6 Benefits of Building an Online Community

6 Benefits of Building an Online Community
6 Benefits of Building an Online Community

Communities are a part of our everyday lives, whether it’s a team-based community of colleagues or relaxing at home with family and friends. Online communities are very much the same things that we see offline; a group of like-minded people that get together to share an interest in a topic. Creating an online community benefits your brand other than simple revenue increases.

By building an online community, your company can learn about future opportunities for your digital media brand and gain awareness of your competitors while allowing you to see what truly gets your audience running.

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What are Online Communities?

An online community is generally a group of people who connect with like-minded individuals sharing the same interests or goals. They usually have specific goals and pursuits, and are governed by a set of guidelines that outline how members are expected to behave and participate in interactions.

However, a branded online community is where a professional organization forms a network of users, offering communal spaces where users can engage in an overall brand experience based on its products or services. The participants in this community are formed from users that your brand attracts and retains based on its content offerings and benefits.

Benefits of Building Online Communities

Increasing Customer Loyalty

Creating a communal space for your users to enjoy can go a long way towards providing a positive customer experience. It’s important to offer the support your community needs to engage your audience and boost your brand’s reputation above your competitors. The same feeling people gain as a part of a group carries over to your brand’s online community and boosts your retention since customers that understand you care are far less likely to leave for greener pastures.

Gaining New Leads and Members

It’s important to dedicate your marketing efforts toward new visitors and potential conversions. Focus on coming up with new strategies for obtaining data from new visitors, and craft your welcoming process to showcase the strengths of your platform.

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A robust online community can encourage users to discuss, share opinions, and seek help amongst themselves. Designating community members as volunteer moderators or help experts on discussion boards and forums, for example, can help you channel your invested users towards helping others. Not only does this let you maintain an extended reach and awareness into the corners of your community space, but lets new users know that your community is helpful and welcoming.

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Improve your platform with user feedback

An online community is also a fountain of information you can use to learn about your customers and users. By building audience engagement, you can gain insight into how your customers grow and change. Watching their habits and what interests them about your digital media brand also provides valuable market data that you can use to develop the platform further and create better content.

When used well, this continuous flow of information boosts your brand above the competitors by allowing you to adapt your content to suit the wants and needs of your consumers.

Recognize and reward your brand advocates

Those who enjoy what your brand offers are likely to share their experiences with their circle of acquaintances and advocate for your brand. Therefore, it’s important to cater to these individuals and show them that their trust in your media brand is well-placed.

You can set up systems that recognize the key contributors and community advocates, utilizing systems like badges, flairs, and customer profile decorations. You can also consider using a referral program as part of a campaign, bringing more potential subscribers to your community and getting free impressions.

The hypes and excitement your community advocates generate for your brand can easily persuade others to check out what your brand has to offer. Research has proven that customers are 35% more likely to stay with a brand if another customer has referred them.

Testimonials from Real People

Providing user testimonials can sometimes be just the push your visitors need to convert to paid subscribers. Your users are a group of consumers that others can relate to and rely on. Offering user testimonials shows other users that your brand is worth their time and investment. Therefore, it’s best to ensure you’re keeping up with your efforts to keep your users happy and satisfied. With an engaged and happy audience, you and your brand gain a highly influential marketing tool to grow your community with.

Conclusion

An online community provides key benefits for business owners and their consumers. An online community consisting of engaged audience members makes growing your community that much easier, thanks to brand advocates and natural word-of-mouth spread of recommendations across the web. With results such as increased brand awareness, reduced marketing costs, and higher retention, it’s clear that community building should be a core focus for any digital media brand in the modern publishing market.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.