Firstly, let’s mention why creating communities is so important. Creating a community around your brand fosters consumer trust, generates growth and builds long term relationships with customers. In marketing terms, creating communities is essential in developing groups of people who want to hear from you and receive news on your latest products and services. It ensures you are marketing to the relevant people and your efforts are targeted. Growing your community not only increases your sales and marketing databases but, depending on the platform and how your community has agreed to let you use their data, it can increase revenue streams through affiliate marketing. Building a community allows you to gain honest opinions on the content, products and services you are delivering. Being able to view the comments and conversations your audiences are having on newsfeeds gives real insights into what your community thinks about you and your business.
To create successful communities, publishers need to make the most of creating virtual / online communities. Where does everyone go to get information now? Online. Where do people go to share their opinion on content? Online. People who surround themselves in online groups, communities and discussions are more commercially aware and in the know on what’s trending and what’s not. It is therefore important to utilise technology and create spaces and platforms for people to join to share their opinions.
Hosting panels and private discussions is another great way to get exposure, allowing your audience to connect and network with fellow professionals. Having a mixture of private discussions and open seminars makes for a great mix to connect with your audiences. Many seek private communities where they can gain advice, talk strategies, share their experiences and network with others. People like the feeling of being part of an exclusive club but also like the accessibility and educational benefits of an open seminar.
Creating events and groups on social media makes it easy to invite people to join and for people to find you. Once you’ve created your group which will be your hub for your community, you can then create events inviting people to join your private discussions and open seminars. This is a great way to keep the discussion flowing after the event. This is where you see what’s trending and what people think about your work. It also ensures you maintain consumer engagement with your brand all year round.
You can also go one step further and host discussions on event management platforms. The benefit of using paid software over free platforms is that you get data and analytics on audience habits and behaviours that free models can’t provide.
Having a mixture of private discussions and open seminars makes for a great mix to connect with your audiences.
Evessio is an all-in-one event management platform for live, digital and hybrid events. The powerful event management software and unique virtual venues provide attendees, hosts and sponsors with a seamless experience from start to finish. The Awards Room and The Events Room provide inclusive networking opportunities like no other platform.
This article is part of our ‘Building Successful Communities’ special feature, looking at how publishers go about creating engaged and vibrant communities. The feature includes the following articles by publishers and suppliers:
Build engagement on your platform, by Sally Arnold
The money is in the conversation, by Lucy Brazier
Create spaces online to share opinions, by Gary Clement
Community first, magazine second, by Sophie Cross
Publishers are taking community seriously, by Ashley Friedlein
Find the right voice, by Esther Newman
Audience engagement is top priority, by Charles Thiede
Build connections & be interested, by Ed Walker
This article was first published in InPublishing magazine. If you would like to be added to the free mailing list, please register here.