Unlocking Profitability and Efficiency: Why Brands Should Prioritize Community-Building Over Audience-Building
Community-building and audience-building are two different approaches to growth and engagement in the digital world. While both are valuable, community-building often provides more substantial long-term benefits, especially for brands or organizations.
Here's how community-building can save time and make money more effectively than audience-building:
- Enhanced Customer Loyalty: A community encourages a deeper connection between the brand and its customers. This sense of belonging often leads to greater customer loyalty, which can result in repeat purchases and a higher lifetime customer value, ultimately saving time and resources spent on acquiring new customers.
- Word-of-Mouth Marketing: A strong community fosters organic word-of-mouth marketing. Happy community members can become brand ambassadors, spreading the word about your products or services to their network. This not only saves time and money on marketing efforts but also generates trust, as recommendations from friends or family are often viewed as more reliable.
- User-Generated Content: Community members often create and share content related to the brand, from reviews and testimonials to fan art and stories. This user-generated content can be leveraged in marketing materials, saving time and resources on content creation.
- Crowdsourcing Ideas and Feedback: A community can be an excellent source of ideas for new products or improvements to existing ones. It provides a platform for instant feedback, which can save time on market research and ensure your offerings stay aligned with customer needs.
- Decreased Customer Service Costs: An active community can become a self-service support hub where members help each other solve problems, reducing the need for extensive customer service resources.
- Increased Sales: Communities often include exclusive perks or early access to new products, which can incentivize purchases. Additionally, the deep connection community members feel for the brand often leads to higher conversion rates compared to more casual audience members.
There’s also a video I did a number of years ago, discussing the same distinction:
In conclusion, while building an audience is important for spreading awareness and reaching new potential customers, investing in community-building can offer a deeper, more engaging, and ultimately more profitable relationship with your audience.
This can lead to significant savings in time and resources, as well as increased revenue and lifetime value (or your customers/members) over the long term.