As a business owner, your primary operating goal is to have sufficient monthly recurring income. This lets you manage your business efficiently and meet expenses.
Having an excellent conversion strategy is essential if you depend on your website to drive awareness and convert leads. However, your business can boost its income through having a community website.
According to Marketing Communication News, more than 58% of millennials are willing to spend more on joining a brand’s community. This shows its significance to a local business, whether big or small.
This guide is for you with a WordPress website for your business and looking to build a community. So read on to know more.
What’s a Community Website?
Communities are evident everywhere and a part of our lives. Whether you live in a gated neighbourhood or are a part of any social media channels, you have interacted with one.
However, in the business world, a community implies a virtual group of individuals brought together by an organisation. These participants are free to share their views, interact, and suggest improvements on products or services offered.
Why Create a Community Website Platform?
Having an online community for your business is one way to fuel your business’s success. This is because people who sign up and pay for membership have complete trust in what you have to offer.
These communities remove the need for traditional communication methods that may fail to reach you. And since the chats on these forums get updated in real time, you are sure to know what your customers have to say.
How to Build Your Community
Setting up your brand’s community can seem overwhelming, especially if you are unrecognised or starting up. You, however, have to understand that its success boils down to how you engage your customers.
Here’s how to build a thriving community.
Research the Market
Knowing how your market lies is crucial, whether starting up or extending your growth strategies. You can do this by analysing what your competitors are doing to see their approach.
Here you can note what they do right and wrong to see how you can correct it and offer value. Also, having your current customers share their opinions is essential as it shows you acknowledge them.
Align Your Goals
A community has two primary goals.
- To meet a set achievement for the owner
- To provide immense value to its members
The first goal is what motivates you as the community owner to start. It also helps you formulate various questions related to the success of your business.
The second goal usually inclines more to the audience you want to attract. It’s also essential to have well-formulated mission statements because they help the audience know what your community is about. This makes them easy to convert and ready to engage.
Choose a Friendly Web Design
After selecting a domain host of choice, you want to have the best website layout possible. This ensures your members navigate through different pages for information, threads, and engagement.
WordPress, for instance, lets you have complete control over the design and customisation. This is because they have an endless list of the best community website templates to consider.
Set Your Rules
No community survives without rules, especially in brand communities. Setting your rules and having your members abide by them guarantees no spammy posts.
It also ensures there are no negative posts between threads that would otherwise impact retention and engagement. Besides spam posts, such rules can include no profanity or self-promotion, among other irrelevant things.
Launch and Track
After making sure everything is in shape, it’s time to launch your private community to the world. However, it’s essential to note you need efficient marketing strategies to get it above ground.
One way you can win members is to offer early trial runs for a specific period like one month. Whether you choose to charge 90% less or provide free access, it’s dependent on your goals.
Also, as you win customers to sign up, have fresh content ready for their engagement. You don’t want to offer subscriptions only to disappoint members due to a lack of a hook to entice them.
Why Use a Community Website Software?
As you look forward to building a thriving online community for product awareness, safety and ease of use are crucial factors. At this point, you will have to choose the best community website software to help you achieve your goals.
However, choosing the best software is overwhelming with the vast community platforms available. Here is how to make the right buying decision.
Today’s business world is fast-paced, and a website community needs updating flexibility. You don’t want to start a private community that can’t adopt modern business aspects, as it will soon fall out of context.
A community’s flexibility should not be all about accommodating members’ ability or scalability. So when shopping for a community website software, checking on its flexibility is vital.
With cyber-crimes and data breaches on the rise, the need for secure communities is evident. And as members sign up and pay for membership for your private community, showing the safety of their data is crucial.
You don’t want your members citing security reasons as a cause of leaving your site. This will lower your customer retention and, even worse, send your active members packing.
When choosing a community platform, you want one that supports easy usage. It should also have easy user posting and sharing capabilities.
This allows your members to have User Generated Content (UGC) that increases your brand’s awareness. According to statistics, user-generated content makes your brand seem authentic and legitimate compared to self-promotion.
Having features such as polls and challenges can also help increase your brand engagement. This is because people are likely to engage more and interact with your content.
When choosing a community software, choose one that your members can adapt to quickly. You don’t want them to highlight how challenging they find the offered learning curve.
And since these communities revolve around social media concepts, having similar strategies is crucial. Your community website aims to draw customers away from these channels and make spending time in your community worthwhile.
Benefits of Adding Community Platforms
Having an online community extends beyond the customers’ transactional value. You want to keep your customers coming back each time, and knowing their satisfaction trigger is essential.
Here are some benefits that brand communities bring.
A brand’s community is a significant way of increasing your overall engagement. This is because your fans are likely to be sharing their experiences with others.
You also get guaranteed comments and shares when advertising your products or services on social channels. This boosts your visibility to newer prospects who would be interested in your services.
Statistics show referrals play a significant role in customer acquisition. Therefore through their evangelism, you get increased engagement and new leads.
However, a slight nudge to show your fans the importance of referrals is crucial. You can do so by incentivising any successful referral converted by awarding points or other perks.
Product or service feedback is a significant factor to any business. You want your services to offer solutions to the customer pain points.
However, without a direct means of communication, you may end up providing products no one uses. By your customers sharing feedback, you can know what they like, what they don’t like, and what needs improvement.
This allows you to upgrade your products’ and services’ quality easily. And most of all, you save on research and development resources.
Understand Your Customer
While you may be striving to roll out quality products and services into the market, not everyone is your customer. Some will find your products suitable for them, while others won’t.
However, this doesn’t have to demotivate you if you get negative reviews. Instead, a brand’s community comprises your loyal fans who find the service you offer satisfactory.
And since a community’s primary goal is interacting with your customers, initiating product review threads is essential. Here you can set up different threads for each product or service offered.
By asking for honest reviews, you can know how your products are doing, improve them, and whether your competition is winning.
Nurtures Brand Loyalty
When running a small business, it’s essential to research how large firms retain their customers. For example, with a brand like Apple, whether you are a die-hard fan or not, you probably know of someone who is.
These individuals are usually hooked to these brands’ products and can’t switch to competitors easily. And no matter how high-priced the products are, customers always buy them.
The goal is to tap into your customers’ emotions and build trust in what you offer. This trust makes one-time shoppers turn to recurrent ones bringing in recurring revenue.
Build Your Online Community Today
Having a business website is an efficient step to realising your brand’s awareness potential. If you are dependent on your website to earn recurring income, an efficient strategy is vital.
Creating a community website opens engagement, innovation, and awareness doors. The above guide is for you who owns a WordPress website and needs to score more leads in the online space.
Contact us today to help us understand more about your business goals.