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Pull Advertising – through online community building

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Pull Advertising – through online community building

All brand marketers understand the value of a brand community, and in the offline world have been doing so by way of loyalty programs, DM’s to customer database, special offers, invites to special events, maintenance camps etc… But most of this is limited to existing customers.

Today, most brand marketers are looking for ways to build their brand online, and understand that if a community can be built around a brand, marketing online would become easy. But, is there an opportunity to build a community around every brand? The answer is definetly NO.

So what type of brands can easily build a community around their brand? Brands that are ICONIC and are action oriented can easily build an online community around their brand. Eg. Harley Davidson – for a community of bikers. Categories that promote showcasing of results, can easily build a community too. For example a camera brand can easily build a community around photography, that allows members to showcase their photos, share tips etc… Likewise communities can be built around activities like traveling, cooking, gardening, sports, parenting, hobbies, etc… or communities can be built around interest groups such as eco-friendly, save the species, fashion, film personalities etc… and brands that build such communities will be able to build strong brands.

What does it take for a brand to build a strong community online? The foremost being a strong focus on building a community, and not on selling your products. Which means, be a neutral platform, and allow your competitors too on this platform (for example: if it is on photography, allow photographs shot on your competitors cameras too to be featured. Because the community is about photography, and not a particular camera brands photo showcase). Remember, the advantage you have, is that you alone will have access to the database of users, which you can make use of for brand promotion. Secondly you can provide a space for your brand to advertise, which need not be made available to your competitors.

The online world presently still has space open for brands to build communities, and the early community builders will have the first mover advantage. The internet community building gold rush is on, make your move now!

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