, especially if you have only a few seconds to do it and that too in the presence of many other products trying to do the same. For example, a single advert on the TV will require a lot of investment for a limited number of impressions (the number of people in your target audience who will view the advert), making it a very expensive medium of advertisement.
This time limit and heavy investment requirement is also a limitation of many outdoor advertisement channels as well, such as billboards. Now, with the advent of social media, it has become much easier for brands around the world to target specific audiences within a designated region with their promotional content for a much, much cheaper price compared to what they would’ve had to otherwise pay for conventional advertisement channels, at least for this level of reach.
The Benefits of a Community-Building Program
With community-building programs, although your brand is not visibly present everywhere, but you work hard to develop long-lasting relationship with your customers. This leads to strong customer loyalty with the brand, encourages stronger partnerships and better deals, creates a credible buzz through word-of-mouth, and extends far beyond the customer you initially engage with.
However, although it sounds amazing, but there are many factors which must be considered while engaging in community-building program to ensure it is utilized to its full potential, adding as much value to your brand as possible.
It is a Lifestyle Choice
In the case of conventional advertisements, you can effectively launch a campaign and be done with it as it culminates, moving onto the next campaign. However, community-building is not so simple. To make community-building as effective as possible, you will need to make it the core of your company, a guiding principle that everyone gravitates towards when making business decisions.
This is exactly why, unlike conventional marketing method, you should not outsource your community-building initiatives. Rather, they should be developed in-house, such as a monthly publication produced by the company or a continuous blog that is updated on a regular basis to deliver the most recent information from the company.
The Community Should Add Value
The members of your community are not there to witness irrelevant advertisement content. They have willingly joined your community to add value to their own life, and hence it becomes imperative that you only expose them to what they want to see. The best way to assess their expectations is to listen to them, which can be done through various means such as conducted polls through informal feedback forms.
Build Up from Something Small
Your community does not need to start with a thousand members to be impactful or effective. Start with a small number, like five people, as they are easier to manage. This way, you can experiment with the elements you would like to incorporate in your community-building initiative moving forward.
Once you are able to finalize a model of what makes your community gatherings the most engaging and impactful in the eyes of your audience, then you can scale it up to as much as you can realistically handle with your given resources.
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