There are many things that can contribute to your Online Community’s success; in fact there are so many that it can feel like an overwhelming, daunting task just to “check” them all off your never-ending to-do list (along with finally drafting that White Paper and getting to your Blog this week). But, in order for your online community to be really successful, you should find 3 or 4 things you really want to focus on and really do them extremely well. For example, take a lesson from the recent Case Study TMC did with our friends at SIP Print. Their “Call Recording” global online community ranks at the top of major search engines, organically, and has a very high number of unique visitors every month. Why? Not because they are doing everything (who has the time?) but because they are doing these 3 things well:
1) Create a pretty cool way to say “Welcome”: Visitors to the SIP Print site are welcomed by the “SIP Print Web Hostess”, who magically appears when you arrive at the site to give a brief, not overly pitchy “hello”. This approach is great, because it puts a face to your company and products, makes site visitors feel appreciated, and, as SIP Print found, actually increases viewer staying time due to its uniqueness.
2) Provide options – because people are picky: White papers and articles are great for avid readers. Podcasts work for music buffs, and videos for those of us who are glued to Youtube. So, on an online community you should aim to reach each and every one of your site visitor’s preferences. SIP Print achieved this by displaying videos on the website that are educational in nature to accompany their comprehensive articles and other written content on the site. Plus, they have a testimonials page where visitors can not only read testimonials, but also listen to recorded calls to truly experience SIP Print’s products for themselves.
3) Build trust: Building trust is a big challenge for online community sponsors who want to balance the desire to promote their company with the need to have dedicated site visitors who will return to your site over and over again and share content with their networks. SIP Print chose to get comfortable talking about their competitors right away on their online community. Why? Because by being the “go-to” news source for people interested in their industry, they have built a band of dedicated visitors who not only view them as credible and trust-worthy, but trustworthy as well.
Of course, there are many different ways to make your online community successful, but as we’ve just shown it’s extremely important to identify what your goals for your site are, and then establish the 3-4 things you should be doing to meet those goals. By not allowing yourself to get overwhelmed, who knows? You might even start having a little fun with your Online Community!
Connect with Us and Join the Conversation: What are your top 3-4 objectivities for your Online Community, and how do you work on meeting them?