Do you know what all your customers have in common? You do. Your company gathers them around a common characteristic: consuming your products or services.
But these customers may also share similar habits, the same tastes, the same lifestyles, common needs... It would therefore be a shame not to federate all your customers, so that they can exchange, help each other and connect more to the company that connects them.
To succeed in this challenge, one strategy is ideal: create a customer community. But how do you build a customer community? Where do you start, and what are the benefits of community marketing? MeltingSpot answers all of these questions 👇
Customer community: definition
A customer community refers to a group of customers brought together by a company to form a collective. This collective, called a "community", allows customers and consumers who share a common profile, similar values or shared interests to find each other.
A customer community can take different forms (virtual, physical or even hybrid). But whatever the form, the main challenge of community marketing remains the same: to allow customers to exchange freely, to share information and discussions between peers and with the company, to participate in common events...
Customer communities are particularly useful to help companies in their Community-Led Growth strategy. With such a strategy, the company's growth is driven by the community, meaning the company's customers. By adopting a "Community Centric" posture, companies put customers back at the heart of their priorities... This allows them to grow and move forward faster, further and more sustainably!
Creating a customer community: where to start?
Define your "O.P.T"
At MeltingSpot, "O.P.T." is an acronym for "Objectives - Positioning - Target". These are the three elements to define first, before creating a customer community.
💡 Objectives: why do you want to gather and federate your customers, within a community? Is the objective quantitative, qualitative, or both? What are the main KPIs to set, to develop the Community-Led Growth strategy?
💡 Positioning: What are the values and the raison d'être of my company, to be spread within my community? How will the community be useful to individual members? How will my community be different from other existing communities?
💡 Target: do you want to segment the profile of customers to welcome into your community? Why should these people join your community? What are the current and future needs or expectations of this target customer?
The answers to these questions will help you lay the foundation for your customer community.
Bring value to customers
Once the community has been created, one step is essential: animation. The animation actions must bring value to the customers. To achieve this, it is important to focus on :
- Sharing high value-added content: guides, white papers, videos... All web content ideas that meet your customers' needs.
- Organizing events that encourage sharing: webinars, conferences, live FAQ, face-to-face meet-ups... The objective is to organize recurring events, to bring value thanks to mutual aid and exchanges. All this, while varying the meeting formats, to deliver a memorable experience.
- The adoption of a "Community Centric" posture, which (always) puts the customer at the heart of the concerns. To achieve this, it is necessary to abandon the "top-down" approach, and to favor horizontal communication. Don't hesitate to involve your community members in the company's decision making. You can also involve consumers in the management of the community, and value the most active Ambassador members.
Choosing the right community platform
Community Building relies on a key lever: choosing the right tools and the ideal platform to boost the development of the community.
Indeed, it is essential to equip yourself with a toolbox that facilitates the creation, the community animation, but also the organization of online events for customers.
Moreover, social networks are not enough to truly engage a community over time. They are useful to lay the foundations of a Social Media Management strategy, and to build an audience on digital... But a tightly knit and engaged community requires a dedicated sharing space.
To meet the needs of brands that want to leverage Community-Led Growth, MeltingSpot has created an all-in-one community-platform. On a single platform, you can create a community, organize online events, share high value-added resources, and encourage interaction... All of which will federate customers, improve relationships and adopt a true "Community Centric" posture!
Listen to your community of customers
Community Building, Community Management and Community-Led Growth are participative strategies. The company is not the only one to hold the reins of such an approach: it is essential that users participate.
To create and animate a community of customers in the long term, it is therefore necessary to rely on co-construction and collective intelligence. The most committed members will not hesitate to spontaneously share ideas or opinions with you in the community space. For the rest of the community, think about soliciting their precious feedback (through user questionnaires, exchanges on the community platform, etc.).
Listening to customers is essential to co-create a customer community that responds to members' issues and brings value!
Measure the success of your customer community
Before creating a customer community, your company has defined certain objectives (quantitative and qualitative). As the community develops, it is necessary to measure and analyze certain indicators.
This monitoring of KPIs and data can be done monthly. For an effective monitoring of the community marketing strategy, do not hesitate to answer all of these questions:
- How many members have joined the community since its launch?
- What is the impact of the community on the conversion rate?
- Do community customers have a higher average shopping cart than non-brand community customers?
- Do community customers have a higher retention rate?
- How many participants were present at recent community events?
- How many messages per day are exchanged by members on the online community platform?
- Is the feedback from community members positive, neutral or negative
These questions will help you measure some success indicators and take the pulse of your brand community.
Community Building: the benefits for your company
Creating a customer community has many advantages, for both B2B and B2C companies. The main benefits are as follows:
- Provide a quality customer service experience, thanks to a proactive group that helps each other on a single platform.
- Relieve your customer support teams (phone lines, email requests, etc.), thanks to the power of the community.
- Get authentic and transparent feedback to demonstrate continuous improvement (on an offer, product, service, written or video content, etc.).
- Improve your company's brand image, credibility, visibility and reputation on the web (and beyond!).
- Build trust with the BtoB or BtoC community, which improves customer relations and engagement.
- Create a sense of belonging and preference for your company, which promotes loyalty and improves the customer experience.
- Generate word-of-mouth about your company, thanks to the most engaged "Ambassador" members... Which favors the acquisition and conversion of new customers.
To take advantage of all these benefits, you now know what you have to do: create your customer community, then animate it over time.
To achieve this, it is essential to lay the foundations of your Community-Led Growth strategy. At MeltingSpot, we'll take you step-by-step through the process with our community platform, which helps you put your customer community at the heart of your growth. Ready to find out how?