What does TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook have in common? They are successful because they have a vibrant, active community of creators who create content and engage in conversations all day.
We all know that social media platforms were created for sharing and socializing. Did you know that your brand could create a digital community of engaged, dedicated people in the same way? This article will show you how to do it and give some tips on how to create your own community of creators.
Your brand has the opportunity to create a community of creators.
Human nature is to seek community. We all need that one-to-one human interaction, which gives us inspiration and motivates us. Many of us belong multiple types of communities, including our family, friends, sports leagues, companies, or online forums.
People are increasingly finding niche communities online to connect with–ones that align closely with their interests, i.e. A group of dog lovers, a group that discusses non-toxic beauty products or an interest in sustainable travel. Because of their passion for a particular topic, these communities are more engaged and have a greater chance to make a difference.
Your brand has the opportunity to create a community around your products and services, which aligns with a large number of people.
The starting point for building a community of creators
There is no one right way to gather a group of creators. Talking about your products and creating content are great ways to get people together. These are typically the methods brands use to create or discover a brand community.
1. You might find an existing community that is interested in the same topics as your product. This will allow people who are already interested in your product or service to become customers and passionate content creators.
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2. Engage with existing fanbase members. This is a great opportunity to harness the enthusiasm of your brand by actively bringing people together and creating fun ways for them create content. To increase engagement and sales, you can send out newsletters to your community and offer reward incentives.
3. Are you still lacking a sense of community? It’s possible to start from scratch. Although it may not be as effective as the other methods, it is possible. Start by setting up a framework for supporting a community of creators to your brand. Then invite current customers to join it. Incentivize them to tell their networks about it. This special opportunity can be promoted through your own channels, such as email, blog, and social media.
How to cultivate a community of creators
We have worked with many brands who have created a community around their products and services. Here are some tips and tricks we learned from this experience for brands that want to adopt this strategy.
Live by your values
Groups often share common values. A group of people might come together to discuss fashion. These values could be connected to creativity and self-expression through clothes. Outdoor products might appeal to groups that are interested in exercise, time outdoors, and connecting with nature.
You should identify the core values of your brand. This includes what you want it to stand for, as well as the values your customers and audience most relate to. You can send out a survey to find out what they are or ask customers who have purchased or engaged with your brand. A prompt could be sent to your most active social media channel asking for comments. This is a great way of cultivating community.
Your customer is the core of your brand
It’s difficult for brands to remember that your brand should have people at its core, and not products. Your product should improve your customers’ lives, whether it is providing a pleasant experience or filling a critical gap that will help them get there.
Think about ways you can serve your community and represent them by sharing their user-generated material (UGC).
Tap into existing creator markets
As we have mentioned, it is a great idea to find people who are interested in the same topics or products as your brand. Spend some time looking for these people. You could look for a Reddit forum or an email newsletter that you could partner with, or a Facebook group or LinkedIn group. Or even organize events (live or virtual). Invite others to join you community of creators and get involved in the conversations.
Share with your community the content you would like them to create
One of the primary goals of nurturing a community is to get them creating content for you. Actively encouraging your community members create UGC will not only show others how much fun it is to work with you, but also provides valuable social proof through images and videos showing how your product works in real life.
“Our goal is to humanize brands through building communities. We want both new and experienced riders to feel at home with us. To show the beauty and diversity of our riders, we want to share more content from them so that others can see it and feel that they too could have an experience like that. UGC encourages people to think differently, and that’s what our company wants to encourage.” – Bellanis pereira, Global Asset Factory & Social Media Lead for BRP
It doesn’t matter if people in your area are able to make content for you. You can send an email to your community or post something on social media letting them know about a campaign that they can participate in and asking them to create content. You can also promote exclusivity by offering a limited-edition product sample to your community in exchange for their uploading fun content about the product. This material could be used for product launches, with tags being given to the people who have the most UGC.
This type of communication is possible with Stackla’s Organic Influencers feature. To ask your community to create their own content, you can have your team draft a “Creative Brief” and send it to them. Be specific with your request to obtain the visuals that you want others to create for your brand.
You don’t have to limit it to one category or group.
This is especially true for larger brands that have multiple product lines or sub-brands. Keep in mind that the more niche your community is, the more engagement you will see.
There is no need to have one community of creators. You can have many. You could have a community for skincare products and one for makeup if you own a beauty business. This allows you to be more personal in how you approach cultivating brand communities. This will encourage members of those groups to create content on those topics and products.
Encourage your creators and encourage them to share their ideas!
Community is about trusting and building relationships. Ask your followers to share a personal story or experience with you and how it relates to your brand. Ask your followers to tell you about their personal experiences with a product or why they are interested in a hobby. These authentic stories will engage and resonate with others in a meaningful manner.
Michael Hill, a customer of an international jewelry brand, shared the heartwarming story of two couples who had to postpone weddings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It helped to build more personal connections between the customers and their audience by sharing real photos from their private backyard ceremonies.
Don’t just get your creators to make content for you, but also be clear in letting them know that their personal stories create value for other community members. Finally, find creative ways to publish those stories out for the rest of your audience to see—whether that be in community newsletters, in your ads, on your Instagram Stories or on your blog.
Examples of creator communities that are brand-led
These are just a few examples of brands that we have worked with to cultivate a community for creators.
Little Bellies is a fast-growing brand of baby and children’s food that has a low budget. The brand has several product lines, each of which required unique content that it wasn’t able generate 100% on its own.
Their customers, i.e. parents, were the ones they relied upon to generate lots of content for Little Bellies’ ranges. They relied on their customers (i.e. parents) to create lots of cute content for Little Bellies’ ranges. Stackla’s organic influencers tool allows you to connect with, motivate and discover these happy customers so that they can become your own community of creators.
Georgie Scott, Marketing Manager for DKSH Grocery Connect, said “UGC works well for us because parents are really discerning about food products for their children. The fact that we are able to access and publish content from real parents, mostly mothers, who are recommending our products to other mothers makes this strategy quite powerful.”
Little Bellies was able to bring together their enthusiastic parent community and create lots of UGC and social proof.
Customers of LUSH Cosmetics aren’t your average customers. They call their brand fans “Lushies” and they are loyal customers who love the brand’s products as well as their commitment to ethical, sustainable campaigns.
LUSH relied upon this engaged community to share their customers’ content on their social channels and websites. They created a personal experience for each content creator and grew their brand by leveraging the authentic voices of those who were already paying attention online.
Sabine Schwirtz, former Community Manager at LUSH Cosmetics North America, said in a case study , “I think many marketers who have been in the industry for a long time are worried about maintaining the voice of the brand,” she said. “But, the voice of the brand is not always the same as the voice of the customers. We’re moving closer to times where a brand’s identity is the same as their customers’ identity.”
Canon was the ideal brand to launch a community for creators. Their products are the tools that their customers use to create high-quality images, videos and other media.
Canon has created a special Stories page on their website , which showcases the incredible ways that their customers use their products to create captivating images and unique stories all over the globe. This page is intended to inspire their customers and potential customers.
Canon has also dedicated 80 percent of their content on their Canon Australia Instagram channel to display the varied and diverse UGC from their customers.
We’d love to assist you in building a community of creators or bringing together your existing engaged fan base.
Our Organic Influencers tool was created with the purpose of helping brands connect with customers and gather the best content from creator communities. We’ll show you how Organic Influencers can help your brand get the engagement and conversions that you want by helping you to be proactive in your UGC strategy.