Creating a loyal following around your brand nowadays is crucial if you want success in the long run. A business with a decent fan community that is always there to support it, waiting for new products, is a business that has solid cornerstones. This foundation consequently vouches for good marketing opportunities and efficient marketing efforts.
A community provides access to some of their most loyal consumers and once a business realizes who the ideal consumer is, there is more maneuvering space for improvements and adjustments when it comes to the customer acquisition approach.
A strong fanbase can be built in more than one way. Many strategies usually combine online fan engagement with products that solve real problems.
To separate the wheat from the chaff, below we have listed essential steps, strategies, and tips that will help you build a strong community around your brand.
But first, define what your brand is about
When people decide to follow a certain brand, they only do so when they see consistency and potential for greater things.
Many business owners use tools that generate mission statements. However, some of these are too general and provide little to no information.
Take a look at this statement:
‘It is our duty and mission to provide access to diverse service to stay relevant in the world of tomorrow.’
A statement such as this one does not say much about your business and what you are passionate about. Almost every business can say something along those lines and claim it as their mission statement.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to build a brand around the mission statement such as the one above. And that means that you can’t attract a huge consumer base.
Before you can start building up a loyal base of consumers around your business, you need to clearly state what your business is about and how you are contributing to a higher good.
For instance, one car-hailing company from East Europe built its brand around the mission for a better and healthier environment. Their main goal before and during the early stages was to make every street less polluted and the air clearer. People recognized this effort and saw how they were working towards that goal in reality by including eco-friendly and electric cars in their fleets.
So, the first thing you need to do is to determine what makes your mission unique and how your services or products are supporting it.
Email marketing is an important tool
Email marketing can be utilized both to acquire and engage people. That is what makes it critical to the success of your brand’s community.
With no active dialogue and member participation, communities fail to meet the expectations of organizations. Good engagement and a stable number of reinforcements enable a company to build a healthy and successful community.
That is why you should take advantage of email marketing. If you want to add new people to the community, do not hesitate to run a cold email campaign.
However, you need to be wise when it comes to creating these messages. Your cold emails should not be too long or introduce too many ideas. Keep them concise and clear and do not highlight too many things, since you don’t want to confuse your readers.
Also, make sure that you have someone check the messages for grammatical errors before hitting the send button.
Once you manage to build decent followership, you have to maintain the trust that is established through engaging newsletters. Listen to your customers and understand how crucial their needs are. Showcase that you are going to act on the feedback you receive.
Your email messages should be consistent, but the focus is all on your customers. Encourage your customers to reply and consider their opinions too. By putting effort into community engagement, you will be recognized as a brand that truly cares.
Hopefully, you already have an email list of people who have shown interest in your brand. Now is the time to get them used to your company newsletter.
Sending newsletters is great due to several factors:
- A newsletter is a beneficial mode of communication that helps create trust between your business and your customers. Every new edition of your newsletter improves this trust as you share more about yourself and your organization.
- Newsletters boost the reputation of your business because you provide readers with content that is both informative and entertaining through quality newsletter writing. This way, you are showing readers how knowledgeable and considerate you are.
- If your newsletter content is well written, your audience will look forward to the next issue. This will work great with other marketing efforts you make.
- E-newsletters are a great way to get some traffic to your website. Carefully weave in special promotions that reward readers and give them more reasons to visit your website.
As you can see, sending newsletters is a very effective way to build relationships and create a community around your brand. Keep in mind that the content you send should feel exclusive.
After all, who doesn’t like to feel special?
If you produce good content, you only need good contacts to start with referral marketing. Leverage content and contacts together and not only will you have a powerful community-building strategy, but you will also boost loyalty and establish your business as an authority.
Referral marketing runs on actual human contact such as word of mouth and that leads to community marketing. Referral marketing creates communities for brands and benefits them in the long run.
There is more than one way to build strong and loyal communities through referral marketing.
However, you need to remember a few important things before you start with this marketing strategy:
- Personalization results in stronger connections! Some businesses use referral tools to send personalized messages to their friends and families along with the invites. Customers prefer personal messages from actual people over generic marketing emails.
- Put people first instead of treating them only as customers for your referral program. Make them feel like special individuals, not just a sales figure. That way, they will feel truly valued.
- Use adequate tools. When you start setting up your referral marketing strategy, you should add a contact picker along with a referral program software tool. With it, your customers will be able to input email addresses without having to type names and email addresses, or leaving your website to look up their contacts.
Make the membership valuable
Consider these factors that make joining a certain community valuable for customers:
- Emotional safety
- A sense of belonging
- A common symbol system
- Personal investment
The community you are trying to build should make members feel safe. When people feel safe, they have no problem sharing something with members of the same group.
Members should feel that they are accepted and that they have earned their spot in the community you have built. Also, they need to understand the group’s social norms and how they can communicate.
To knit these factors in your new community, consider using these strategies:
- Define clearly and enforce moderation standards.
- Encourage the development of inside jokes and memes.
- Limit membership to a select group who have achieved a certain reputation.
- Give top users benefits such as free products, discounts, invites to secret events, and so on. The key here is that the membership needs to feel exclusive.
Network in person
This is another effective method to build a community for your brand. In spite of the digital world we live in, networking face to face and making connections with people in real life is still very important.
This is done by attending conferences, workshops, meetups, and seminars. There are many events of this kind, so you don’t have to worry if you will ever get a chance to spread the word about your brand.
The benefits of networking are numerous. You will raise your profile, build your confidence, but also form real and potentially deep relationships.
Just look for meet-ups or other events in your industry or area. Many companies specialize in hosting events of this kind.
When a person meets someone in real life, the feeling is better, it seems like the bond is deeper and stronger. Giving others a chance to get to know the real you can lead to building a trustworthy personal brand and forming a community of like-minded people. These individuals will be there for you and you can always reach out to them in the future.
Add this method to your tool kit and do as much as you can to create a community around your brand. However, do not act too spammy neither online nor live.
You do not want people to feel like you are only in it to reap rewards. Instead, be yourself and you will give off feelings of reliability and honesty.