Building an Online Community: Community-Based Products

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Building an online community for your business and brand is the best way to generate movement. Online communities supercharge word of mouth, which is why products built on top of communities scale fast. Unlocking the power of an online community is a great marketing advantage. Here are four key online elements to understand when talking about community-based products.

 

Start Small

An online community is built upon a shared sense of lifestyle, purpose, or place where like-minded people can thrive. It’s built on sharing and connecting. Many communities start as invite-only, or “locked”. Exclusivity and scarcity drives demand, which is why waitlist communities continuously outperform those without waitlists. Whether it’s waiting while an admin reviews your acceptance of community guidelines before admitting you, or you’ve been tapped to join an invite-only group, a higher barrier to entry enlists a greater level of commitment and pride. 

 

Who We Are 

A thriving online community has a compelling “Who We Are” story. By outlining goals and mission, you paint a picture of the kind of lifestyle your members want to live, are living, or hope others think they are living. You can further create a compelling community narrative by describing your cause or desires with passion, and amplifying the reason they exist.

 

Design rituals

Keeping your online community engaged with one another and the lifestyle built around your product can be tricky. Designing rituals or opportunities for engagement amplifies participation and relevance. Creating weekly or monthly practices that make people feel alive and grateful to be a part of the community will invigorate your members. This is how you create loyal fans and grow retention. 71 percent of customers claim  loyalty incentive-programs are not effective. As stated in Duel, “Incentivising customers to repurchase is no longer enough, loyalty programs need to be more relevant and varied, allowing customers other ways to build a relationship with the brand. In this way, online communities humanize the brand.”

 

Takeaways 

Human beings are inherently social creatures. We can’t help the overwhelming need to fit in. Online communities give individuals a sense of belonging and identity. Building a community is a long-term task that requires consistency and time. An online community doesn’t sprout up overnight, but the payback is tremendous. Building an online community is both an art and a science. It is both strategic and social. If done right, an online community-based product has a high level of success. 

 

More than ⅔ of internet users have participated in an online community. 

 

To learn more and stay up to date on digital marketing industry news, trends and best practices, bookmark the KWSM blog page. 

 

Our team works as an extension of your team to carefully craft fully developed and expertly researched content that will keep your fans engaged. 

CONTACT US to learn more about creating the results you’re looking for with an effective content marketing strategy.

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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of journalists. We specialize in social media management, website design and video. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More
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