Community leaders have spent valuable time and energy building a strong network of people of similar tastes or similar occupation. Communities are built when members find value in being together, and receive information that helps them be better than what they are. They trust the source (the community manager) and believe that the vested interests are only in creating win win. The community manager now has an opportunity to leverage this network to make money.
Being the Bridge
A person who has access to and trust of a niche audience (example: photographers, realtors, architects, doctors) enjoys the attention of marketers who seek to sell to this audience. This person is the essential bridge, an essential door, a credible way to reach out to people immune to cold calling and blanket advertising.
Why Credible Resource is Better than Blankets
With an adequate budget, it is possible to reach out to a bunch of influential individuals in the outside world. However, it is considerably cheaper to get introduced to your customer through another customer – and conversion levels in such cases are higher too. That’s because you would always trust the word of a friend than that of a business advertisement. Community managers are thus a reliable, cost effective channel.
Community Managers Translate
A brand that seeks to advertise speaks Language One. It doesn’t fully understand why the customers don’t buy. While the problem has been identified by the brand, the customers do not deem the problem as crucial yet. There is ample scope to educate the customers to deem it otherwise. This education can be imparted in Language Two, and only the community manager speaks Language Two, because that’s how the community was built, which ensured the manager’s recommendation is a trusted & respected one. Community Managers effectively translate Language One (brand message) into Language Two (relevant positioning of the brand message that leads to increased conversions).
How Does the Translation Work
This translation works because relevancy is a deciding factor while buying. Even if you are a young parent, you won’t buy a deep cleaning for your home. But if the same cleaning session is positioned as a Pre Natal Cleanup, buying one starts making a whole lot of sense. A community manager knows the pain points of the community members, thus having the insights required to make the translation. Brands can do it on their own, but it would just mean spending more time and money.
Win Win Matters
Attention that a community manager enjoys is a privilege. The moment that is exploited, members leave, and the manager isn’t respected any longer. The sanctity of the network has to stay intact. Members are members to add and receive value – not to be spammed and sold as products. This is the reason blanket advertising (non targeted) and cold calling has low ROI.
Your brand message is like clay. Your audience always perceives it in their own form. Niche Advertising through community managers ensures that the translation of your message suits the needs of the audience. Thus the audience is benefited by what you have to offer. Which results in a purchase made at a better price. Convinced customers buy a relevant product at a better price. Community managers thus create a win win.
Does a value proposition need to be quantifiable?
Yes – and it is possible to sample it out. Niche segment of customers can be divided into two categories – one, which need the service and are seeking you out – second, the people you seek out and pitch your offering to, because they don’t know they need you yet.
Offer samples to the latter – minor wins focused on their short term goals – ones which prove that your offering helps them live better. By recording these cases and amplifying achieved results – you have successfully quantified the value proposition, which helps you build your case.
The Applications are Vast
You could be in the business of offering mentoring to students by connecting supply and demand or you could be offering a SaaS product to help people manage their business better – customizing your approach for your target audience, and making yourself relevant to them helps. No matter what you feel about your product, it matters to understand how your customers perceive it – and then tuning yourself to their perspective. Once they love you for being relevant, you have won the half the battle.