Remote work has indeed become the ‘new normal’. This has created a necessity for brands to collaborate with their customers on a global scale. Online communities are thus positioned to play a key role in bridging this gap, all while empowering brands to accomplish their goals.
The paradoxes of 2020 that brought in the shift from offline to online highlighted why it is necessary for brands to build sustainable futures by going beyond traditional methodologies. And an ideal method to do so is by building resilient online communities.
All this and more was discussed by leading community aces in a live webinar on ‘Accelerating Brand Value by Building Resilient Online Communities’ that we recently hosted.
Our distinguished speakers were:
- Todd Nilson– Digital, Community, and Workplace Experience Strategist at Clocktower Advisors
- John Summers– Senior Manager, Community Practice, Grazitti Interactive
Let’s dive deeper into some of the key highlights covered during the session and discover why brands should shift their aim to creating resilient online communities.
What Does it Mean to Be Resilient?
There are multiple channels that brands today can leverage to increase awareness about their business. However, leaving the conventional methods behind, it is critical for brands to build more thoughtful and sustainable futures. That’s where resiliency comes into play.
Todd shared that the future must take into account not just our technologies, but also our business goals, our global societal needs, and our very humanity. Resilience and agility stem from strong digital foundations that are well-aligned with your business objectives.
Online communities are the perfect medium for brands to offer complete flexibility to their customers while focusing on sustainable growth.
4 Ways Resilient Communities Can Boost Brand Value
Online communities are a key driver of growth for brands. They put forward the opportunity for brands to boost awareness and grow their customer base.
Todd suggested that resilient communities are ideal for connecting customers, but more so, they are vital to connect brands with their customers and gain better insights about their preferences and grow with their users.
Here are 4 key ways resilient communities enable brands to build real connections with their customers in this digital era.
1. Increases Brand Interactions: Unlike other social channels, online communities are more controlled and moderated, this helps members bond over authentic self-expression and give a feeling of belonging. Resilient communities offer an authentic persona that adds value to the community and makes users more receptive to interact with a brand.
2. Improves Networking: Through resilient online communities, organizations get the opportunity to extend their marketing efforts and increase their network. Brand advocates play a key role here as they’re strong sources to leverage word-of-mouth marketing and inspire the audience to become loyal customers. Additionally, integrating your community with social channels can be an authentic way to gain more awareness and network with other potential customers.
3. Are a Goldmine for Consumer Data: Data is the quarterback of driving digital excellence. And this holds true for online communities as well. For sustainable growth, brands must track and evaluate their customers’ behavior and contribution to the community. This way, they get deeper insights into what’s on their customers’ minds, what improvements they wish to see, and how they can address their queries in a timely fashion.
4. Bring Forth Numerous Opportunities: Today, customers love to interact with brands on social media and even more on online communities. Communities offer an opportunity to connect with customers. And to get more opportunities from your community, you need to track your community data and industry benchmarks.
John shared that online communities are always changing in response to outside forces such as industry trends, technological advancements, and member participation. So, it is essential for brands to curate robust community building, growth, and management strategies that keep the users captivated.
4 Benefits of Online Community Resilience to Organizations
We live in a world that’s digitally connected and with this, the customer’s expectations have also been altered. Simply curating newsletters and engaging with the users on social platforms doesn’t cut it anymore. Today’s savvy buyers wish to build deeper connections with brands and fellow users.
Here are four ways that brands can leverage to build resilient online communities and boost brand value.
- Improved Customer Lifetime Value: With fierce industrial competition brimming, it is crucial for brands to nurture their customers to boost retention and increase the customer lifecycle. This not only enables brands to win their customers’ trust but it also encourages repeat purchases. A resilient community that keeps the customer’s needs in the front and center of their marketing strategy gives the users a feeling of belongingness in the community which ultimately increases engagement.
- Reduced Service Cost: A major advantage of building resilient communities is member collaboration and creative ideas. Through communities, members get a space to ask and answer questions and share best practices. And, every time a user is able to solve a query from existing community resources, it increases the case deflection rates. And the best part, as your customer base increases, so will your community which means that you’ll have a solid army of people to offer support to other members.
- Reduced User Acquisition Cost: Brand advocates can be your best marketing tool. Your community can be the ideal medium to engage your customers on a human level and cultivate advocates. These advocates play a pivotal role in elevating your brand through word-of-mouth, getting high-quality referrals, sharing positive reviews for your brands, and boosting sales. All of this results in lower acquisition costs.
- Better Customer Service: The feedback and exchange that takes place within communities enable businesses to critically analyze their customer’s needs and curate better roadmaps for the future. Brands can curate resources around their customers’ needs and make it easier for them to get answers to any issues or queries that they have, without having to escalate a case and seek the aid of support reps. This not only improves customer service but also takes customer experience a level up.
During the webinar, Todd mentioned that resilient online communities empower organizations to offer true value to the user’s investments by engaging with them at a deeper level and acknowledging their queries, concerns, and requirements, and deliver value beyond their conventional offerings.
Wrapping up the session, the two community enthusiasts shared key insights on why brands must channel their focus towards strengthening the foundation of their online communities by making them more resilient.
Explore more about building vibrant and resilient online communities. Talk to us!
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