Community building expert Victoria Murden joins the show today to share what a community looks like for an eCommerce brand. She is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Herdify – the world’s first offline brand tracking tool. Two-thirds of word-of-mouth influence happens offline and can’t be tracked… until now. It targets offline word-of-mouth to amplify your sales.
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Victoria spent 15 years in brand marketing and journalism before joining Herdify, but community has always been a big part of all the work she’s done before.
But until Herdify, she didn’t realize that community was a big thing. Herdify’s CEO taught her about the potential a community could bring to a brand, which made her decide to move from brand marketing.
A significant portion of community engagement has traditionally taken place in the online space. We stay informed through social listening, and we gather insights about customer opinions through online reviews. However, it’s important to recognize that a substantial part of our community exists in the real world. In fact, a statistic reveals that 92% of our communities primarily interact offline.
Offline communities are powerful because of the strong sense of trust and familiarity shared among individuals. This level of familiarity breeds confidence, making people more inclined to act upon recommendations from within the community.
Going Beyond Your Customers
Victoria defines communities as groups of people who have influence over each other, and your brand community goes beyond your customers. It also includes people who have the potential to buy from you in the future because they’ve been influenced by someone else in the community.
When more people in your community talk about your brand, they start to reinforce each other. The higher the reinforcement, the more powerful it becomes because it enhances loyalty and increases lifetime value.
How Herdify Helps Brands
At Herdify, Rebecca and her team take an eCommerce brand’s sales and plug them into their portal, and this helps detect where the brand has strong word-of-mouth.
Once they determine that, they can then help marketers improve their strategies and budget spend by focusing on areas that can drive results.
In encouraging community engagement, Victoria has a few tips for some quick wins:
- Think about your packaging. It’s a prime piece of real estate, so make sure you make the most of it.
- Improve customer service. Look at what you can do for those who’ve already purchased from you and get them to continue talking about you positively.
- Send out samples. You can also conduct early test-and-review activities to make people feel like they’re part of the inner circle.
If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with community – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?
Work out where your communities are, and part of this is social listening.
Take note of where your reviews are coming from and be mindful of where your communities might exist.
Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve community performance?
Harness the data about your community and take advantage of what you learn. One way to optimise is to think about the creative you put out for your ads. Make them specific to your targeted location so they have more impact.
If someone listening wants to learn more about community is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?
She also recommends listening to the episode on their own podcast, The Grapevine, where they talk to Richard Shotton about influencing consumer change.
Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in community?
Knowing now that communities exist, the important thing is to think about how your community can contribute to your brand growth and your bottom line. Use the insights you gain from your community to improve and make an impact.
Victoria on Social media:
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