Communities on the Rise

Communities on the Rise. Brands are focusing on building communities where their customers are as a way to connect with them and increase loyalty. Younger audiences prefer more control, privacy, and authentic experiences, which can be delivered by communities and niche platforms. Brands can tap into this need by getting involved on platforms that value connectivity, nurturing relationships, and encouraging user-generated content.

This trend originates from the report:

BRAND WATCH - 2023 Digital Marketing Trends

Communities on the Rise. Smart brands have a strong presence where their customers are. For years it was enough to be present on the biggest social networks, implement your social media presence, and figure out the algorithms.

But there’s a shift happening that we think will become more visible in 2023. One reason consumers spend time online is to connect with people or brands they love. On the big social networks, it’s getting more and more difficult to cut through the noise.

2022 saw some hype with new apps like BeReal or Gas, indicating that people hunger for something new. With the rise of Web3, we’ll also see more decentralized networks over the next few years. Younger audiences want to have more control over the pages they operate.

They want more privacy, and the introduction of authentic apps like BeReal and Gas shows that people long for places where they can be their true selves. Communities and niche platforms can deliver this experience and offer brands a chance to get closer to their customers. According to research by Hubspot and LoyaltyLion, 47% of consumers say they would become loyal to a brand if they were part of a community with like-minded people.

The desire for closer connections online has contributed to the rise of community platforms like Reddit and Discord. Discord, for example, began as a platform for gamers to communicate in-game. It has since grown into a place where communities thrive.

In September 2021, Discord reported 150 million global monthly active users, an increase of 50 percent compared to June 2020. Reddit’s also growing among young people. A 2021 survey found that 36 percent of internet users aged 18 to 29 years use Reddit.

However, the reach of the social platform strongly declines with age. Brands might benefit from tapping into this need for community and getting involved on platforms that value connectivity. For example, you might create a Discord server for your consumers to chat with each other or provide value on subreddits where potential customers might spend their time.

Niche content for a dedicated audience. Put in some research before you build your audience to find out what your audience wants. Think about what value you can give them.

This could be sharing knowledge, exclusive information and events, or making them feel heard in future product developments. Nurture relationships. The core of a community is the relationships that members build with each other.

While your main goal is to get people to love your brand, you should focus on something other than brand promotion but on delivering a close ‘gathering’ experience where people can share and gain information about the topic they love. Encourage user-generated content (UGC). Once successfully set up, your community will have a pool of highly-dedicated consumers.

Motivate them to post their experiences and knowledge in the community. Hearing product recommendations from other customers is seen as much more trustworthy than promotions from brands..