Behind every great brand is a thriving community. However, if you’re hearing crickets when you visit your company’s online community, you’re not alone.
According to new research by Demand Metric, online communities are at risk of becoming “dead zones”—meaning they’re rarely visited and show no signs of activity.
It’s no wonder that just 6% of the study’s participants report that their communities meet all of their expectations, while almost one quarter say that their communities are meeting few or none of their expectations.
To breathe life back into communities, Demand Metric recommends marketers work on understanding participant expectations and delivering on them. Creating an engaging member experience can be well worth the effort.
When well-tended to, online communities can help organizations:
- Generate and qualify leads
- Accelerate or support the buying process
- Drive revenue
In the report, Demand Metric recommends that companies focus on the following five key areas to bring their online communities back to life:
- Build the right membership. Identify the most fitting community members and incent them to join and participate. If brands can motivate and recognize a few of their most loyal advocates, they can help drive community activity.
- Deliver a quality community experience. Only one-third of study participants report that the target audience participates well or very well in their communities. That means companies need to get creative about encouraging regular member participation.
- Keep community content quality high. According to the survey, 30% of respondents confirm that there is a strong spillover effect on the buying process when content quality is high or very high. With that in mind, community managers should share valuable content, and encourage community members to do so as well.
- Engage prospective customers. If one of the goals of a community is to drive revenue, it’s important to serve the needs of prospects. According to Demand Metric, this is a matter of getting the right audience involved in the community, getting that audience to participate with enough frequency, and ensuring that the community content quality remains high.
- Make it easy to find and join the community. The study found that when it is somewhat or very likely that a buyer will encounter the online community during the buying process, the community supports the buying process to some, or a great, extent. Make sure to raise awareness for the community in the places where buyers are looking to help speed up the sales process.
Download the full report for all of the findings around online communities, and get actionable advice for raising your online community from the dead with the help of your advocates.
Download the report now to find out:
- How likely potential customers are to encounter branded communities during the buying process
- How communities can generate and qualify leads, accelerate revenue opportunities, or engage customers
- How much marketers plan to spend on communities over the next year