Influencers are an integral part of the marketing mix and are used by large as well as small companies.
The advantages: Once the right people are found, they advertise brands or products within the respective target group more personally than conventional marketing measures such as advertising banners, billboards or social ads can.
Not infrequently, influencers are perceived as familiar, who want to stand by with good advice. Therefore, their influence on the purchase decision is particularly authentic. The mechanism is called recommendation marketing.
Community Marketing: Interaction instead (only) Likes
But there is one thing: Unfortunately, the key indicator for influencer marketing is still far too often reach on social media. Campaigns are often rated and priced based solely on likes, shares, and follower numbers of influencers.
Lacking a clearly recognizable profile of the influencers - for example, by too often changing and incoherent cooperations - or the content connection to the target group, suffers the credibility of the campaign and finally the brand.
Anyone who, as marketing manager, does not want to rely solely on the reach and profile of a single person can profit from the power of the masses with community marketing.
Community Marketing goes one step further. It starts where influencer marketing has its natural limits. Because fans and followers are not a community per se. This is true even if they all follow the same influencer or the same influencer.
It is not clear whether the pictures are lied to because they show the idol or are beautifully staged. Quite different in a community: In it, the members exchange openly and intensively about products and brands. They help each other.
Valuable connections and sharp target groups
It develops a group dynamics and independent conversations - the so-called "Meaningful Interactions". The representatives of social media platforms like to talk about them.
These interactions, over 12 million per month for real moms, are the cornerstone of positive opinion making and the critical success factor of community marketing.
Specifically, community marketing is the building, nurturing and strategic marketing of a community of people who are connected and emotionally involved through a common theme or interest.
Members of the community have real added value when they are part of the group - digital or analog. In the case of Real Moms, for example, it's all about life as a mother. This includes all questions about children, family and education.
This includes tips on destinations or popular car brands for the respective family situation. The community spans different channels - including Facebook or Instagram.
Loyal customers instead of cold acquisition
The community's valuable interactions lead to a long-term relationship between the group and a brand or product. Instead of always addressing new followers with new influencers and persuading them, the relationship is establishing itself within the community.
The members feel uplifted, find support and relevant exchange. These elements all contribute to a positive brand perception.
Once this foundation has been set, marketing is always easier. On the one hand, when it comes to own brand and own products. Once you are convinced, you will gradually build brand loyalty, be less receptive to competitors and recommend the products yourself.
Especially at a time when information and advertising are pounding on customers from all sides, communities can be a constant element for orientation.
On the other hand, campaigns of external brands can be developed and implemented by the available data and insights. This is how they unfold their maximum effect.
Accurate instead of watering can
Characteristic of the community marketing is also the free communication and interaction between the members. This also benefits the companies. The latter benefit particularly from this openness.
The members share honest feedback on the products - their own or competing products - unfiltered and immediate. A vibrant community is thus a gauge in the market that provides valuable insights that can be used in very different ways.
Not only for the development of large-scale campaigns, but also for the observation of the competition and the (further) development of own products.
Include influencers in the community strategy
Influencers and community marketing are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, influencers can perfectly complement a community marketing campaign. Provided that they are involved in the community and involved in the realization of the campaign.
That's when the best of both worlds comes together. Only if a brand cleverly integrates an influencer campaign into a community strategy does it achieve a significant competitive advantage: positive awareness and extremely high credibility.
You can only benefit from a strong and vibrant community. Through sharing, support and real value when you are part of the community.
As a company, you benefit because you build a very close relationship with the customers that binds you in the long term. And there are also advantages for external companies. They gain unique access to the target audience and valuable insights. Win-win-win!