It’s no secret that communities are more involved in marketing today than they have been in the past. With internet access being available to more and more people, the internet has become the great equalizer and connection hub, allowing people from all walks of life to converge and discuss anything and everything that is on their minds.
Including your brand.
It’s All About Control
Some marketers cannot stand the idea of handing over even the tiniest bit of control over their message. And I can totally understand where they’re coming from. I can also see the growing wisdom in relaxing our grip and letting the communities that have sprung up around us really maximize their potential for spreading our messages.
What we need to find is a happy medium where brands maintain control while also giving some to the communities and influencers outside of themselves.
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This is a tricky process, and there is no one right way to go about it. Each industry has different communities that surround it, and different numbers of key players (influencers) who are shaping and developing the discussions about your brand. Appealing to these influencers and supplying them with the information they need to accurately portray your brand is an important part of allowing the community to take some control while still maintaining control as a brand.
Letting Go and Working with Communities
There are a few things that you can do to help stimulate the discussions surrounding your brand while still staying on top of your message and how it is being spread:
- Go with the flow instead of fighting it – Don’t try to stop community-driven content marketing, rather, work with it while still maintaining control. Monitor discussions about your brand and contribute when and wherever you can.
- Don’t stop producing your own content/strong> – In order to maintain control over your message you need to keep up the flow of content coming directly from your brand, just as you always have. Make sure that the content you publish is easy for people to share!
- Make it easy to engage directly with your brand – Remove any barriers there might be between you and your prospects so that they can engage with your brand and hopefully convert to customers in the near future!
Social media offers brands an opportunity to do all of these things and more. There aren’t many other ways that a brand can give a community and its influencers the information they need to create content while the brand can easily monitor and contribute to any discussions that spring up around this community-driven content. As brands create their own content and continue spreading their message, community members can continue to engage with them as well as continuing the discussions amongst themselves. And while all of this is going on, potential prospects that are a part of these communities are given many different opportunities to engage directly with the brands they are interested in.
If a brand can manage to stay on top of things, the idea of community-driven content marketing really doesn’t sound all that bad!
What approach does your brand take when it comes to content marketing?
Does your brand maintain as much control as possible, just some control while giving the rest to the community, or give most control to the community and only maintain minimal control as a brand?