Online communities comprise diverse members across the globe. They are not just limited to consumers, but they are more of a digital society where members play different roles that can be essential for online businesses. The digital marketing strategies of businesses these days have shifted their attention to optimizing the benefits they can get from online communities. Target market expansion is just the tip of the iceberg when you look at the potential benefits of harnessing the power of online communities, which is why it is an emerging priority for businesses. Here, we will explore further how an online community makes a significant impact on digital marketing.
Importance Of Online Community
Valuable UX Testing Grounds
Online communities provide an effective testing ground for user experience (UX) designs of businesses for their products or services. Also, they play a crucial role in establishing your business brand and building brand loyalty from customers. A remarkable note by digital marketing and advertising experts from Maze about UX is that it influences all digital interactions your customers, employees, and partners have with your brand. Conversion rates depend highly on how users can easily use online applications or how site visitors are easily converted into leads, which is why an effective UX design is important for businesses.
If you want customers to regularly return to your website or mobile app and make purchases of your products or avail of your services, you must give them a good user experience. Well-executed UX designs work not only on established customers but also on-site visitors or potential customers where they are highly likely converted into leads and then into returning customers.
Online Communities Are Reliable Customer Feedback Sources
Social media platforms host online communities that provide first-hand feedback from customers, which are essential for building or improving your brand image, establishing a stronger and more reliable reputation and continuously nourishing a harmonious relationship with the customers. Businesses that have social media accounts and encourage customer feedback are appreciated by customers because they make them feel valued and that their opinions and suggestions are heard.
Businesses who have active user engagements in social media and those who respond to posts, comments, and suggestions receive valuable information that can help them make effective marketing strategies and better formulas for brand development. Also, active social media engagement by businesses can raise their revenue potential by 20-40%, which is a significant boost in your business profits.
Online Communities Are Gateways to Wider Audiences and Markets
Greater market exposure is the aim of many businesses, especially for those that are starting in their business ventures. Communities are organized individuals that share the same ideals, aims, and interests, which make them valuable stepping stones for reaching out to a wider audience. Online communities present you the opportunity to apply market segmentation strategies where you can apply personas to some types of audiences that will benefit most from your products or services.
Segmenting your market also allows you to effectively focus on your target audience of consumers and further improve your products to match their specifications. Social media platforms are used by most online communities to connect with other communities, which expands the community network to a global level.
Due to the expanding array of social media platforms, you also have to consider if your target audiences are in some or all of the platforms. Depending on the current level of your business growth, you can head up to all of the platforms or focus on one or a few of the platforms with the biggest share of the segmented market.
Effective Medium of Word-of-Mouth Advertising
There are various channels and options for online advertising that your business can use, but word-of-mouth advertising proves to be the most cost-efficient and reliable option. While you may think that it is only effective in the real-world setting, it is applicable in the online setting as well. Online communities are effective in spreading word-of-mouth advertising for businesses because they are comprised of regular consumers who have the potential of becoming mini-influencers for your products or services.
People are more convinced or deem an advertisement as trustworthy if it comes from a fellow consumer like them. The best way of advertising your products or services through word-of-mouth is to provide the best customer experience to all your customers.
Happy customers will always be willing to share their experiences with their families, friends, and colleagues and that’s when they become valuable marketing assets to your business by becoming ambassadors or promoters of your brand and its products or services. Consistently giving a good customer experience can improve help create not just a solid customer base, but also a growing number of advocates help spread awareness and generate leads for your business.
Online Communities Foster Collaboration
One of the best marketing scenarios for any business is to achieve a top to bottom collaboration from businesses, employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. Collaborations improve the flow and influx of ideas, which are important in the diversification and growth of your business. While some companies aim for a one-tracked growth with the products or services they already have, others seek out new areas to explore and new opportunities for growth by studying the current and future market situation.
Remember that online communities are comprised of diverse individuals that cannot be singularly labeled as customers. If your business can tap into the potential of online communities by not treating them solely as customers or potential buyers, you can gain access to a powerful collaborative force where people from various fields of expertise share their thoughts and ideas with you when it comes to developments or innovations concerning your business.
Also, community members feel appreciated or valued when businesses encourage their voices to be heard, and when they are invited to be part of the business in an indirect way.
Online Communities Drive Customer Loyalty
In the world of business, it is important to have a good number of customers, but what’s better is if a significant portion of that number regularly returns to buy your products or enjoy your services. Online communities play a significant role in driving customer loyalty by sharing feedback and opinions with fellow community members about the business establishments they have visited, and they experience they got from those visits.
Discussion, group chats, and forums are eye-openers for both regular customers and potential customers, and the comments, opinions, or feedback shared in the community can change or reinforce the purchasing patterns of the community members.
Online Community Loyalty
The online community can be a powerful venue for expanding your market, improving your revenue and building a strong reputation for your brand. When utilized efficiently, it can open many opportunities for growth in your business. Thus, consistency, reliability, and transparency are key factors in making digital marketing strategies effective in optimizing online community benefits.