When it comes to transforming digital audiences into communities, many brands struggle to find that secret formula. What are the perfect platforms? What are your audiences interested in? How can you get them to engage?
In this series, we’re talking to real marketers and brands about how they did it. In our previous blog, we focused on the power of personal connection. This time, we wanted to explore how brands create meaningful conversations. Read on to learn more about how brands are using compelling conversation to turn their audience into communities!
‘Our mission is to bring people together by adding an element of recreation to our furniture pieces’ - AJ Hansen, Founder
If you spend time on Instagram, you’ll be well acquainted with the explosion of interior design. Instagram is full of accounts that inspire people to spice up their living spaces with unique furniture, personal touches, and a jungle of indoor plants. Bandpass Design believe that furniture should evoke strong feelings, which is why they create timeless pieces centred around recreation. When it came to transforming their audience into a community, they believed conversation played a key role.
“Building a community helps our like-minded customer discover new games and make friends from around the world,” said AJ Hansen. “We decided to set up a Discord channel that allows current and prospective customers to chat about our furniture pieces, ask questions, and share their love of board games.” By bringing their customers together to share their passion, Bandpass Design were able to create a truly engaged community.
‘I wanted to create a community of women and challenge them to break the status quo’ - Natalia Konopka, Founder
At Darling Authority, founder Natalia Konopka set out to create an inclusive boutique that would empower women to find their own style. For Natalia, the secret ingredient to standing out from the crowd of fashion retailers was to create a supportive community of like-minded women. It was about more than a brand; it was about giving women “the authority to look and feel good in the clothing they wear.”
“I’m big on sharing behind the scenes and being 1,000% authentic online,” said Natalia. “The internet is so powerful, and our platform allows girls from all over the world to connect and grow in what they believe is possible.” By engaging their audience, Darling Authority have built a strong foundation of loyal engaged customers. This is supported by a thriving community of women who talk about their personal lives, share stories, and encourage each other to embrace their style and feel empowered.
‘Building our brand was all about creating a community of coffee lovers’ - Alex Mastin, Founder & CEO
There are few FMCG products in the world that generate quite as much conversation as everyone’s favourite bean… coffee. It’s the fuel that drove Alex Mastin to start writing and creating Homegrounds nearly a decade ago. “Conversation is key to building an audience and we think it’s so important to be a conversation start with our community” said Mastin. “What brings us together is our love for coffee.”
Mastin told us “that shared is the core of turning your audience into a community.” Sparking conversation, encouraging discussion, and curating conversation to create a safe space for people to chat enabled Homegrounds to go from simply being a website about coffee to an engaged community where customers play an integral part in promoting educational resources and content provided by the brand.
‘I felt compelled to create a safe environment where female entrepreneurs and women in leadership were able to show up authentically’ - Courtney Riley, CEO
Communities are often defined by shared values, interests and affinities that bring people together. For Proximo Marketing, this was very much at the heart of their community building strategy. According to Courtney Riley, “I absolutely believe we are wired for community, not only to energetically celebrate the good times together, but perhaps even more importantly, to shoulder each other’s burdens and find healing in the common bonds of shared experience.”
With this mission in mind, Courtney set out to create a tight-knit community of women in business to champion each other. By sharing openly and receiving genuine feedback from a group of peers, each businesswoman has found the strength to rise together. This has worked wonders for Proximo by creating conversation that has enriched the lives of female entrepreneurs.
‘Turning an audience into a community is all about engagement’ - Jeff Henretig, President
For industry leading CBD brand Apothecanna, the key to creating communities is authentic engagement. “Providing opportunities for social interaction and discussion allows your consumers to build a community and discourse around your product,” said Jeff Henretig. To facilitate engagement, Apothecanna made use of social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to nurture their community.
There are many benefits to turning your audiences into communities. According to Henretig, the biggest advantage is self-sustaining word-of-mouth. When a community is created, “your customers will be able to sustain your narrative without your direct involvement, creating a culture around your mission and offerings.” This is especially powerful for a plant-based brand promoting alternative remedies for pain management. Real customers sharing their experiences can be a persuasive tool for customers on the fence.
Looking for more inspiration to transform your audiences into engaged communities? Stay tuned for the next blog in the series or browse the Audiense blog.