Community marketing. What is it? Why is it important? Why should you care? You may be asking yourself how this “new age” marketing tactic could possibly benefit your company. For starters, it really isn’t a complicated process, doesn’t take a huge budget for success, and it puts the most important people first: your customers.

Here’s how with community marketing your marketing efforts can reap big rewards.

Community Marketing is Impactful

Community marketing may require a lot of heavy lifting up front, but the results are quite worth the effort. Building an audience takes time and a lot of testing and patience, but with continued community management efforts your marketing is always engaging with the right customers.

Much of successful B2B marketing is about thought leadership. Not only is the community your brand has built a great distribution point for your thought leadership, but also a great feedback loop for your thinking. And now you have a group of evangelists for your thought leadership. It will increase the readership through indirect distribution by your community members.

Communities Help Bring the Human Element Back to the Brand

Transparency builds trust. And what better way to build trust than through a community? Micro-reactions help humanize brands and when your customers can associate your brand with a person, the relationship becomes more personal. They trust what you have to say and are more likely to value your input, product, and brand.

It also helps you identify what your customers care about – which in turn helps you develop your strategies around their wants and needs. Communities are a great way to get a pulse on the market and bring that insight back into your organization. It’s a focus group on steroids.

Community Management Makes Great Customer Service

Communities are often where people go for advice and customer service questions. Quick customer service response and action taken by the brand equates to happy customers overall. Through proper community management, your customers can feel like your brand cares about their opinions and questions.

Here’s a tip: think of community marketing as a mindset instead of another marketing strategy. Immerse yourself into the social aspect of it, work hard to build those personal relationships, and equip your marketers with the skills to bring the human-element back to your brand. You may be surprised at the results.