By now you have realized that community building is a long-term journey. It cannot be done overnight and it is very lonely if you do not have team to back up your effort.
Still, there are first steps in building communities that are a prerequisite for success and that will enable you to walk through the darkness and wilderness with a torch.
Even Rome was not built in a day but they were bringing blocks regularly.
These are three factors you need to consider when you are building online communities in order to succeed.
- Nail your niche in your marketplace at the right time.
- Have the right people in your team who worked before on challenging projects.
- Implement technology that is both human-centric and runs on data.
It is hard to get your target unless you focus your intention towards that ultimate goal. Markets evolve faster thanks to technology; there are thousands of niches available and only if you have laser focus you will be able to nail your niche and utilize your competitive advantage to the full.
How do you find your niche in the first place?
You should analyze internally what are strengths that your company should capitalize on and how your passion and unique touch can differentiate you from numerous competitors. You cannot be everything to everyone so it is better you narrow down your focus.
Also, you may want to combine two selling propositions where your company dominates so that competition can hardly replicate it. For example, you are a healthcare company that has excellent customer care. At the same time your superb communication skills helped you build brilliant online brand. There are many health companies and many bloggers out there, but there are very few doctors in the world who can tell compelling stories.
When it comes to analyzing your competition Google’s External Keyword Tool helps you find out how often people search for particular keywords locally and globally.
Jeff Bullas, #1 Global content marketing influencer, identified top tools to analyze your competition online so check it out. Some of our favorite ones are Google Alerts, SERPs, Positionly, Mention, and MajesticSEO.
Finding your niche takes time contrary to blogs which promise that you can do it in an hour. You should create the initial concept of your niche quickly, but you need to be aware that your niche will evolve through time.
This means that people working with you will have both appropriate mindset and skill set.
People who build thriving online communities should possess the following skills: digital experience with similar projects in the past and domain expertise which is seen as the topic of your community and something your company excels in.
Likewise, your people that are in charge of the online community should understand how personalization of content and latest technology can boost customer satisfaction, customer care and sales.
Secondly, your team should be aligned within your organization about community building as their priority.
Thirdly, they would understand the importance to allocate their time, energy and research to online communities consistently and on a daily basis while their organization will support them in those endeavors. Online communities will be highly positioned on their and on the organization’s agenda.
Too often it happens inside companies that promising projects which top management championed end up on the sidelines. Those projects never fully come to life and they are never fully implemented.
Online communities are too time-consuming and challenging to become one of those projects. It is better not to start them in the first place unless there is clarity inside the organization how much work communities really require.
Finally, online communities are more likely to succeed if the team in charge has worked before on community building projects. When people know each other from previous activities they will need less energy to figure out the working style of each member. Instead, they will focus their efforts on better team cohesion, more fun and mastering project in front of them.
Very often teams in SaaS companies forget that complex solutions do not add value to clients; solving problems does.
Thousands of functionalities will not impress the users who tried many different options and who have no time to waste.
Instead, these users will listen to you if you speak from their point of view. In other words, you are able to explain to them how your solution saves time and money; or how it brings new clients and revenue streams. Quantify with data and persuade with expertise as much as you can.
If you can offer this bliss point and intersection between data and user focus in your product or service, you will be fine as a company and much more.
You will actually outperform 90% of players in your niche who spend most of their time talking how awesome they are rather than showing their awesomeness by providing value and solutions for clients.
This is why at Nichiate we are adamant about bringing value through customer care and data.
The experience we create for our users is both science and art. This alchemy seems effortless because we invested all our focus into figuring out the bliss point between human touch and data.
Written by: Milena Milićević