Start-up business is the sense for a business that has just been built or is in its pioneering period. To introduce the business, startup certainly needs marketing. However, marketing carried out to attract new consumers requires no small cost. The way that can be done so that at the beginning of development does not cost too much, is to use a community marketing strategy.
Community marketing is a marketing method that focuses on meeting the needs of consumers directly or indirectly. In community marketing, usually businesses will interact with communities that contain individuals with the same passion. The purpose of this interaction is to identify communities that are naturally interested in the brand, philosophy, products, or services of the business.
Start-up businesses usually only have limited resources in their operations. Then strengthening relationships with the community will be a fairly effective way to “recruit” them as marketing support staff. Give a good image to the community, so that they will do word of mouth marketing and feedback by themselves. Of course this is very valuable for the development of a startup business.
Important Things in Running a Marketing Community
The following things need to be considered to run community marketing effectively:
1. Community Is a Partner
The community will indeed be the party that buys your product. But keep in mind that the members of this community will also be an extension of the business tongue for marketing. When trying to enter the community, it is strongly not recommended to do hard selling.
We recommend that you take a more friendly approach. Namely by joining in their activities, provide education and increase awareness of your business with service and quality. If community members are satisfied, it is possible that they will share their experiences with people outside the community.
2. Identify and Define a Plan
After joining, make sure you follow the activities in the community. This is done to identify the habits of the community itself and its members. From here you can determine what customers need and want. And determine your planned approach to the consumer. Whether by sharing experiences, education, discussion, becoming a sponsor, giving special offers and so forth.
3. Do it Long-Term
When you have decided to give in a form, then do it long term. For example, being an event sponsor. Your business should work with the community on a long-term and sustainable basis, not just once or twice. This is done to create brand loyalty in the community, as well as brand awareness to anyone who participates in it.
4. Maximize Social Media
Startups must know how to utilize technology to improve marketing. One way is to maximize social media. Most of the community currently activities are on social media. There are even communities that are only run online through social media.
Publicize and interact effectively and efficiently with the help of this media. That way your business can provide feedback more quickly. In addition, who knows, you can reach more communities to join your brand through social media.
5. Perform Regular Evaluations
Perform regular evaluations to find out if your community marketing efforts have been effective. You can do this evaluation with your own team or involve the community. There is no harm in asking for judgments from community members. Aside from the whole set of efforts you make for these members, they will also have closeness because they feel involved.
6. Be patient
Community is something that grows naturally because it holds the same understanding of a thing. Therefore they tend to have their own values and culture. When your business is doing community marketing, make sure to always be patient in following the flow of activities and ideology of the community. The key is to be diligent and consistent. Because the essence of this method is to build close relationships and mutual trust. So they don’t think of you as a robot that is not alive and is only focused on sales.