Brief #133: Embracing Community Powered Marketing (plus some big news)

This content originally appeared on June 1, 2023 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing! 

This edition of Future of Marketing is inspired by our newest acquisition, Vesta, the online brand community platform. 

Together, TINT and Vesta are excited to continue inspiring and amplifying the voices of consumers. By enabling brands to own and cultivate communities that foster deeper relationships with their customers, our clients will secure always-on advocacy, engagement, loyalty, and increased sales. <read the full announcement here>

Today’s topic: community-focused marketing. 

Let’s dive into it.

Community-Focused Marketing

Every brand has a community, yet not all harness its full potential – which results in missed opportunities and untapped revenue.

But what is a community anyway? 

According to ChatGPT: 

“In marketing, a community refers to a group of individuals who share common interests, goals, or experiences and engage and interact with each other around a particular brand, product, or topic. This fosters loyalty, advocacy, word-of-mouth, and valuable feedback for a brand or product.”
  • Communities drive engagement – 79% of consumers say community is important when it comes to engaging with their favorite brands
  • Loyalty boosts profits – an increase in loyalty of 5% lifts lifetime profits per customer as much as 76%
  • Building direct relationships creates allegiance – Emotionally connected consumers are more than twice as valuable as even highly satisfied consumers.

According to Harvard Business Review:

These emotionally connected customers buy more of your products and services, visit you more often, exhibit less price sensitivity, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you more.

Additionally, an online brand community can address marketers’ growing need to collect zero-party data and turn it into action and insights. Because online communities are about connection and conversation, consumers are more willing to share their data, which can be used for audience segmentation to personalize consumer experiences that motivate and mobilize.

It also delivers real-time insights to inform strategy, guide new product development, and stay ahead of consumer trends.

The challenge for many marketers lies in creating a digital environment that delivers the community connection consumers seek while simultaneously driving tangible business results. 

That’s where your community comes in. 

In fact, TINT’s State of Social and User-Generated Content 2023 research reveals that consumers trust authentic content from customers and community members more than any other type of content. Yet, only 35.75% of marketers often use UGC in their marketing strategies.

Sounds like an opportunity to gain market share. 

A collage of Hero Cosmetics customers showing UGC & product images

In their 2023 Big Online Brand Community Study, Vesta dives into the ways Community Powered Marketing drives bottom-line impact, including:

  • Boosting WOM advocacy
  • Driving engagement & loyalty
  • Collecting data & insights 

Moral of the story: if you’re not already thinking about growing and nurturing your community, this is your sign to start. 

#BrandCrush: Hero Cosmetics 💘

The company behind the skincare savior Mighty Patch, Hero Cosmetics, was fighting to get their voice heard in the highly competitive beauty and skincare space. A true skin champion, they had a passionate consumer base but no way to cultivate and harness those relationships.

Enter The Hero Skin Squad, their online brand community – a space for fans to connect and communicate about skincare.

A collage of Hero Cosmetics reviews and UGC by real customers

Through their community, Hero Cosmetics: 

  • Creates fun word-of-mouth campaigns that mobilize community members to create authentic user-generated content and drive in-store traffic 
  • Delivers personalized product sampling that sparks conversation in their discussion forum (and generated over 400 product reviews in just 100 days)
  • Utilizes members as an ongoing feedback loop to foster co-creation and product innovation (which supported 6 new product launches in 2022 with reviews & UGC)

The lesson: An online brand community can be a marketer’s superpower, making consumers feel valued and empowered to help drive brand growth through advocacy, engagement, loyalty and insights. Read the case study. 

👉🏼 If you’d like to see TINT + Vesta in action, or simply learn more, book a call with our team. 

As always, thanks for reading this far. Until next time! 👋🏼