How To Build A Community: The Importance Of Community In eLearning Marketing

How To Build A Community: The Importance of Community In eLearning Marketing
Summary: Creative leadership and community management can get you a long way. Let's explore why and how building a community can help you create more selling opportunities for your brand.

Building A Community Is A Must For eLearning Businesses: Here's How To Start

You know, just having an eLearning website or some social media presence is not enough. You can turn all that into a thriving online community. But first, why is community building important for eLearning brands? And secondly, how can you get started on community building?

Community has a strong effect on our overall well-being. We've seen that take place during the pandemic. It's not just that the way we connect with people has changed. What's rising is the need for deeper connections and sharing emotions and ideas. Because that took a toll and allowed us to realize how important being part of a community actually is.

Social anxiety and FOMO (fear of missing out) are very relevant in community building. People are social animals. So, it's in our nature to find strength in numbers. And to do that, we follow our instincts and emotions. Sure, you might appreciate hanging around a small circle of people. But you also want to feel the sense of belonging to larger circles. And everything is connected to keeping our health and happiness intact. Leveraging the above can help you create a strong sense of community.

Do you want to build a thriving following for your eLearning brand? Even if you have a tiny budget, there are plenty of affordable yet effective community-building marketing strategies you can follow.

Wondering how to create a community? Or what makes a good community?

Let's find out.

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What Makes Up A Community? Best Community Building Practices To Follow

Since you've read so far, you must already know the value of building a community behind your eLearning brand. Building thriving communities means that you get more powerful word of mouth. And what does that bring? You get to create stronger customer retention and drive better organic growth. That's what we've done for eLearning Industry. All our efforts have led to 936K+ readers visiting our website per month to get the latest eLearning tips and strategies and explore software reviews.

However, it saddens me that many eLearning business owners don't quite know how to foster a real community. Or they might believe they can only build strong communities if their budget allows them to. Let me tell you here that money is not the issue. It's about leveraging emotional marketing and creating a space where people like to share ideas and have the same values as your brand.

Even on startup budgets, eLearning marketing experts can build thriving communities and prosper. When working on community building, all it takes is testing different strategies and having an interesting idea.

Here are my two cents on how to do community building right.

1. Celebrate Your Organic Ambassadors And Give Them Your Support

Building a strong community is not that hard. You probably have a community of eLearning champions. These might be people who love what you're doing as a company and want to share the news with the world. Even if they don't have a big following, their small circle of influence can make a difference. And let's face it, folks; the easiest community to build is the one you already have. Right? If you want to help yourself and your brand, you have to look for ways to help your current advocates help you. Don't forget to thank them when they do, and maybe give them an incentive, like a free gift or a shout-out!

Do you have plenty of course subscribers? Good—ask them to share their progress on social media. Of course, they'll have to tag your business and maybe mention some of their friends to cheer for their accomplishments. Also, don't forget to always react or share posts that your customers are sharing. By sharing, for instance, their posts on your stories, you can show your appreciation to them. Plus, this action will encourage them to continue sharing! To add to that, their friends might want to chip in as well, and so on. That's the power of social media and user-generated content.

Also, consider thought leadership marketing. I bet you've seen plenty of other brands reaching out to influencers to make a point about their product or service. You can do the same for your eLearning business. How you put people together affects decisions. Imagine an influencer with thousands of followers. If the influencer finds value in your brand, then their audience might want to check you out. It works like a domino effect. And such news spreads faster than you think.

2. Give Voice To Your Customers

Getting feedback from your audience is key. Our recent eLearning audience survey gave us plenty of insights into what eLearning buyers are looking for. After that, not only did we see a ton of organic engagement, but we found that our website visitors and clients feel more invested in what eLearning Industry is doing. Another example is our Future of Work report. After surveying 1200 workers across 5 industries, we got astounding insights on company culture trends and what employees want.

eLearning Industry's subscribers love sharing blog posts they've read. Hence, we've made it easy for them to spread the word about our brand in the process. With a simple prompt in our newsletter to share it with a friend, we've gotten more traffic and views. One similar idea could be to get subscribers to spread the word but also offer tiered perks based on the number of referrals. It's easy to choose incentives that don't cost much and help drive community engagement. For example, we've offered coupons for the eLearning Industry merch shop plenty of times. It works like a charm!

So, you don't have to pay a fortune to leverage user-generated content. You can, for example, think of a theme and ask your Facebook or Instagram followers to post their creations based on the idea. Another idea you can try is giving access to a private Facebook group. Or maybe send invites to lead generation webinars or events that your brand creates, and then increase the chance to meet the team in real life.

Whatever you do, start focusing on supporting and appreciating your biggest fans. Trust me, having brand ambassadors can save you lots of dollars in the long run. Plus, it's an easy fix when it comes to improving the growth of your community.

3. Inspire Meaningful Connections Within Your Community

One thing is certain: you must focus on your company core values. Then, you'll find the right approach to connect with your audience and start building a better community for your brand.

Ultimately, you have to identify the deeper "why" behind your brand identity. Maybe you're all about informing and connecting eLearning professionals with current events in the world. Or, perhaps, your company mission is all about reconnecting and practicing new strategies while also supporting Instructional Designers.

People in eLearning or even in HR want to be part of communities that matter. What most professionals care about is being around like-minded people and sharing opinions to overcome challenges. So, it's not just about deciding on your company values. The bid deal is when you actually manage to show that you live by those values as they reflect in your branding, your copy, and even the decisions you make for your eLearning business.

What does your eLearning brand make people feel?

For example, you can leverage CSR marketing to improve the image of your eLearning brand. In case you need some ideas, remember to take a look at the initiatives done by the most socially responsible companies in the eLearning space.

Even a small act of kindness for a community that is struggling could make a difference. Sure, it might not benefit your bottom line, but it will certainly make people think that you care. That you are more than just an eLearning brand selling products and services. And this is how you make people stay engaged with your company, my friends. Even when you can't sell anything to them, supporting a community can majorly reinforce what you're all about as a company. So, you get to improve the way people see your brand.

4. Use Proven Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Audience

When trying to find ways to build a sense of community, you first need to figure out what your ideal audience is thinking about. What their needs are and which challenges they are facing. Your competition might already be doing this. So, consider doing an SEO competitor analysis. Of course, at the same time, build your community by keeping your purpose in mind. Any contributions matter to the community as a whole. Use the power of marketing to provide people with your company vision and talk about the broader purpose of your organization.

When someone is a member of a thriving community, there's a feeling of kinship and camaraderie. Help your audience feel connected. The eLearning niche is a great way to do that because most people look for like-minded people within communities. There are plenty of marketing ideas you can leverage to spread the word about what you're doing right. For one, start encouraging expression. That's what we do with our guest blogging initiatives. We ask eLearning and HR pros to share their fresh or novel opinions by publishing articles on eLearning Industry. And many thought leaders want to contribute to the eLearning community. Allow professionals to share their opinion on your social media or even your website. Their friends and peers might follow.

Finally, try different digital marketing tips and tricks. For example, start focusing on increasing lead generation and expanding your reach to other established communities. And don't forget to be clear about your unique selling point and how that ties to your company vision. They'll come running!

Does that answer why brand communities are so powerful? I bet it does.

Summing Up

Have you cleared out what makes a community successful? How you put people together affects the way they think. As a result, it affects their perspective and their decision-making process. Now it must be crystal clear why communities are important for your eLearning marketing success.

So, what do you think? Surely, I hope that all these tips gave you some ideas on how to create a community for your eLearning brand.

Still don't know how to build your own community? You can always hit me up for some extra advice.

Until then, make sure to consider adding some proven methodologies to your strategic marketing plan.

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