You may have heard of marketing-led growth, sales-led growth and product-led growth strategies. Now, it’s all about community-led growth. With each new version of growth strategy, prior strategies get morphed, expanded, and yet support one another. They take on new avatars to fuel the growth engine of the organization. With the more recent emergence of user communities, there comes community-led growth. Community-led growth acts as a multiplier on top of many of the growth strategies.
There are several technology companies that have successfully implemented community-led growth strategies. Slack has a thriving community of users who share tips, tricks and best practices for using the platform. This has helped to establish Slack as the go-to communication tool for many businesses. HubSpot has an active community of marketers who share insights and advice on inbound marketing.
So, what’s the common thread that keeps these communities engaged and thriving, and establishes themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries? In my mind, there are five key core values or principles for community-led growth.
Purpose: A strong sense of purpose is crucial for any community. There is a shared vision among community members that gives them a reason to be part of the community, which is aligned to the brand vision.
Involvement: Encourage active involvement from community members by providing opportunities for them to contribute and share their knowledge. This is usually done through discussions, collaborative projects or even hosting events. By fostering a sense of involvement, it creates a more engaged and loyal community.
Oneness: Cultivate a sense of belonging and unity among community members. Encouraging open communication, collaboration and mutual support, which can help to create a strong bond between members. This sense of oneness makes the community more resilient and better equipped to achieve its growth goals.
Excellence: Leverage the power of social proof by showcasing the success stories and achievements of community members. This will inspire others to join the community but also motivates existing members to continue contributing and engaging with the community.
Innovation: Encourage innovation within the community by providing resources, tools and opportunities for members to experiment and develop new ideas. This can help to keep the community at the forefront of the industry and ensure that it remains relevant and valuable to its members.
I believe these five core values—purpose, involvement, oneness, excellence, and innovation—can help foster a strong, engaged and loyal community that not only supports the brand but also drives sustainable growth. The true power community is a united and passionate group of individuals who share the brand’s vision and values.
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