Community Marketing – The Latest Marketing Trend of 2021
Community Marketing is the latest marketing trend to land in 2021. It describes the effort of building a community around a brand to effectively communicate information to potential clients without the sell coming directly from the brand. This generates legitimate authenticity for the brand voice and allows them to spread their message without being pushy or biased. If done well, the community will be led by their voice.
Gymshark is one of the fastest-growing consumer retail outlets around. They founded Gymshark Hub, a community of enthusiasts and fans that engage with each other while interacting with the host. They brought together individuals who were passionate about a cause, to further their marketing efforts.
The most effective examples are found when the community holds the founder in high regard, often seeking their opinion above all others, with most aiming to work with him on their own projects. This is where the founder takes advantage of found connections within the community.
What are the benefits?
Benefits extend beyond the gravity of the brand voice and into the meaning of the information they’re passing. Having authority on a subject can provide expert status. People rely on experts to help form their own opinions. Creating a community where companies have unquestionable expertise allows them to subtly share content that favours their brand.
In a business sense, this community is a great place to centralise potential contacts. It creates a networking platform where businesses sit at the head of the table, with potential clients vying for their attention. It’s an effective marketing technique for B2B firms, as their target audience is more specific, a targeted community can bring together a select group of people for the industry.
Among the benefits to a business, are the benefits to the industry. Having a voice among a crowd gives a business the power to shed light on important issues and promote change that impacts the industry in a positive way. She Can Prosper, a female financial empowerment initiative is a direct example of such an altruistic, selfless enterprise for the founder.
Diane Watson wanted to share her vital knowledge of finance with women who are under-represented and are often left out of the conversation. After identifying the lack of community, she built a platform for women to come together to share insight and seek answers to questions.
How do they do it?
Creating an engaging, and effective community can be difficult, but the benefits are too big to overlook. Successful marketers start by identifying a gap in an industry and focus on causes that would bring people together. They also think about what the brand is passionate about.
While the link to the host must be unmistakable, through branding and partnerships, the community must also possess its own identity. This is how businesses achieve an unbiased platform to form a community. Using this, they can release PR and content to the community without it being received as a sales pitch. It also lets them form partnerships with companies and potential clients easier.
Some community marketing founders take this idea to a different level, by creating their own awards ceremony. Benefits of this are enormous, they are subject to potential clients submitting content in effort to get recognised. Through this, the founder gains access to email lists, introductions, and partnerships. They can also link their original brand with the awards to improve their brands credibility. Prolific North do this exceptionally well, they host the Digital City Festival, by doing this they expose themselves to clients, partners and the community, which improves the acquisition rates of sponsorship and advertising clients.
Successful examples also collaborate with individuals and brands within the community. This helps legitimise claims of being an expert in their field. It also spreads the net of promotion of the community to a partner’s audience. These people, or brands can be those that a brand wants to work with, the community acts as an introduction and an ice breaker.
Build a community around a brand to solidify their position in the market as an expert, and use the resources and connections found within it to expand the brands list of clients. Community marketing is here, take advantage by forming an initiative.