Just another hollow phrase? Or a strategy that has been around for a long time?
At MeltingSpot, we are convinced that this is a strategy for the future, and one that you should focus on without delay: we are talking about Community-Based Marketing (CMB).
So what is Community Based Marketing? How can we explain its rise? What are the mistakes to avoid when deploying this strategy? All the answers from MeltingSpot are in this article.
Community Based Marketing: what is it all about?
Reminder : definition of community
In order to better understand the concept of Community Based Marketing, we need to know and master what a community is.
💡 A community refers to a collective of individuals gathered around common characteristics. The community's manifesto can be based on shared values, the same culture, common interests, etc.
Today, it is in the interest of companies to gather members with common characteristics, within BtoB or BtoC communities. These communities can be composed of customers, partners, employees, shareholders, sponsors, prospects, new hires, etc.
When companies choose to develop communities and make them a central part of their business strategy, it's called Community Based Marketing (CMB).
Community-Based Marketing: Definition
💡Community-Based Marketing is an interesting strategy for growth and brand development. The idea is to give the community a central place, which will contribute to the company's success. Community members will play an active role, becoming allies of a company: to identify and solve specific problems, to exchange on certain subjects, to help each other...
In short, Community Based Marketing places BtoB and BtoC communities at the heart of companies' concerns. Even before launching a product or a service, some companies choose to deploy this strategy, to surround themselves and federate committed members. And today, this community strategy is expanding rapidly in the French market.
Here is a short clip of Will Curran giving us his definition of Community-based Marketing from his session at the CLG Summit 2023 on The Community Lab where you can watch the full replay!
The rise of community marketing: how do we explain it?
Today, creating and animating a community is one of the most important issues for many companies. The collective craze around community marketing can be explained by different factors:
The Covid-19 crisis and new trends
The global health crisis has completely changed our behaviors. Our personal and professional lives have been turned upside down: distance due to imposed lockdowns, generalization of remote, cancellation of many physical events...
As a result, our desires for exchange, connection, and belonging have increased in the new post-covid era. Consumers and professionals alike are now looking to create more connections, to share or to engage, to cope with the feeling of uncertainty. And it is to these needs that communities, whether virtual or physical, BtoB or BtoC, etc., respond.
Digital transformation and the rise of UGC
In recent years, new trends have emerged in the digital world, such as "User Generated Content" (UGC). UGC is content created and generated by users, such as photos, videos, customer reviews, blog articles... All of this, without any compensation and in a totally spontaneous way.
These users who make their voices heard are real company/brand ambassadors. With the rise in the power of digital and the place of the Internet in our lives, gathering these active Internet users within a community represents a golden opportunity.
Moreover, the UGC phenomenon is also duplicated in the BtoB sphere, thanks to the concept of EGC (Employee Generated Content). Today, employees are becoming spokespersons, ready to create content spontaneously, around their company. But have you thought about gathering these employee ambassadors within a community?
Saturation of certain communication channels
Social networks, newsletters, and company blogs were originally designed to exchange information. But today, their use is top-down. Brands communicate massively, and the interaction with content consumers is limited. It's a fact: infobesity is king, and the quantity of content is taking over the quality of communication.
As a result, users tend to gather in audiences and consume content passively. However, the key to engagement is elsewhere: this is why it's important to transform passive audiences into active communities, by gathering members on platforms that are conducive to individual and collective exchange... Thanks to a Community Based Marketing strategy.
Community Based Marketing strategy: which benefits?
A Community Based Marketing strategy consists in gathering a group of individuals with common interests around a brand. By creating a community and giving it a central place in the marketing strategy of a company, the benefits are numerous:
Improving HtoH relations
Whether it is a BtoB or BtoC community, one of the first benefits of CMB is to improve interpersonal relationships. The impacts are first of all HtoH (Human to Human): companies can then re-humanize the link with their communities.
Indeed, this Community Centric strategy aims to bring people together and encourage sharing. Moreover, the brand participates in this community approach, which improves its authenticity and proximity to members. Top-down speeches are replaced by transversal discussions: relationships are thus strengthened, to the delight of brands and their communities.
Increasing member retention and engagement
A strategy based on the creation and animation of a community stimulates member engagement if : the objective(s) of the community is clear, the actions put in place are attractive (content, virtual events, discussions) and the announced values are respected, the benefit is engagement.
Indeed, within a Community Based Marketing approach, the most active and committed members become ambassadors. The particularity of these ambassadors is their internal commitment (by being active within the community) and external commitment (by multiplying word-of-mouth actions, they contribute to the acquisition of new members). It is therefore essential to take care of these ambassadors in order to keep them loyal in the long term.
Strengthening the brand image
When a company creates, animates, and engages a community, the impact on the brand image is multiplied by ten. Indeed, the community dimension is a driving force for visibility, notoriety, and credibility.
Many brands have been able to establish their leadership through the development of powerful communities. Apple, Nike or Patagonia are today famous "love brands", with communities of loyal and committed customers. And today, whatever the sector, companies have the power to do the same thanks to Community Based Marketing.
Community-Based Marketing: launch your strategy with MeltingSpot
In France, Community Based Marketing is a growing concept. But to make a BtoB or BtoC community a central element of your company's strategy, you need a Community Centric solution.
MeltingSpot is a community platform that allows you to create, animate and engage communities. Thanks to our all-in-one tool, you can deploy your Community Based Marketing strategy by bringing together your different communities: organization and broadcasting of virtual events, private or public discussion threads... Many features are offered to you, to deliver the best experience within your community.