If you’re a creator or entrepreneur who has been considering launching an online community but has yet to take the plunge, 2023 is the year. With 41% of US artists using websites or blogs to reach their audiences outside of social media, private online communities are an excellent next step in differentiating yourself, making a larger impact, and diversifying your earnings.
For artists and instructors, online communities are critical to diversifying and protecting your business while offering you better control over your content and consumer relationships.
Furthermore, major corporations are rapidly discovering the advantages of a community-led approach to growth, which helps them boost consumer engagement, become more agile, and overcome problems more readily.
This tendency will continue and increase in the twenty-third century, providing individuals with a plethora of new possibilities. Thus the sooner you begin creating your own community, the better! In this post, we’ll look at why online communities are so popular and how you can take advantage of their unquestionable benefits for your business.
Why are online communities so popular?
Companies and organizations of all sizes know the need to strengthen relationships with consumers and supporters—and the best way to do it is through online communities.
As of 2021, 86% of organizations felt that community is vital to their goal, and 69% planned to raise their funding to optimize their community-building approach. In 2022, 79% to 95% of organizations (depending on growth level) had dedicated community staff.
Yet, for creative entrepreneurs who have built their whole business around an online community, whether it be a Facebook Group, a Slack channel, or a private community through a platform like Trible, this is old news.
As of 2022, the creator economy has grown to 50 million active creators, with a market size estimated at $104.2 billion, more than doubling its worth since 2019. And the number continues to rise. As this trend continues, online communities are expected to grow even more popular in 2023.
Why are online communities important for a knowledge business?
With specialized communities, trainers and artists can interact with their audience and monetize their work in a meaningful way while maintaining complete ownership. They’re also an excellent method to boost brand recognition and client loyalty, capitalize on expansion possibilities, and even expand customer support.
Private online communities are also a superior option to social media sites, which make it difficult for artists by constantly changing algorithms and enforcing complicated, inconsistent regulations.
As a creator, algorithm changes can have a significant influence on your reach and engagement, resulting in lost income. In fact, 40% of artists anticipate annual effects of $10,000 or more as a result of continual adjustments to social media algorithms, putting both their online presence and revenue in danger.
Numerous artists have also had their accounts wrongly or accidentally blocked, restricting their ability to connect with their audience and make cash. Consider Avery Smith, who lost access to his 65,000-member LinkedIn audience overnight.
Another difficulty is that social networks can experience substantial upheaval, as seen with Twitter, or even fall and collapse, as shown with Vine. Setting up your own community protects you from losing the content and connections you’ve worked so hard to create.
Users are also distracted by social media, and they become bored of being assaulted with advertisements on a regular basis. People, in the end, prefer a genuine connection to be marketed to. This is why online communities thrive; they allow creators and members to develop real, honest relationships.
6 benefits of online communities for your business
Beyond interacting and engaging with your audience, online communities provide a wide range of other benefits. The following are the six benefits.
- Develop several revenue sources. Apart from interacting with your audience and learning how to better serve them, you can monetize your online community by offering memberships, courses, or any other digital product, creating additional revenue streams.
- Control and manage your community and data. Social media scandals like Facebook Cambridge Analytica and the emergence of YouTube demonetization demonstrate that major social networks aren’t as secure as we assumed. Your account or community can be deleted at any time, and the platform controls the data in your community. Creating your own community means you have control over your business and can look out for the best interests of your members (like keeping their information private).
- Find more efficient methods to interact with your community. With 86% of brand managers claiming “deeper insight into client demands,” online communities provide better insight into your audience than any other marketing tactic. 82% claim they have improved their “capacity to listen/discover new questions,” which can help you utilize your products and strengthen your entire relationship with your members.
- Separate yourself from the competitors. While not everyone utilizes online community platforms to engage with their audience, you’ll be one step ahead if you provide a space for your members to hang out, collaborate, and communicate with you and each other.
- Boost brand loyalty. Communities, above all, are about connection, involvement, and support. As you build a community around your business, consumer engagement and involvement increase, which builds trust among your members. This increases their loyalty to your brand, making them more inclined to stick with you and even suggest others to you.
- Bring in, new members. Members of thriving communities desire to share their energy and vigour with others. People are more inclined to promote your community to others and help your business develop when they have a pleasant experience, make connections, and achieve results.
On the increase are online communities platforms. Companies are incorporating them into their business strategy in order to develop real connections with customers. Coaches and content makers also utilize them to take control of their content and more efficiently monetize their audience.
Companies of all sizes recognize the beneficial impact online communities have on their income, reputation, and influence. Online communities are also a secure choice for artists, allowing them to escape social media’s complicated, ever-changing regulations and algorithm-related concerns, which result in income loss.
Creating an online community is a terrific approach to serving your audience and developing your business. It enables you to take ownership of your content and customer relationships, as well as engage with your audience in a deeper and more meaningful way.