2. Create a system where the customer base holds each other accountable
Andrew James is the founder of Oasis, a company that helps businesses scale their marketing by connecting them with commission-based affiliates. James says that by building a community, they are better able to secure results for their customers. “We put such a big emphasis on building solid communities inside of our product because we found that if someone is going to get results, most of the time they need support. In our case, we have courses, which is the info they need to get results. The question is, ‘why doesn’t everyone get results if everyone has access to the same information?'” The answer is simple. “Most people don’t execute,” James added. “Maybe they’re scared or they don’t have a support system. So, we shifted our focus to building supportive communities.”
James said right after they shifted focus, the results his customers were seeing from the products “sky-rocketed because people were actually going through using the product and staying engaged and focused.” If your product educates or encourages your clients to do something, it’s great to have accountability built into your community. Ask customers to share their progress or tips.
3. Create a centralized hub for education
How you get customers to stick around matters. In addition to letting the community foster itself through discussion and the sharing of resources and tips, consider how you can offer educational content of your own. According to smile.io, this is what fitness apparel company GymShark does via its blog.
“With articles loaded with tips, tutorials, and exercises, their blog is jam-packed full of health and fitness-related information that has clearly positioned them as their members’ go-to source for anything health and fitness related,” said author Tim Peckover. “This makes it easy for customers to decide to purchase their products as a way of strengthening their connection with the fitness community.”
Especially if you do any type of content marketing, consider how it can feed back to a centralized place where your customers, not just your prospects, can get information. This way, if conversation lulls, a new piece of educational content (via an article, video, podcast, or whatever you prefer) can bring customers back to the community.
There are many online platforms that can help you get a head start on this community — a Facebook group, a newsletter, Patreon, or a hosted forum right on your website. This is how one-time customers turn to lifelong customers and new prospects can feel like they’re part of something bigger when they stumble across your company for the first time. Community is a powerful tool to ensure you’re keeping in touch with all of your customer base.