Marketers have long talked about “brand communities.” However, there aren’t many companies that can genuinely implement this idea. The main cause of this is that companies keep acting like regular advertisers. But online communities require a completely different mindset. It’s a difficult shift, but the benefits are immensely fulfilling. A strong online community can develop into one of a company’s most important marketing tools.
Why Are Brand Communities on The Internet So Crucial?
The fact that people don’t like ads is the main reason why online brand communities are so important. You may communicate with your target audience in a far more personal and cheap way through online forums.
On the other hand, the value of online communities has increased as a result of the reduction in data sources following the restriction of cookies. Online communities are a great way to gather first-party data.
Is It Easy? Never!
To create online brand communities, advertisers need to make a significant mental shift, as we’ve already stated. However, such a shift is insufficient for the development of successful online communities. It’s a long road full of challenges. However, the accomplishment is tremendously rewarding.
The key to the success of online brand communities is for the brand to give value to the community. This should not be seen as a simple customer loyalty program. The brand must interact with the community in accordance with the platform on which it exists (such as a Facebook group or a Discord channel).
Of course, such interaction calls for courage. Negative comments are more likely to appear on a communication platform that is not under the brand’s control. Additionally, the majority of brand managers dislike criticism.
Negative comments are, however, steadily declining in well-managed communication platforms, according to study.
On the other hand, online communities have grown naturally around brands with special interests, like motorcycles or photography. There are hundreds of thousands of members in the online communities of some brands. There is no power held by brands over these communities. However, an online community created by the brand allows them to control communication up to a certain point.
Gaming companies and cryptocurrency communicators have started to decode the world of online communities. There are lessons other brands can learn from these industries.