Community marketing and how the rise of groups, specifically Telegram, might impact your marketing strategy
In a marketing world so competitive that can only be described as ‘survival of the fittest’, connecting deeply with customers is fundamental for most brands to make it out at the forefront. Building an engaging and thriving community around your brand while giving your customers value, whether they have made a purchase or not, is one of the best ways to keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds.
What is community marketing?
This is where community marketing comes in – a brand growth strategy centered around bringing customers together over a topic that is aligned or related to your brand, in a non-intrusive and engaging way. The trick is? Always putting your customers first. There are no click-baits here. No hidden agendas. It’s about them, not you.
Building your community
The process of building a community around your brand has to start by identifying who your customers are and what they care about that is related to your brand. The next step is to come up with ongoing ways to bring them together and to meaningfully connect with one another and your brand.
Humans, whether consciously or unaware, are always looking for a connection. This has been studied, time and time again, in psychology. In fact, according to Dr Matthew D. Lieberman, PhD, and Neuroscience Lab Director at UCLA, people’s brains are rewarded most when they meaningfully connect with others, more than when they receive signs of power or other incentives like money and fame. Meaningful social ties are critical for happiness and success.
So, there’s no way around it…in order to build a successful community, customers will need to feel a connection with your particular product, but more importantly, your brand.
The use of social media channels
Building a community around a business is done perfectly and most effectively through social media channels. Some of the most common channels used include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and others. These social media platforms allow brands to easily interact with their audience, building a sense of understanding, togetherness…community.
Taking Hydro Flask as an example, a brand for water bottles, they focused on building a community through sharing original and relatable stories from their customers. This helped Hydro Flask create a connection with their audience by simply reposting and sharing content, encouraging their audience to talk to each other and with the brand itself.
Another brand that used its social channels to its advantage is Love Your Melon, a brand dedicated to all hat lovers. They donated hats to children who are battling cancer, as a way to help their community. They also provided financial help to non-profit organisations that support families and children in need. Love Your Melon helped to knit the community together, as well as, help people in need.
The rise of groups
While the above style of social media marketing is still very dominant while also providing brands with the necessary success, there’s a new kid in town. As time passes, we are seeing the rise of group channels like Whatsapp, Discord, and Telegram. In fact, the latter is now one of the most quickly developing newbies, making it an effective way to connect users with your company.
In fact, during the 2021 Facebook outage, Telegram recorded 70 million new users while the app jumped 55 spots to top the US iPhone download chart, according to an app intelligence company.
Mark Grech – NFT Thought Leader and Founder of AgentCrypto, and CPO at the WKND has first-hand knowledge of the benefits community marketing brings to both users and businesses.
“In today’s community-driven world, community marketing is a very powerful form of marketing that often gets underutilized by brands. This type of marketing allows brands to open up a line of communication with customers that can be extremely fruitful. This is a way to grow an online business on various social networks by leveraging the power of a brand’s existing customers. It allows customers to have a voice and feel a part of the brand journey. Whether it’s on Discord, Twitter or Telegram, community marketing is the bridge between a brand and its customer base.”
So what is Telegram, and how can you use it successfully for marketing?
Telegram is a cloud-based messaging program that you can use on any device, including desktops and smartphones. It is quick and completely free and it enables users to exchange text messages, as well as exchange images, videos, and files. You can also create groups and channels to connect with your audience. That’s where marketing comes in!
Many brands are now using Telegram to connect with their customers and respond to queries, comments and concerns. The platform provides you with an engaged audience that is aware of the latest internet trends. Many of them are fed up with the traditional, in-your-face advertising, which has been fraught with bots and fake comments and feedback – a problem that’s been around for years. So, approaching them in an authentic, genuine and creative way can be a great and scalable way of selling your product or services.
Starting a Telegram marketing group is your way to go. These groups consist of conversations in which members may exchange information, videos, photos, and files with other members. It is a great tool to deal with consumer inquiries on a personal level, gather feedback, and encourage user-generated content. All in all, a Telegram group is essential for community marketing – giving your audience space and time to connect with people having similar interests, while in turn, connecting with your brand and your values.
When using Telegram as a marketing tool, most brands adopt these three strategies;
- A Telegram channel to exchange information
- A Telegram group to interact with customers
- A Telegram bot to automate communication and sales processes.
- Clear guidelines on the dos and don’ts within a community
While a Telegram channel is similar to the WhatsApp Broadcast feature in which you can send one-way broadcast messages to members, a Telegram group is like any other chat group where members can interact with other members of your community, making them similar to WhatsApp Groups.
The benefits of using your Telegram channel for marketing
While building a Telegram group is proving to be essential for creating a sense of community, your Telegram channel can be effectively used for marketing. Big brands like The Washington Post, Netflix, TED Talks, and more, are using Telegram to post updates and to encourage users to consume more of their content.
Telegram is leading the journey to be one of the most flexible among messengers. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing apps, predicted to replace WhatsApp in 5-10 years, opening new doors for Telegram marketing.
Unlike WhatsApp, with its 200-member limit for groups, Telegram provides an unlimited audience in channels, making it easier to access and communicate with your audience. It is also proving to have a higher engagement than, then let’s say, Instagram and Facebook. The average view rate for a Telegram channel is 20% while the average outreach rate of Instagram is 3% and 4% for Facebook.
Telegram will also allow you to target by age, interests, and country when promoting your brand on Telegram. And don’t miss out on the free branded stickers that you can create for your brand. The better quality stickers, the higher chances for them to go viral, making it an effective marketing strategy.
Telegram will also give your brand free statistics to track your metrics such as growth rate, engagement rate, views by source, new followers, members’ language, and others.
While Telegram groups will allow you to engage with your users and create a community feel, you can use your Telegram channel to broadcast your content. Used together, you can create the ideal strategy to target your customers effectively.
Things to consider when setting up your community
- Be purpose-driven. Your customers are looking for a strong sense of purpose and direction. Be prepared that you need to give this to them in order to hook them in and have them stay there.
- Keep your focus on your members and not on you or selling your product. Your main focus should be them!
- Create a sense of involvement. Your members need to feel like they belong in your community. Involve them by asking questions, asking for their feedback and/or creating a conversation.
- Empower your members to be the very best that they can be. They might also give you some great ideas to strengthen your brand!
Building a community around your brand is one of the best ways to give customers value at every stage of their journey, designing better products, while also increasing overall customer lifetime value. Marketing strategies that do not prioritise community marketing are missing out on brand growth, improving their customer service, earning effective loyalty and trust, and all in all, missing out on giving their brand a personality.