Why community marketing is the new influencer marketing?August 12, 2021
How can the advantages of influencer marketing be used and the disadvantages of digital opinion leaders largely avoided? The answer for marketing managers: community marketing. That is behind it.
Influencers are an integral part of the marketing mix and are used by large and small companies.
The advantages: Once the right people have been found, they advertise brands or products within the respective target group more personally than classic marketing measures such as advertising banners, posters or social ads.
It is not uncommon for influencers to be perceived as confidants who want to provide advice. Therefore, their influence on the purchase decision is particularly authentic. The mechanism is called referral marketing.
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Community marketing: interaction instead of (only) likes
But there is one but: Unfortunately, the key figure for influencer marketing is still far too often reach on social media. Campaigns are often valued and priced solely on the basis of likes, shares and the number of followers of influencers.
If there is no clearly recognizable influencer profile – for example due to too often changing and incoherent collaborations – or the content-related connection to the target group, the credibility of the campaign and ultimately the brand suffers.
If you, as the person responsible for marketing, do not want to rely solely on the reach and profile of an individual, you can benefit from the power of the masses with community marketing.
Community marketing goes one step further. It starts where influencer marketing has its natural limits. Because: Fans and followers are not a community per se. This also applies if they all follow the same influencer.
It is not clear whether the pictures are liked because they show the idol or are particularly beautifully staged. It is very different in a community: the members exchange open and intensive information about products and brands. They help each other.
Valuable connections and top target groups
Group dynamics and independent discussions develop – the so-called “meaningful interactions”. The representatives of the social media platforms like to talk about them.
These interactions, at Echte Mamas that is over twelve million a month, are the cornerstone of positive opinion-forming and the decisive success factor of community marketing.
In concrete terms, community marketing is the establishment, maintenance and strategic marketing use of a community of people who are connected to each other by a common topic or interest and are emotionally involved.
The members of the community have real added value when they are part of the group – digital or analog. In the case of Real Mamas, for example, everything is about life as a mother. This includes all questions about children, family and education.
This also includes tips on travel destinations or popular car brands for the respective family situation. The community spans different channels – including Facebook or Instagram.
Loyal customers instead of cold acquisition
The community’s valuable interactions create a long-term relationship between the group and a brand or product. So instead of always addressing new followers through new influencers and doing persuasive work, the relationship is established within the community.
The members feel they are in good hands, find support and relevant exchange. These elements all contribute to a positive brand perception.
Once this basis has been laid, marketing is becoming easier. On the one hand, when it comes to your own brand and your own products. Anyone who is convinced will gradually build brand loyalty, be less receptive to competitive offers and recommend the products themselves.
Especially at a time when information and advertising are pouring onto customers from all sides, communities can provide orientation as a permanent element.
On the other hand, campaigns of external brands can also be developed and implemented according to target groups using the available data and insights. This is how they develop their maximum effect.
Accurate instead of watering can
Community marketing is also characterized by free communication and interaction between members. This also benefits companies. The latter benefit particularly from this openness.
The members share honest feedback on the products – on their own or competing products – unfiltered and immediate. A lively community is therefore a yardstick into the market that provides valuable insights that can be used in very different ways.
Not only for the development of large-scale campaigns, but also for monitoring the competition and the (further) development of your own products.
Involve influencers in the community strategy
Influencers and community marketing are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary: influencers can perfectly complement a community marketing campaign. Provided that they are integrated into the community and are involved in the implementation of the campaign.
That’s when the best of both worlds come together. Because only if a brand intelligently integrates an influencer campaign into a community strategy can you achieve a significant competitive advantage: positive awareness and extremely high credibility.
You can only benefit from a strong and lively community. Through exchange, support and real added value when you are part of the community.
As a company, you benefit because you build a very close relationship with customers that binds them in the long term. And there are also advantages for external companies. You gain unique access to the target group and valuable insights. Win-win-win!