B2B buyer communities continue to be all the rage, and for good reason. Not only do they help bring buyers and sellers together in a more personal way, but they also offer a host of other benefits. By building a strong community, you can strengthen relationships with your customers, gather valuable insights and feedback, position your company as a thought leader in your industry, and have fun connecting with real humans.
Creating an enterprise B2B buyers community doesn’t have to be a huge project that requires a lot of time and resources. In this post, I’ll share a few ideas on leveraging marketing activities you’re already doing and branding them as part of your community initiative.
Turning your existing activities into a thriving community
- Host customer dinners and invite key players from your target audience – customers, prospects, influencers. This not only allows you to strengthen relationships with your customers, but also gives you the opportunity to gather feedback and insights. And nothing says “community” more than breaking bread together.
- Highlight webinars featuring “community members” as speakers. You’re likely already running webinars featuring your customers as speakers (and if not, you should start – they’re the best kind of webinars). Brand these webinars as “community webinars” and feature industry leaders who are prospects, partners, or influencers as speakers. It’s a win-win-win for all involved.
- Organize “lunch & learn” sessions or happy hours at your office for the community. These social events can help foster a sense of community and allow you to build relationships with your audience over delicious food and drinks. 🍹 In the same vein, one of our clients runs a successful industry podcast, and is planning a live podcast taping featuring community members as both speakers and the audience. It’s a great way to engage with their audience, provide valuable content, and have fun. These events don’t have to be product- or sales-focused; in fact, some of our most successful events have been centered around career development and general community networking.
- Conduct interviews with industry leaders (who are implicitly community members). One of our clients, a cybersecurity startup, created a thought leadership series featuring prominent cybersecurity leaders – customers, prospects, and industry influencers. They branded the series, promoted it via email marketing and social media, and even created a print magazine featuring the interviews.
- Brand it! Creating a brand for your community helps make the community a reality. Choose a simple name that represents your community and goals, and label all community-related activities with your community brand. Bonus points for developing a simple brand identity, such as a logo or specific colors, to further establish your community’s brand.
The bottom line
Building a B2B buyer community doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By repurposing existing activities and branding them as part of your community initiative, you can easily create a thriving community that brings buyers and sellers together in a more personal way. Whether it’s hosting customer dinners, webinars featuring community members as speakers, organizing lunch and learns, or conducting thought leadership interviews, there are countless ways to build a community and strengthen relationships with your customers.
So go ahead, take the first step and start repurposing those activities you’re already doing – before you know it, you’ll have a thriving community of your own. Let’s do it!