Creating content marketing communities

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Creating content marketing communities

Caroline-Pourteyron-Mar17

For marketers and publishers alike, creating content that is interesting, engaging and which help increase readership or sales can be quite tricky. How do brands and publishers manage to reach to their users and get them to come back? Also, how do they get them to engage with their products and content?

With the appearance of social media, we have seen the rise of branded social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and other networks. Getting a higher amount of followers can sometimes be used to define a successful social media presence. However, a high amount of likes or followers does not equal to a high level of engagement from the users and a big proportion of the fans are not coming back to the pages on the regular basis. Building an online community could potentially solve the content creation and increase the level of engagement for both readers and clients.

An online community relies on a combination of editorial content, user-generated content and networking. It’s the definitive place for information and communication around specific topics. (contentmarketinginstitute.com)

How to reach users through community-based networks?

  • Content creation: Even if a lot of the content will be generated by the community members, a content strategy is still very important and will help create content that is valuable and useful. A way to look for ideas is to read the debates and exchanges. Then choose a highly popular topic and build content around it.
  • Forums / comment threads / boards: Community members will share their stories in the safe space created for them on your site. Content will be shared by members and users will be able to get information on the subject that interests them the most.
  • User generated content: If the community is thriving, users will share articles and content they find interested and pertinent. A good example of this kind of community is Stack overflow, which is one of the largest online communities on the topic of programming.

How can Online Communities create engagement?

  • Product influencing: Each member can have the possibility to give their opinion and provide an answer to other users by sharing their specific knowledge. They can also, in some instance influence the creation of new products, like on the Lego Ideas page where members can review and support different Lego projects.
  • Moderation: Moderators can help start a discussion, or steer the direction of a discussion in a specific direction if necessary. They can also be important for conflict resolution or in order to check the presence of bad content.
  • Incentives: Incentives can also be a way to engage your most active members. Symantec, for example, created a very successful online community for their technical support. They have more than 260,000 members who are basically doing the job of being client support agents. Symantec put in place a strong rewards system that keeps encouraging engagement and contributions from the community members.

Starting your own online community can be an effective way to create useful and compelling content, provide important insights from a specific target audience, and increase your ad revenue.

Happy selling!

Caroline Pourteyron – Head of Operations

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