Investing in community marketing can offer some of the highest return on investment (ROI) available. It’s an idea that was reinforced by the recent Cross Channel Marketing Report from eConsultancy. The study showed that 70% of companies believed it was cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.
The study also showed that 49% of companies believe that retention marketing strategies provide a higher ROI than acquisition marketing. Here you can learn more about how community marketing works and why it is becoming such a popular marketing methodology.
Overview Of Community Marketing
Community marketing involves developing a brand presence which engages customers as a group. Thanks to the social web community building is more effective and easier than ever before. Facebook groups, forums, Twitter and Pinterest are all being used to help create online environments where consumers can interact with their brand and each other.
Community building provides an opportunity for brands to recognize and reward their most loyal customers. Community marketing differs from traditional marketing in its approach and goals. Traditional forms of marketing are primarily focused on the acquisition of new customers and building awareness of a brand. In contrast community focused marketing is about developing the relationship that existing customers have with that brand.
Example Of Community Marketing Online
One of the most successful brands at building an online community has been Red Bull. Through their Red Bull Media house they have created branded content which has helped to attract and cohere their customers into a loyal tribe.
A great example was the Red Bull Stratos jump which saw extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner parachute from 39km in the stratosphere which was viewed live by 8 million users on YouTube. They also have a very popular Facebook Fan page which has more than 10.6 million fans. This page emphasize Red Bull’s action and sports focus. It also includes tabs which takes you to Red Bull athletes page. Another brand that understands the importance of online community building is Zara. Their Facebook page shows content from Zara Fashion Magazine but does not have specific sales messages to buy.
Community Marketing Isn’t Just Social Media
While social media plays an integral part of most companies community marketing it is note the sole approach. Harley Davidson has been one of the most successful brands at developing an active and loyal community. Part of that has been creating the largest motorcycle club in the world. It also include cafés, rider training, a museum, travel services and rider training. This also demonstrates how community marketing can move a brand into developing new products and services to satisfy unmet needs of its customers.
Community marketing is a two way dialogue. It is through interactions with its customer base that is able to see how its brand is perceived and where it has room to make improvements. People are increasingly choose to purchase only from those brands which they feel match their own values. That’s why it’s critical that businesses are actively engaged in building their community.