The idea of Community-Led Growth is getting more popular. For BtoB or BtoC companies, it is THE strategy of the future to rely on.
Thanks to the creation, animation and engagement of various communities, companies can considerably accelerate their growth, while boosting their performance.
But how do you successfully develop a record-breaking Community-Led Growth strategy? What are the steps and tips to follow to get started? Benoit Chatelier (CEO of MeltingSpot) gave his answers to Axel Kaletka, creator of the podcast Le Café du Market'. Here is a summary of their exchange. 3, 2, 1... Growth! 🚀
Community-Led Growth: Definition
What is a community?
To better understand the concept of Community-Led Growth, one must first know the definition of "communities".
This term is generally defined in the plural. There are many different kinds of communities, but they all share a common goal: to come together around a shared purpose and similar values, in the form of a group of individuals.
Today, all companies can initiate the creation of communities: customer communities, partner communities, employee communities, investor communities... The possibilities are endless, as are the benefits of having a community strategy.
David Spinks (American serial entrepreneur and community specialist) groups together all objectives from which communities can derive business value using the "SPACES" model 👇
Definition and benefits of Community-Led Growth
The creation of one or more communities is a true accelerator for the growth of companies. From a group of people united around the company, it is therefore possible to deploy a Community-Led Growth strategy.
Community members become the driving force behind the growth and development of a brand. This is where Community-Led Growth becomes a powerful strategy. Indeed, Community-Led Growth combines several benefits:
- Improve the credibility and reputation of the company
- Foster horizontal communication with members of its corporate community
- Strengthen the sense of belonging, preference and commitment to a brand
- Improve the loyalty of existing members
- Boost the acquisition of new customers or the realization of business opportunities. Take advantage of the collective intelligence to improve strategies (marketing, product, sales, etc.) or co-organize events (webinars, live, etc.)
In this video clip, Mary O'Carroll highlights the central role of community within the company as a true force multiplier.
Discover the innovative ideas and practical strategies that Mary O'Carroll shares during her session at the CLG Summit 2023. The replay is now available on The Community Lab!
5 steps to launch your Community-Led Growth strategy
You now know the benefits of Community-Led Growth. But how do you deploy and structure such a strategy? Here are the 5 steps shared by Benoit Chatelier (CEO of MeltingSpot) during his time on the Le Café du Market's podcast:
1️. Define the community's identity and mission: in order to build a solid foundation for a Community-Led Growth strategy, a common thread must be established. This thread is based on the identity, mission and goals of the community (acquire new users, create retention in a customer portfolio, develop a partner network, etc.).
2. Go get your first members: a community exists thanks to the participation and commitment of its members. So, don't wait to go get them! The first members are golden allies in validating the community's value proposition.
3. Find the best tool to create your community: today, companies' Community-Based Marketing strategies are mostly developed online. To gather, federate, animate and leverage a community... You need to rely on quality equipment! It can be quite helpful to employ a platform that specializes in community-led growth, such as MeltingSpot.
4. Define the onboarding path: Each community member needs to receive a unique welcome. Remember: you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Your aim is to create a culture of care in the community, from the minute members arrive. For example, think about a virtual welcome party in the form of a live broadcast, a welcome kit with a personalized word, or an e-book with high-added value...
5. Animate your community over time: a community is not just a passive audience you can spam continuously. To animate your community effectively and sustainably, the idea is rather to address the right content, to the right person, at the right time. Personalized actions will help you maintain a good relationship with all members.
7 tips for a successful Community-Led Growth strategy
Ready to deploy a successful Community-Led Growth strategy and animate your community over time? Before taking action, here are the last 7 tips from Benoit Chatelier (CEO of MeltingSpot).
1- Overcome limiting beliefs: developing a Community-Led Growth strategy can take some time. Several companies are afraid to start, for fear of not creating "the" ideal community. This limiting belief needs to disappear. In the beginning, community members may take some time to find their feet and become a driving force behind the company's growth. Listen to them, test some actions, improve the strategy and persevere!
2- Set aside time for Community Building: deploying a Community-Led Growth strategy cannot be improvised. To create, animate and engage a community efficiently, it is necessary to allocate the appropriate time and resources. For example, have you thought of hiring a Community Builder to structure and animate your community?
3- Don't confuse audience and community: to effectively animate a community, it is essential to get away from the ambient noise of social networks. Community Building (or Community-Led Growth) is a strategy in its own right, that should be developed on a dedicated platform. Be careful not to mix everything up!
4- Segment your community: the key to engagement is segmentation. To make Community-Led Growth rhyme with performance, think about segmenting your community according to member profiles, interests, etc. You will then find it easier to propose adapted and high-value-added content, according to the identified segments.
5- Identify and look after your Ambassadors: A Community-Led Growth strategy relies on the identification of "driving" members. These are the Ambassadors, also called "Contributors". These highly committed members are crucial to animate and grow the community. According to Faustine Rohr-Lacoste (ex-Head of Community of CFO Connect at Spendesk), 3 to 5% of ambassadors are necessary to make the community live!
6- Don't wait to launch your community: there's no need to wait patiently for your Go-To market, or the release of a new revolutionary product, to build a community. Even without a product, start your community strategy as soon as you can! You can then co-construct your product or service strategy, thanks to the support of the members involved.
7- Turn your community into a competitive advantage: You want to differentiate yourself from the competition? Focus on Community-Led Growth. According to Benoit Chatelier (CEO of MeltingSpot), "the community is a company's n°1 asset for boosting its growth. A product can be copied, but not a community. Moreover, in the United States, some VCs only invest in companies with a "Community Led" culture!"
You can download this as a reminder of these 7 tips!
Ready to deploy your Community-Led Growth strategy?
You get a head start by starting, animating, and engaging a business community. It helps boost growth, stand out from competitors, co-construct solutions adapted to demand, accelerate customer acquisition or loyalty... You now know what you have to do: create your community, thanks to a Community-Led Growth strategy!
To help you deploy your community strategy, discover our Community Platform MeltingSpot 👇