The digital world is becoming saturated with social media channels, blogging networks, forums and messaging apps to name the main types of online community platforms. This wealth of options means it is now a much bigger task to have a presence across all available mediums, and a bigger task still to have a meaningful presence.
It does, however, make Community Based Marketing an easier strategy to employ.
What is Community Based Marketing (CBM)?
Consumers are also becoming overwhelmed with the volume of messages across multiple platforms. An increased awareness of data protection and the risks oversharing online brings has made people more cautious. And perhaps the buzz of connecting with large volumes of unknown people online has begun too dull. The way in which the digital world is accessed has shifted.
Audiences are looking for more meaningful spaces to be active online. They want smaller, more intimate online communities to be a part of.
Enter community based marketing. Creating a place for your consumers to 'meet' online, to converse about related topics and interests amongst themselves as well as posing questions to obtain real answers from a business, gives infinitely more value to your customer base than a linear marketing system.
Empower your students and your brand
Community based marketing is an organic strategy which boosts the profile of a brand predominantly through word-of-mouth consumer communications. By taking the time to interact with the community brands evidence the respect they have for their consumers and create brand advocates.
For education organisations, empowering students and current families by actively acknowledging and interacting with them online shows they are valued and makes them feel like an integrated part of the school community. In turn, empowered members of your school community are likely to spread positive messages through posts, shares, likes and reviews which empowers the school brand, and boosts reach.
Embrace your niche
Your marketing efforts will be more impactful when directed to your own niche community, relaying niche messages about your school organisation. Members are already knowledgable and invested and likely to engage with other members of the community.
Current parents are likely to enthuse with other members of your online school community about ventures their children - your students - have undertaken, recent achievements, events they are looking forward to etc. All genuine and powerful marketing that can be very cost effective, with notifications set up correctly management of online communities doesn't have to be too timely for your marketing department.
Having a marketing colleague allocate time to building relationships with influential members of this community pays back with the authenticity these 'influencers' bring.
This online community is a good place to test out any new ideas that are being considered for implementation, gaining constructive feedback from a safe audience before taking them out to a wider audience with more broad-targeted marketing efforts.
Implementing an inbound marketing strategy - inclusive of community based marketing - has transformed education marketing and admissions departments, led to significant growth in enrolment numbers and led to many happy students. Is it time you improved your processes with technology?
See it for yourself
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