Influencer marketing and community marketing are two important marketing strategies that are often confused with each other. In this article, we will explain what they are, how they differ, and when you should use one over the other.
Influencer Marketing vs Community Marketing
Influencer Marketing is a strategy in which a company pays an influencer to promote their product or service. An influencer may be a celebrity who posts about their favourite products on social media or they may be someone who has a large following on social media because of their personal brand or career. The goal of this type of marketing is to reach people who are already interested in your product or service.
These influencers can be the following:
- Social media stars
It’s essential to learn how to identify who the real influencers are in your field. Let’s explore how these influencers can help promote your product or service.
Community Marketing on the other hand is a strategy in which businesses reach out to people who have similar interests or values as the company does by offering discounts and promotions for those who join their community group. The goal of this type of marketing is to expand your customer base by bringing them into your brand’s network through word of mouth advertising and loyalty programs such as customer rewards programs or rewards points systems.
Community marketing seeks followers’ opinions about products and services through informal conversations and polls on blogs, forums, and other types of social media sites. The goal here is not necessarily to sell anything; instead, community marketing wants to create bonds between customers and brands by fostering authentic relationships between both groups and ultimately creating stronger ties between consumers who buy from one another than they would if they were just buying directly from a company website!
Beyond this definition, there are 3 markers that researchers say indicate a brand community:
- Consciousness of kind
An intrinsic understanding that people in a community are connected together, and different from outsiders.
- Rituals & traditions
Specific acts and behaviours that solidify culture and meaning in a community.
- Sense of obligation to community
A sense of moral obligation that drives community members to serve each other.
Differences Between Influencer Marketing vs Community Marketing
Community marketing is the opposite of influential marketing. It involves building relationships with your customers through social media and email campaigns to encourage them to buy your products or services.
Influencers have more followers than community marketers. This makes them a better target for advertising, but it also means that they are more likely to get spam comments on their posts, which can ruin their credibility. Community marketers can be more targeted with their content and can incorporate more personal interaction into their messages.
Community marketers are often more engaged with their audience than influencers are. This they’re often willing to share some of the details of how they built up their following on social media.
When to Use Influencer Marketing
- Influencer marketing for the introduction of new products
You have a new product and you don’t yet know exactly how to promote it? The answer is: a collaboration with influencers from your industry.
So if you want to bring a new product onto the market, you should look for a suitable influencer / blogger at an early stage . As soon as you have found what you are looking for, the important thing is to provide the influencer with all the important information about the product and the product itself. This also includes when the product is sold, how much it costs and when you can officially communicate about this product.
- Make a brand better known with influencer marketing
One of the most important goals in influencer marketing is to increase brand awareness.
Influencers have a very special influence on their followers. If an influencer prefers a certain brand, this can contribute to the followers’ purchase decisions. But why is it like that?
When to Use Community Marketing
- Product tests and product reviews
Once you have built a community for your brand, the briefing about the product is the most important thing. It is important that the community reports freely and authentically about the product.
This type of influencer marketing generates higher visibility in the short term, while in the long term it increases the findability of the product in Google search and on YouTube.
- Word of mouth growth
Strong communities are filled with willing advocates that recommend products and vouch for a brand. Depending on the way a community is set up, they can also grow organically as members invite their networks to join.
- Better customer experience
Community marketing, when done correctly, gives marketers a better understanding of their customers and provides an extremely authentic touch point for a number of initiatives like handling customer complaints, gathering product feedback.
Considering the benefits that both community marketing and influencer marketing offer, the former certainly takes a front seat. Communities build reputation and set up brands for resilient growth in the long-term.