As I posted the other day re: UnBounce, content marketing, thought leadership and building a tribe/community around your blog is a viable business option for startups who wish to bootstrap. After all, your thoughts are free, and the really savvy proponents of this method have seen huge success!
In Ireland, a great example of a strong online community is the Irish foodie community. Dispersed through numerous delicious looking blogs, but also condensed by a central blogging association and regular meetups, these foodies love nothing better than cookoffs, events and commenting on lovely photos of great food. See Icanhascook, I married an Irish Farmer or Daily Spud for more.
If you are in the business of selling online, you’re in the minority if you’re not thinking about building a tribe of like-minded people around your product, and in the past two days, I’ve came across two interesting links based on the topic. Both are a nice insight into how other community managers did things.
Firstly, Rand Fishkin, founder of one of the web’s biggest SEO sites SEOMOZ. MOZ has a vibrant, active community of 310,000 optimisers (dubbed “Mozzers”), and boasts one of the best SEO blogs on the web, which it’s users contribute to. Of course, the company also sells SEO software, which very is gently pushed to active members, and it’s the perfect case of providing a scratching post for a dispersed community looking for a home on the web. In this link, Fishkin tells how he’s attempting to use the very tactics that proved so successful for SEOMOZ (community building, content curation and inbound marketing amongst them) to build a new site, Inbound.org which offers community-curated marketing news.
Secondly, and in an Irish context, I spotted this link today from Prosperity on Twitter. If you’re working in the digital marketing sphere, you’ll no doubt have seen their site (just don’t tell your current employer!), they’re a boutique recruitment agency with a quirky logo and friendly tone. Here, Social Talent asks owner Gary Mullan how a 10 person recruitment agency beats a 300 person one, and the answer comes down to one thing, great content and building a social community. I’ve long admired Prosperity’s regular emails which marry new job postings with industry news, and their “Why I Love Mondays” video campaign is brilliant, giving whippersnappers like myself an insight into the working lives of those at the top of my field. Take a look here for more.
Community building via inbound marketing is a very interesting space, and, done correctly, can have a massive impact on your bottom line, especially for startups.
Other good examples in an Irish context of those who have built an online community from scratch include my own employers Simply Zesty, and the GAA site HoganStand. Now, the big question is, how can you use these tactics to benefit your own business? Perhaps start with a read of Godin’s Tribes.