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How to ace community marketing for 2021

Apart from the turning the world upside down, the onset of the pandemic also brought along with itself a lesson that brands and companies could avoid no more. It was a moment for them to get their heads out of the clouds and focus on the grassroots – the consumers. With economies going haywire globally, the only way to keep going was to

  1. modify your brand and products to suit the new way of life or
  2. retain brand loyalty by being relatable in the highest degree.

For companies, this was their sign to either get ahead of the pack with thoughtful, unconventional creatives or play catch-up over time. Popular campaigns that met the approval of the people were that of Bumble with their OOH campaigns on dating during quarantine and Nike’s ‘play inside, play for the world’ campaign. Modifying their services and brand message parallel to keep up with the pulse of the public was the tactic that worked. 

An ingenious way to work with this, as seen, is to ensure customer centricity. Make it less about your brand and more about what you can offer and how. Generate content that feels authentic and easy. Get playful and encourage conversations with your consumers.

The possibilities are endless but the effort is just as massive. While we draw to a second year of the pandemic, here are some strategies that are bound to appeal to community marketing in the year to come.

GIFs

Gifs are fun, easy to use and describe just about any mood you like. Social media sites like Twitter and Instagram use a wide variety of gifs generated by users and brands alike. GIPHY, a leading GIF program is the second-most popular search engine following Google. Gif engine optimization is real and it’s booming.

It succeeds as a brand recognition play because it stays on top of the minds and receives a steady response rate as it grows. You can customize gifs that resonate with your brand, have a channel and build strategies using the same, a concept used popularly by Hootsuite, NBA and Netflix garnering huge view counts as partner channels.

Meme advertisements

Memes are all about relatability and…pay attention: ‘virality’. You could almost label it as the most followed form of digital expression spread across social media platforms. Incorporating memes into your strategy is great for 2021 if your primary targets are the Gen Z or millennials. These are best suited for campaigns that are cheeky or want to bring a change in voice, and thus, audience.

Since memes get viral through shares, a good ole meme, or even a cringey one for the matter drives high engagement. While we do not recommend the latter, a well-placed creative to push your service forward is definitely something a Drake template would approve of.

User-generated content

User-generated content today has unfathomable growth  in content marketing for the simple fact  that users love to be on top of things. Leveraged carefully, brands can use this form of content to make their product and services look organic and trustworthy. It works similar to WoM (word-of-mouth) where a potential customer is more likely to trust customer reviews than other forms of advertisement.

To encourage user-generated content, is to drive engagement that only increases conversions over time. Users will always love a feature, or a mention by a brand they follow. Initiating ways to keep it going will not just ensure regular flow of content, but will also help your SEO rankings.

Employee generated content

Not very distinct from user-generated content, employee-generated content is a specifically growing trend owing to the pandemic that has left the world realising the need for a wholesome work environment. By supporting the content your employees post, you are showing that you see them beyond the label of an employee and you care.

Curate a set of collections featuring your employees within a given theme to keep the content consistent. Encourage proactive policies where employees can post or talk about their experiences. Other users watching that content will not only help your brand awareness but also bring to the fore the culture of your company and message.

 Email marketing

Email marketing strategies still hold the place for the best way to communicate with all your subscribers closely. It’s response rate comes from the fact that it approaches you personally to get your attention. This personalisation, coupled with the efficiency in cost and time is just another bonus. 

Utilising this as a marketing strategy in 2021 is just using the right game plan at the right time and (media) space. Keep your value inquisitive and worthy of a second-look. With the time at hand, consumers are likely to unsubscribe just as soon.

The crux remains the same – community marketing is and will be valuable for a long time to come. This also meant that brands had to get more creative and hit closer to home than before. The concept was to become your consumer’s best friend, not their role model.  Organic social is often underrated and underestimated. Consumers are constantly seeking to be more involved in action in any form. Content marketing for the community is simply looking for a rise like never before. 

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