This month’s marketing blog is part of a three-post segment on the theme of ‘The Ying-Yang of Content and Community’, following the initial post ‘Why Content Is King and Community Is Queen’. This month and next month, we will drill down into the top-ten list from the August blog and cover ‘The Key to Quality Content,’ our September blog below, and ‘Reaching Your Niche Community’, the October blog topic.
The first step is to understand how content and community work together, which is what we covered a couple of months ago, in our blog on Why Content is King and Community is Queen. Last month, we covered some thoughts on how to create quality content. But this month, we delve into the importance of community, for nobody can create quality content without understanding the community they serve and what’s important to them.
Strategically Reach Out to Classes of Customers
1. Knowing who you serve and why you serve them is a first step. Understanding this from your company perspective, and also from your customers’ perspective will help ensure alignment.
2. Question whom you’ve reached out to before, and whom you should be reaching out to now. What has changed? What will be changing? How will that affect what you do for whom and why that’s important to them?
3. What major trends are forging changes in the relationship with your clients? How will these trends impact the relationship with your stakeholders and customers in the short term and in the long term?
Know What Motivates Them, What’s Relevant to Them
4. Build a relationship with the customers you serve. Know where they are coming from and support them, even if it transcends your current business needs.
5. Bring feedback about the motivations and needs of your community to the management team and help shape corporate strategy based on the needs of the community and customer.
Ensure that the Content Matters to Them
6. If there’s a mismatch between the content and the needs of the community, the product/service offering and what the community is looking for, something needs to be done. Either pivot the business or identify and recruit a new niche community, or a combination of both.
7. Addressing the issue head-on will likely unearth other problems better brought out into the open.
Invite Participation and Initiative
8. Inviting active participation and input, rewarding volunteer leadership and initiative can help you bring the company and its offerings to new levels – new functionality, larger market, more opportunities.
9. Rewarding community members with the initiative and leadership for proactive feedback will facilitate active participation and feedback from others within the community – for the benefit of all.
10. There’s a difference between saying that you’re customer-centric and actually being so, between inviting participation and initiative and being open to suggestions and feedback and change. Community members find out quickly what you really mean based on the way you’re acting.
The bottom line is that the engagement and participation of the right community and customer will truly dictate the success of a company. How the leadership team manages this internal-external collaboration will directly affect a company’s bottom line today, and its prospects for the future.