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How community-marketing is the driver of modern marketing

How community-marketing is the driver of modern marketing

Blair Williams is the founder of the WordPress membership plugin MemberPress and affiliate program plugin Easy Affiliate.

There's plenty of takes on marketing businesses. You can blog, use influencer marketing, drive inbound or outbound sales, and more. 

However, there's one underestimated technique that entrepreneurs and business owners should talk about: community-driven marketing. 

Community marketing is marketing strategies and campaigns focused on engaging and building relationships with a brand's community of customers, fans, and advocates. In fact, it's the foundation of my own business. We're about to have 100K group members in our group and it's been a powerful tool for growth. 

Why does community marketing matter and how can it impact your business? Let's dive in and explore!

Changing Consumer Behavior

Lets start with what drives community marketing and what's led customers to shift towards seeking group engagement and personalized experiences from brands.

Several cultural and technological factors have catalyzed this change:

  • The rise of social media. Starting with Orkut and Myspace to Facebook, TikTok and other networks, social media has connected consumers to each other. This fosters a desire for community.
  • Reviews, recommendations, and word-of-mouth now carry more weight than ads. Consumers make decisions based on peer opinions and community feedback.
  • Younger generations especially prioritize values like sustainability, transparency, and diversity. They support brands who share these values and build communities around social causes.
  • With limitless choice, consumers crave differentiation. Building a distinctive brand community gives businesses an edge against competitors.
  • Personalization is in demand. Consumers want tailored interactions and communications that resonate with their unique interests and preferences.

These shifts reveal the importance of moving from transactional marketing to relationship and community building. It's necessary to pay attention to what customers want to reach them better. 

Why leverage community for marketing? 

There are many reasons to focus on a community-oriented marketig strategy. Let's look at what they are:

  • Bringing together people around shared values, interests, and goals can foster belonging and loyalty.
  • A thriving community creates a space for customers to connect with the brand and each other on a more personal level. They feel invested in the brand's mission and purpose which leads to emotional attachment.
  • It's possible to build loyalty stems from a sense of shared identity.
  • Trust grows through community.  Businesses must embrace transparency to showcase its expertise and reinforce its credibility.
  • Community transforms customers into advocates. You can turn casual shoppers into passionate supporters who actively promote your brand to others.

In other words, a community as an assent can provide a competitive edge that advertising alone cannot achieve - making it a key marketing strategy for your business.

The How of Community Building and Marketing

Building an engaged community requires thoughtful strategy and consistent effort. You have to work towards long-term benefits to see the real power of community. Here's how: 

1. Valuable Content

There's no question that content is the lifeblood of any community (or business). Provide a steady stream of helpful articles, how-to guides, videos, and social media posts to solve people's problems. Useful, educational content not only attracts an audience but also nurtures it by delivering ongoing value.

2. Continuous Engagement

Don't just broadcast content, provoke discussions. Ask questions to spark conversation, respond promptly to comments, and survey your audience to better meet their needs. Go a step further and use social media management tools to track brand mentions and comments across platforms. 

You'll make community members feel heard through active engagement.

3. Influencer Marketing

Influencers already have their community's trust and ears. You can partner with them to shorten the trust-building process and reach your target audience. Identify influencers who authentically align with your brand and can create unique co-branded content or promotions. Use influencer marketing tools to find them and manage your relationship with them. 

4. Social Media Marketing

It goes without saying that you should leverage platforms like Facebook Groups, Reddit, Discord, and Slack to build thriving social communities. There are even platforms for more holistic and exclusive experiences like Circle, Kajai Communities, and others. 

Make sure you dedicate resources to moderating and regularly participating in these spaces. It's important if you want to community directly with your customers.

Challenges of Community Marketing

While community marketing is impactful, it's also challenging. It's not something you can leverage to its best effect by working on it a few hours a week. 

Community marketing requires a significant investment of time and resources to cultivate and maintain.

You need to commit to consistent engagement over an extended period to earn trust and foster relationships.

It also doesn't delivers immediate results like paid ads. It's an ongoing process that requires patience and persistence.

Measuring the ROI of community efforts can be difficult. While metrics like engagement and growth of the community provide some sense of impact, the true value lies in the depth of customer relationships and advocacy. This makes it hard to quantify the exact return compared to other marketing channels.

Sustaining an authentic community feeling is difficult too as your group grows. There is a risk that the community starts to feel more commercial and promotional rather than a place for genuine connections. 

While community marketing has its difficulties, the benefits make it a worthwhile endeavor. With proper commitment , you can create a powerful marketing impact.


As people increasingly value connection and authenticity from brands, community building must become your top priority.

There's no better way to gather feedback, earn trust, and establish lasting relationships. I've shared some key factors on community building and why it matters. It's time you applied these tips too. Grow your brand community and your business too, by extension. 

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