B2B Trends

How does Community Development help B2B Marketers?

The most effective approach, in my view, is to build a community of interests and common ground that matches those around you. Building a B2B community does not mean trying to build a brand community around your business and its offerings as your primary focus — that’s difficult to achieve and you are unlikely to attract many members outside your existing customer base. When you go down the path of community building, you have to measure how you are making progress.

The point of communities, of course, is to offer value to members of the community, not to push a product. The overarching message is to build a strong sense of trust and relationship with the community to increase customer loyalty, enhance brand image, and promote advocacy preferences.

Online communities provide new opportunities for B2B companies to connect with their existing customers, build trust-based relationships and gain useful customer insights that facilitate effective product and service development and customer success. By bringing people together in a great environment, you build your brand over time, gain insight into your customers’ current and emerging needs, gather data and intelligence that you can use to develop products and feed the community with unique and valuable insights. This evolution focuses on enabling the growth of your retention rate, providing upselling and recommendations, a balanced expansion of your outer circle and nurturing a steady stream of potential new community members who can become new customers and advocates for the future.

Let us say that you are interested in creating an online community on a specific topic that is relevant to your brand. Online communities can be an effective place to connect with your target audience. You offer your brand a platform for repeated engagement and building relationships with its target groups.

By providing insightful, free feedback about your product or service online, online communities are ideal. You can demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and receive important, actionable information that helps improve and align your offering.

Your online community is a captive audience, a targeted group of people interested in your brand. Community allows you to identify the most popular and unpopular user requests first-hand, providing you with a concrete business offering that your customers can bring to your product team. This in turn enables them to prioritize requests based on solid Community Data while fostering an optimized, data-driven relationship between your customers and the success of the product teams.

It can be difficult for B2B and SaaS companies to get this kind of feedback from end users, but with an online community that interacts with your users, you can do just that. Customer concerns and questions can be asked, employees can have a discussion and expect an answer from customer service or members of the community.

At a time when the pressure on marketing departments to deliver meaningful results is greater than ever, it is becoming more difficult to maintain contact with the B2B audience.

If you want your community to be a tool to help people find the right information, you need to look after outdated content. As your community matures and your product evolves, the content that provides the answers already provided is likely to become obsolete. A long-term view of the community helps you to develop, understand and communicate with your customer base.

In our distribution channel, for example, we have started running virtual roundtables to discuss specific topics with a group of people for an hour. These discussions work so well that we are transferring them to other areas such as product marketing.

All in all, the communities bring all your customers and prospects together, thereby saving your time and efforts and above all lot of money.