Community-led growth

Definition

While companies can utilize many go-to-market strategies, a community-led growth approach focuses on a group of brand advocates and supporters to help market a product or service. 

Generally, this approach relies on word-of-mouth advertising generated from the community sharing information about products and the brand itself. However, relying on your community to inform others of your offerings isn’t enough. Often you’ll also need to put a community manager in place. 

These individuals will be responsible for engaging with your community and encouraging them to share their love of the brand. Without a strong community manager in place, you’ll notice that your community isn’t creating as many new business opportunities as you hoped for. 

Why should you consider community-led growth?

Community-led growth is an excellent way to market a brand for companies that offer a great product or service that customers love. It is an inexpensive way to reach a large audience, but it’s also a great way to build trust with your most loyal customers. 

Most customers who love a brand will share their thoughts openly with their connections on social media platforms. However, the easier you can make it for them, the more likely they will promote your brand.

Community-led growth is also important because it creates a safe place for potential customers to research and ask questions. 

Most customers are apprehensive about speaking to a salesperson and will often turn to other customers when asking questions. Having a welcoming community where they can connect with brand advocates can help them feel more comfortable and learn more about the brand. 

How does community-led growth benefit a brand?

All go-to-market strategies benefit brands in different ways. For community-led growth, the benefits often revolve around customer engagement and providing a community for potential customers to find resources, reviews, and testimonials from other users. 

Here is a closer look at some of the benefits associated with the community-led growth approach:

  • Offers opportunities to engage with customers and improve brand loyalty
  • Allows companies to collect feedback on products, services, and promotions from a dedicated customer base
  • Utilizes brand advocates as a way to reach audiences that traditional marketing tactics couldn’t

Advantages of community-led growth

While organizations can deploy many different growth strategies, the community-led growth strategy is often seen as one of the most effective. At its core, community-led growth focuses on connecting current brand advocates with potential customers to share experiences. 

Here are a few of the most significant advantages of the community-led growth approach. 

Allows companies to scale quickly

One of the most significant advantages of community-led growth strategies is that it allows companies to quickly scale. Since you’re harnessing the power of a large online community, it’s easy for your brand to spread rapidly. Each new member you add to your community can get your message in front of hundreds of people. 

Helps create word-of-mouth advertising

Even though most people see it as an outdated way of marketing, word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most effective ways to attract new customers. Community-led growth is the perfect strategy for organizations looking to build around word-of-mouth advertising.

It not only allows your current customers to share their experiences with your products or services, but it also connects them with potential customers who are hesitant to purchase an item from a company they have done business with before. 

Making the experience more human-like gives potential customers peace of mind and is more likely to convert them into paying customers. 

Connects people with people

Regardless of the product or service, people want to hear from others who have bought from your company. Allowing your brand advocates to share their experiences and love for your products or services with others will provide this connection that potential customers are looking for.

Does community-led growth support your company beyond word-of-mouth advertising?

Most people assume that community-led growth only focuses on creating a funnel for new business opportunities. While word-of-mouth advertising is a key component of the strategy, the truth is that the community-led growth approach can support your company in several ways. 

Here’s a look at how you can utilize your community beyond advertising.

Customer support

One of the best things about having a community of dedicated customers is that they often know about your brand. These individuals are excellent resources for potential customers or customers looking to learn more about your products or services. 

Creating an environment like an open forum where community members can answer common questions or post advice is a great way to get your customers involved more with the brand. 

Product or service feedback

As with everything in business, feedback is essential if you want your company to remain successful. While many organizations will pay for people to review products and provide feedback, it’s often more beneficial to start with your most loyal customers and ask for their help. 

Most of these individuals are familiar with your brand and can provide deeper feedback on new products or features that you’re planning to roll out. 

Community feedback can also be a great way to identify issues with current products. Having an open line of communication where community members can report issues they are experiencing will give you direct feedback on what you need to improve upon. 

Brand advocacy

A powerful tool for any business is testimonials and case studies. Both of these options provide potential customers with crucial information they need to decide whether to work with your company. 

Another important component of the community that we have touched on throughout the sections above is the ability of community members to refer friends and peers. Empowering and encouraging your key members to share their love of your brand with their connections is the perfect way to build a word-of-mouth funnel.