As a sustainable brand in today’s digital era, building an online community is now a must. Online communities provide businesses with a platform to interact with their target market, build brand loyalty, and spread their brand message. Due to the rising significance of sustainability, it is essential for sustainable brands to have a solid digital presence and develop a committed following of devoted customers.
Why is it important for sustainable brands to build an online community?
- Establishes a direct connection with customers: Online communities provide brands with the opportunity to interact directly with their target market and receive insightful input from them
- Builds brand loyalty: Customers feel more valued and engaged in the company’s journey through belonging to an online community. A well-established online community can generate brand loyalty and advocacy
- Boosts brand exposure: Having access to your own online community provides a channel that allows your brand to reach a broader audience and spread the word about your brand’s message, beliefs and initiatives
- Creates opportunities for co-creation: An online community offers a platform for co-creation, allowing members to collaborate with the brand to develop upcoming goods and services, giving them a sense of value and inclusion in the brand’s development
How to build an online community for sustainable brands?
- Define your target audience: Prior to creating an online community, it is crucial to identify your target audience because they will determine the community’s direction and success
- Choose the most appropriate platform: There are several platforms available, including Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Slack and Tribe; nevertheless, it's imperative to select the one that will best reach your target audience
- Provide a compelling value proposition: An online community requires a compelling value proposition. Examples include granting members access to exclusive or unique material, offering them early access to certain goods and services, or providing them with a platform to co-create with the company
- Foster engagement: After your online community has been formed, it’s essential to entice members of the community to get involved by publishing consistent content, answering customer questions or concerns, and encouraging dialogue and discussions.
Where is the value in growing an online community for sustainable brands?
- Increased brand exposure: A well-established online community can enhance the visibility of your brand, with the potential to bring in new clients and encourage consumer loyalty
- Consumer insights: An online community offers insightful information about the target market for your brand, including customer preferences, needs and pain points.
- Collaboration opportunities: An online community can provide great opportunities to co-create with participating members, adding value by allowing users to work with the brand to develop new goods and services that they demand
- Sales growth: When customers feel valued and are engaging with the brand through its community, they feel closer to your brand and are more inclined to choose your brand for their next purchase
How do you keep people interested in your sustainable brand through an online community?
- Provide regular content: Offering consistent material is paramount to retain engagement from your community members and keep them interested. It is also a wise idea to vary the forms of content you are putting out, such as articles, news, videos, podcasts, sharing events and more
- Encourage conversations: To promote involvement from members of your online community, you should invite people to share content and opinions, and encourage discussions amongst group members. One effective way to do this is to use the poll function, which is also a good measure of engagement and promotes conversations
- Offer exclusive content and promotions: To keep members interested, you can offer exclusive content and promotions such as early access to the latest products or services, or a special discount or giveaway
- Invite community members to share: To foster a sense of belonging amongst your group members and keep people active, you should encourage community members to share their experiences, thoughts and opinions with the group
As a whole, creating an online community can be a powerful strategy for sustainable brands to increase their brand awareness, cultivate brand loyalty, and boost sales. Following these guidelines and tactics, sustainable brands can participate in the digital transformation and establish a prominent online presence, interact closely with their target market, and unlock the power of community.