Unpacking branded communities
At its Inbound 2022 conference, HubSpot unveiled a new community of practice, connect.com, where HubSpot marketers can share ideas and build connections. In recent years, many companies have made forays into community building, with mixed results.
An online community can help companies build stronger customer relationships, discover important product and consumer insights, and drive sales. Or it can be a waste of time.
If you want an online community that drives business value, you’re going to need a strategy.
Real people don’t bond around yet another platform, app, or notification. To drive high-impact results, successful community strategies typically include:
- Audience awareness: If you haven’t already, this is the time to do persona research and carefully assess your customer journeys. “Community” means different things to different people — and in different contexts. Knowing your target audience can help you craft experiences that resonate.
- Authentic value: Is your audience looking for ideas, collaboration, training, or access to learn from experts? Where does their need intersect with your organization’s personality and expertise? For your brand’s online community to thrive, it needs to fit your culture and deliver real value to your target members.
- Aligned platform: Whether it’s a Facebook group, Slack channel, or fully branded platform experience, the technology that hosts your community matters. The platform experience impacts engagement and retention, and ultimately determines how much tangible ROI you’ll see in the form of insights, feedback, and pipeline.
Interested in exploring what an online community could do for your brand? We can help. From customer research to complete community engagement strategies, Fusion partners with mid-market and enterprise companies to reimagine customer connection.