Finding it hard to grab your target audience’s attention? You’re not alone.
Capturing your target audience’s attention can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Luckily, there’s a marketing strategy that can help: community-based marketing.
Online communities based around interests, products, or niches are fertile grounds for marketers to establish authority, attract new customers, gain valuable user insights, and ultimately drive sales.
In this article, we’ll dive into the benefits community-based marketing can have, and how you can use it to your advantage as an advertiser.
Let’s get started!
Why should I pay attention to community-based marketing?
The days of simply clicking on ads are over, and consumers are letting us know by moving from audience-based platforms to discussion and community-based platforms.
In fact, 84 percent of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Audiences aren’t interested in being sold to anymore, instead opting for authentic human connections within online communities to inform their buying decisions.
Contrary to what you may think, this is great news for advertisers. When done right, community marketing has the power to drive high engagement and even higher conversions.
With that in mind, let’s dive deeper into what community marketing really means, and how you can use PropellerAds to supercharge your community marketing strategy.
What is community-based marketing?
Community-based marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on the relationships you build with your target market. Effective community marketing brings customers together to engage in conversations online. That’s right, it’s very different from audience-based marketing!
While an audience watches and reads content through videos and articles, a community engages by commenting, sharing, and posting. But what keeps the community members so active?
It’s simple – the main thing that connects the people in a community and keeps them engaged is a shared common interest they can talk about.
How can marketers take part in communities?
Marketers can build communities from the ground up or join existing ones relevant to their vertical and the community’s interest on platforms like Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Medium, Discord, and Mighty Networks.
Once you’ve joined a relevant community, you then have access to a targeted audience who are already interested in your products – and this is why community-based marketing is so effective!
With traditional advertising, you’re putting your product out there and hoping that someone sees it. With community-based marketing, you’re putting your product in front of people who are already interested in it.
In short, it’s a more targeted approach that yields better results.
The power of community: r/wallstreetbets and GameStop
In 2021, we saw the power that communities hold firsthand when the subreddit r/wallstreetbets drove up the stock price of GameStop.
After noticing that GameStop’s stock appeared to be undervalued, members of the subreddit, who were mostly individual investors, banded together to buy shares, driving up the demand and causing the stock price to skyrocket.
This phenomenon was driven by a sense of community and a shared desire to stick it to the big hedge funds and establishments that bet against the stock and dictated investing trends.
A massive surge in GameStop’s stock price, and a mammoth amount of media attention for Gamestop; all of which were driven by the power of a passionate and engaged community.
What platforms are best for community-based marketing?
Choosing the right platform for community-based marketing depends on your vertical and audience’s demographics. In other words, it’s always best to choose the platform where your target audience hangs out.
For example, if you mostly promote gaming apps, Discord would be a good place to start.
To decide which platform you should try, check out the below table for an overview of demographic information by platform:
|Platform||Gender||Age Range||Popular Topics|
|43.7% Female, 56.3% Male||35-44||eCommerce, Dating, Health and Wellness, Finance|
|63.8% Male, 36.2% Female||18-29||Technology, Gaming, Finance|
|Quora||43% Female, 57% Male||25-34||Education, Health and Wellness, Home and Garden/DIY|
|Medium||65.33% Male, 34.67% Female||25-34||Personal Development/Self Help, Marketing and Business, Technology|
|Discord||65% Male, 35% Female||25-34||Content on Demand, Gaming, Music and Entertainment|
The above platforms offer a range of different communities to join and participate in. Alternatively, if you want to start your own community off these platforms, you can use a platform like Mighty Networks.
With Mighty Networks, you can build your own branded iOS or Android app, and website where you can host your community and promote your offers in one place.
What are the pros and cons of community marketing?
Like all marketing strategies, community-based marketing comes with both upsides and downsides. Let’s take a look at a few:
Building a community takes time: All good things take time, and this is especially true for community marketing. Whether you’re building a new community or joining an established one, you have to set yourself up as a trusted, knowledgeable member of the community before trying to sell your products or launching a campaign. Authenticity and trust are key to thriving communities.
Community marketing demands trial and error: It’s good to take an iterative approach to community marketing. The first few communities you join or build may not take off or be interested in your offerings.
High commitment: Building a community or participating in an existing community demands high commitment. Whether it’s providing infrastructure, listening to members, or constant communication, you will need to be ready to give your constant attention to the community.
For example, your community’s members might be based across different time zones or prefer being active at night, which means you’ll need to be responsive during unusual times. At PropellerAds, we handle this on our Telegram chat by making sure a moderator is online at all times to participate in conversations, share links, post memes, and take part in the community!
Unique skillset is required: Community-based marketing is unlike performance marketing and traditional advertising. Be prepared for immediate, honest feedback from the community when you run a promotion. Key skills for a successful community marketer include communication, writing, people skills, authenticity, and a healthy dose of good humor!
The payoff of a successful community-based marketing strategy can be huge. From higher quality traffic to scaling your advertising efforts, there’s a lot it can do for you:
High-quality traffic: Platforms that host communities are rich in high-quality organic traffic. Choosing the right community, establishing yourself as a trustworthy member, and writing persuasive messaging can generate a lot of high-quality traffic to your offerings.
For example, Scott Keyes from Going (previously Scott’s Cheap Flights) gets a lot of high-quality traffic by engaging with Reddit users interested in travel through AMAs. By offering helpful advice and establishing himself as an expert in the travel space, Scott has built a loyal following within the Reddit travel community.
This following is more likely to engage with his content, share it with others, and refer people to his platform, resulting in organic growth. Plus, the positive sentiment generated by his AMA leads to better search engine rankings and increased visibility in other channels, bringing even more high-quality traffic to his platform – totaling as much as 2.1M monthly visits.
The key to Scott’s success in the Reddit community was his authentic and friendly approach that didn’t focus on advertising his products. Instead, he adds value to the community with genuine conversation and reaps the reward of high-quality traffic.
More relevance and loyalty: Similar to sending higher-quality traffic to your offers, you’ll also establish greater relevance and brand loyalty among your audience thanks to sharing useful offers, deals, and information with them.
For example, Colt Steele is a web developer who was active on the r/learnprogramming subreddit for several years. He would offer his advice on how to get started learning to program, give recommendations about where to learn, and answer common questions from aspiring web developers.
After some time, he launched an entire web development course that rapidly grew in popularity thanks to his loyal Reddit following. Today, Colt no longer uses Reddit to the same degree, as his loyal following continues to recommend his courses thanks to his expertise, knowledge, and the value he’s added to the community.
Scale retargeting advertisements: You can scale your retargeting campaigns with this highly-relevant audience with PropellerAds. You can retarget the community members who engaged with your offers using PropellerAds’ tools to drive greater results.
How do I start community marketing?
You can get started with community marketing by leveraging your existing audience to start a new community, joining an established community, or paying to advertise in a relevant community.
No matter which avenue you choose, it’s important to craft your messaging carefully. Online communities prefer authentic, genuine conversation that adds value, so it’s always best to avoid direct advertising in your messaging.
Read the steps to get started below.
Leveraging your existing audience
- Choose a platform: Get started by choosing the right platform to host your new community. The best platform is one that your existing audience is most likely familiar with. If you want a white-labeled platform you can add your own brand to, try Mighty Networks.
- Share the news: Once you’ve chosen the platform where you’ll host your community, you should invite your audience to join once it’s set up! This can be via social media, email marketing, or an announcement on your blog.
- Promote your community: Add the invitation link to the end of newsletters, run advertisements, or post about it on social media to remind your audience to join your community if they haven’t already.
- Stay active and engaged: This is crucial to the success of your community. Stay active and engaged by hosting discussions, responding to questions, and sharing relevant, exclusive content within the community.
- Promote your products or offerings: Once your community has become active and engaged, you can promote your products or offerings in an authentic and engaging way.
Joining an established community
- Choose your platform: Choose the platform and topic you want to focus on. For example, if you’re in the news vertical, you may choose Reddit and the r/news subreddit.
- Answer questions and participate in discussions: Before running advertising campaigns or promoting your offerings, you need to establish yourself as a trusted, knowledgeable figure in the community. Start by answering questions and participating in active discussions.
- Create engaging content: Add value to the community by sharing engaging content that speaks to their interests, e.g, articles, videos, infographics, etc.
- Promote your offer: Finally, after establishing yourself as a trusted figure in the community, you can start to promote your offers or products. Remember, this needs to be done in an authentic and honest way for the best results.
Pay to advertise in a relevant community
It’s always best to read the community’s rules or contact the moderators before promoting or advertising. Many communities strictly forbid advertising unless agreed, while other community owners allow it for a fee.
- Choose a community: Choose a community that has a relevant audience to your vertical.
- Contact the moderators: Find the moderators or owners of the community and reach out to inquire about promotional partnerships.
- Negotiate a price: Negotiate a fee with the moderator or community owner for the opportunity to promote in their community.
- Promote your offer: Once the fee and promotion have been agreed on, promote your offer to the community with authentic, persuasive messaging that will drive engagement.
How can I use community marketing to drive more profits?
Advertisers and affiliate marketers will be pleased to hear that you can drive more profits by combining your community marketing strategy with PropellerAds’ tools.
Alongside using online communities to drive targeted traffic to your offers, products, or services, you can use PropellerAds’ tools to retarget community members who previously engaged with your ads.
Not only that, but you can use your community’s demographic and psychographic information to better inform your PropellerAds’ targeting strategy. For example, if you’re part of a community interested in finance, you may discover that they are also interested in sports. You can then use this information for more sophisticated targeting in your campaigns, driving better, more targeted results overall.
Communities are everywhere online, and savvy affiliate marketers are tapping into their power with community-based marketing.
By building or joining a community of like-minded individuals who share your interests, you can create an engaged audience that’s already primed to buy. While it may take time and effort to gain credibility, the benefits are significant in terms of stronger brand loyalty, higher conversion rates, and direct communication with your audience.
But don’t go it alone! PropellerAds can help you supercharge your community-based marketing strategy with our retargeting tools. With the power of PropellerAds behind you, there’s no limit to what you can achieve with community-based marketing.
Join our Telegram Chat to discuss this and other media-buying topics!