We have established what an online brand community is – a group of people who share the same interest and get together to exchange information and to help each other out. In our first blog of the series about online communities, we talked about the 8 steps needed to start and grow your own online brand community. Have a look at part 1and part 2 if you haven’t checked them out yet.
In this blog, we will show you the 7 benefits an online brand community can have for a company. If you weren’t sure before whether or not to build such a community for yourself, you will want to start one after learning about the benefits.
1. Your customers have an excellent user experience
The great thing about an online brand community is the constant contact between your members and your employees. If there are questions, the users can get in contact with your business directly. In addition, by talking to each other, you get to know your customers and their needs. People with a special interest in a brand and its products seek information and like to discuss the topics with other users. This allows you to know your members’ desires and ideas and helps you improve your products accordingly. Furthermore, just being with a group of people who share the same interests gives your members a sense of community. In the end, your customers have a fantastic user experience, which is of great value, since your members will stay loyal. This takes us to the second benefit.
2. You can increase your customer retention
As your online community builds trust and familiarity, you will have loyal members. They will feel connected, dedicated and invested in your brand. Therefore, they won’t go look for your competitors and won’t be that price-sensitive. Your customers and members are going to promote your business, the community and your products. When measuring your retention rate, you will notice an increase in the number of your customers, because your old customers will stay while you will keep winning new ones.
3. You have your own valuable brand advocates
As mentioned above, your members will promote your brand and help you grow not only your business, but also your online community. If people feel satisfied with your products and your services, they will feel inspired to tell others about you and their experience as customers and members of your community. This means, they’re not only your customers, but also your brand advocates and, again, help you grow your business and your online community.
4. Decreased support costs
In addition to a support team, the members of online communities can help each other as well with the knowledge they have about the brand and its products. Through self-service, customers are empowered to find answers on their own or through reaching out to each other. If they look for answers in articles and videos or by asking questions in forums, a business can decrease the support costs. For this reason, it’s able to invest more in other parts of the business such as the marketing department or make more money available to improve the products.
5. You get direct customer feedback
In order for you to be able to improve your products, it’s important to listen to your customers. They know what they want and need. By allowing your customers to express their opinions and to give you feedback, you’re able to constantly improve. This will also make them feel heard and involved. They will see themselves as a valuable part of your business and not just as your customers because they’re actively helping you improve your brand and products.
6. You can increase your revenue growth
You can always advertise your products and services as well as your partners and sponsors in your community. It’s important to stay active and appealing. Moreover, since users communicate with each other by sharing their experiences with your brand, they engage in discussions and stay or become interested in your products and services. This can increase your upselling and cross-selling.
7. Increased ROI
All of the benefits mentioned above are very important for your business and sound incredibly attractive. We have one additional benefit you won’t want to miss out on: Online communities help to increase your ROI and grow your organization! You will be able to make the best financial decisions. You will see your business thrive and take it to the next level.
It does take some time to grow and sustain an engaging online community, but it’s worth the investment. You will see that you will only benefit from it and your business will continuously develop and grow by itself from some point. All you need to do is take the first steps and then reap the benefits.
To save you some time and work take a look at our community platform solutions!