For some entrepreneurs, profits are the most significant indicators of how good or bad their business is doing. As such, they are always looking for ways to increase the number of sales they make.
One of the more underrated methods would be creating an online community. On the surface level, it may not seem like a worthy investment, but it has its benefits. If you want to find out what those benefits are, continue reading.
Benefit #1 – Building One is Not That Hard
At first glance, it may seem like developing an online community is complicated. But the reality is quite different. You can make use of some of the best BuddyPress themes for wordpress that will help with building a private online community.
After you are done with the initial setup, there is no need to worry about a lot of things. Just make sure that there is a dedicated person or team who is in charge of moderating the community.
Benefit #2 – Saving Money on Customer Support
Customer support is not something that a lot of customers are happy to deal with regularly. Making a phone call to a stranger can be uncomfortable. And if you send an email, it is impossible to predict when you can expect a response.
Encouraging customers to take a proactive approach and look for answers themselves is a good piece of advice. An FAQ page is a good example. But what works even better than a frequently asked questions page is a community.
Members who have been around will have most of the answers and will be more than happy to help newcomers. And interacting with real people who have done business with a brand before is a pretty attractive idea to some. At least when you compare it to dealing with reps from customer support.
Benefit #3 – Providing Customers with More Value
When someone stumbles upon an online store for the first time, he or she might have a hard time deciding what to choose when there are a lot of different products. Again, this is something that an online community can help with.
Trusting the description and blindly following what the brand itself has to say is not something that every customer is willing to choose. On the other hand, if a review of a product is left by a real customer, trusting it should not be a problem.
Benefit #4 – Getting New Customers
An influx of new customers is imperative for a sustainable business. Relying entirely on previous customers is going to get you so far. And as for what an online community offers, there are two main advantages:
- Information and genuine reviews, as well as feedback, is like word of mouth. People trust honest feedback better. When they browse the internet and see in-depth explanations on why one product is worth the money and the other is not, they will be more encouraged to pay more attention to that particular online store.
- Community-generated content like infographics, articles, videos will boost your SEO rankings and bring organic traffic to the store.
Benefit #5 – Improving Retention Rates
An online community is not just about influencing the number of sales directly. When people get attached and get friendly with other members, they will have another reason to stick around.
Building a friendly and robust community also functions as an attraction to people who are looking to socialize with others in general. And getting attached to something increases the odds of becoming a customer because you feel like supporting the ones who were behind creating this great community.
Benefit #6 – Selling and Marketing More Effectively
There are multiple marketing channels that most brands use, but when you have direct access to what customers are talking about, it becomes much easier to plan your next campaign.
Efficiency stems from having data and leveraging the information. And when you can see how people in the community are, and find out about their expectations as well as some ideas from those who have just joined recently, well, you stand to gain quite a bit.
Benefit #7 – Driving Product and Services Innovation
Driving product or service innovation is another advantage that you can gain from an online community. After all, you should strive to come up with new and exciting ways to attract even more customers. And what better way to find out about the gaps in the market than by asking people directly?
Benefit #8 – Raising Brand Awareness
Raising brand awareness is also a benefit of an online community. Businesses that are looking to become an authority in their respective industry will need to do a lot more than just focus on increasing sales.
Brand recognition does not occur over a single night. It takes years to make a name for yourself, and an online community can become a cornerstone in raising brand awareness.