How Do You Engage the Community? Organize Online Challenges!

How Do You Engage the Community? Organize Online Challenges!

Building a community around the brand is one of the most important tasks a company has to face today. Customers are becoming more demanding, less involved, and thus very often, “temporary”.

You don’t have to convince anyone that it’s better to keep a current client than to look for a new one. Creating a community around the brand, however, is neither a simple nor a quick solution. I have already written about how to build it here and here.

The worst time related to the pandemic is behind us, but the vast majority of us still work online. The days when almost all of us worked in offices are gone. According to the research company Gallup, in 2022 as many as 53% of employees will perform hybrid work. This will certainly translate into consumer behavior, whose commitment to brands will be visible primarily on the Internet. The vision of a committed group of people who follow our activity, comment on it, and willingly participate in our projects is tempting, and certainly, many of us dream about it. Below, I present some factors that determine the establishment of such communities and give you some tips that will help you create their foundations. I believe that they will prove helpful despite general fatigue and jadedness with online work.

Let’s start with the most important question: what do you do to start building a community around your brand?

Where to Start Building a Community

 

1. Define a common goal and values that you want to follow, and that will attract other people.

Are you a fan of healthy food? Perfect!

Show your community that this is an important topic for you. By sharing your knowledge, show what your healthy approach to nutrition is—describe what you eat every day and what tricks and techniques you have to improve things. Show your actions behind the curtain.

Is your company engaged in creating online stores, and do you want to go to a higher level of service and standards in e-commerce? Show examples of your work regularly, ask about the experiences of others, and share your thoughts.

A few years ago, we organized events under the name of Wenusjanki (Venusians). Cyclical meetings were held in Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Tri-City, Kielce, and Poznan. Their main goal was to present interesting people who worked in three areas: business, fashion, health, and beauty. Meetings were organized exclusively for women, and each time attracted crowds of women who wanted to learn about interesting issues related to these areas. Over 2,500 women attended our events every year!

 

2. Find a place for your community.

It can be, for example, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. This should be the space you like, feel comfortable in, and where you can meet many people who represent your views and values. Your task will be to gather interested people and provide them with appropriate content regularly.

However, I advise against persuading others to switch their platform. Even when you know that a person prefers Instagram to Twitter, don’t focus on it. You will needlessly devote time and energy to this, and the effect cannot be assured. Instead of reinventing the wheel, it’s better to paint it in patterns that you like.

 

3. Take on common challenges.

Every community has its challenges! If you are interested in sports, you may often have a decrease in motivation, or, on the contrary, you are looking for people with whom you will also be able to train. Or maybe you want to ask about diet or health issues because when you do specific exercises, you feel pressure in the body and want to know if others have similar ailments. Or do you just want to be sure that you are doing the exercise correctly?

Talking openly about passions or the pros and cons of advertising methods, using selected platforms, and showing how to deal with them are plenty of reasons to create a community.

And here we come to a very, very important aspect of building it. No community is created just to celebrate something together. People have been gathering for generations to grow and support themselves. When planning the development of your community, ask yourself what kind of problems arise from a given job, technology, or service. Looking at what people you care about are struggling with shows how you handle similar challenges. And so, we move on to the next point about community building.

 

4. Create an opportunity to get to know each other and identify each other.

The more we allow others to get to know each other, to talk about common values and experiences, the greater and more integrated our community will become. We do not know when events will return on the same scale we know from before the pandemic. Relations between the participants of such meetings were replaced indefinitely by contacts on social networks. The space under the posts, or during the open webinars, became a place as important as the pre-pandemic conference room.

In addition, it is ideal when people can name themselves and define themselves as members of a group. That is why this last point is equally important here.

 

5. Use names to identify yourself as a member of the community.

After some time, the participants of the Wenusjanki meetings began to call themselves that. We’re Venusians, they said! It was assumed that a Venusian is an active woman, eager to learn new things and meet new people. We are currently creating the Strong Women in IT community, i.e., women who create Polish and global technologies.

But it is enough to look at other people to notice that this mechanism really works well; Michał Szafrański has Financial Ninja, Ewa Chodakowska has members of Chodagang, and Pani Swojego Czasu has women interested in managing their time more efficiently.

The same thing is true in many other aspects of our lives: I am a runner, a karate fighter, a singer, a politician, an entrepreneur. Naming yourself is an important aspect of your sense of identity. I encourage you to take advantage of this need also at home.


Online Challenges as a Way to Engage the Community!

 

Now that we have summarized what is needed to build a community around your brand, let’s focus on one issue that has recently been particularly visible on the Internet: challenges.

I honestly admit that I am delighted with how some people have gotten to the master level of this kind of community activation.

An example is #fighterchallenge by Anna Lewandowska. The challenge encouraged active training. During the challenge, meetings with experts were held, and nutritional and healthy lifestyle advice was presented. For me, it is a win because…

  • it promotes the Sportswoman app,
  • it shows the people who work with her, so it is not only a challenge, but it also shows appreciation to others,
  • it promotes the catering service she offers.

There are certainly even more business benefits. What is particularly worth paying attention to is the name—anyone who faces their weaknesses wants to see a fighter, a person who does not give up easily and fights to the end. When we face a challenge that means changing our habits and lifestyle, and putting in the physical effort; the name can strengthen our perseverance to the end.

This should be accompanied by showing the efforts of others and their transformation. It’s very motivating to see the woman who joined the challenge lose three or four kilos in the process. “If she could, then so can I.” (This is an interesting way to present Point 4 of the principles of community building—we show other ordinary people who are with us in this challenge; we are not alone.)

A similar mechanism is also used by Ewa Chodakowska in her #body&mind.

animacje filmowe

What Speaks in Favor of Creating Such Challenges? Why Is It Worth It?

 

1. They make us better.

It can be a monthly course in writing SEO-friendly texts, setting up Facebook ads, or creating communication in webinars. You can select any challenge and translate it into an interesting one for your target group activity. There is only one condition: they should help us acquire a new skill or improve our current skills.

 

2. It develops a sense of identification with the brand.

If someone teaches us something, we start to trust them more and believe in the effectiveness of the services they offer.

 

3. Challenges are defined in time.

That is why you will be able to verify their impact on your business relatively quickly. Has the number of orders, inquiries, or recommendations increased?


If you want to develop the community around your brand, write to me. We can plan activities tailored to your needs.

 

Fot. Unsplash oraz archiwum prywatne agencji Come Creations Group 

Video Animations—Why Should You Make Them?

Video Animations—Why Should You Make Them?

Are you creating a new product on the market? Is it a novelty, an innovation that will require additional work from you, such as explaining the opportunities it offers? Or maybe you already see that this solution needs more education for the audience than you thought at the beginning? I have a proposal for you: make an animated video that translates the functionality of the project you have created!

I have been communicating new technological solutions for over twelve years. From experience, I know that one of the biggest challenges in creating innovative products is finding an idea of how to talk about their capabilities effectively and efficiently. What tools should be used to translate this into a better understanding of technology?

When we create new products, we always have to teach users how to use them and show what the solution can improve in their daily business and life.

When creating new products at the beginning, it is worth assuming that we will have to become the largest educator on this solution. The more understandable and easier it will be to use, the faster it will become your showcase.

 

The Power of Video Animation

The interest in video materials is growing, and it is also visible in our country. According to Nielsen data, in 2022 a statistical pole watches video content, including linear television,   for 4 hours and 59 minutes a day, 46 minutes of which are spent watching video streaming in various forms.

The popularity of video content translates into advertising expenses. As predicted by Zenith (Publicis Media), the increase in global spending on online video advertising will be sustained, with a growth forecast of 6.9% in 2022 and 5.6% in 2023.

The use of video and streaming content is increasing, and we should not be surprised. The pandemic had a huge impact on the use of video and content made available via streaming. Of course, it is also significant that we live in a fast-paced world, and people do not want to spend more time than is necessary to understand how the solution works. Therefore, one of the ideas for an effective and eye-catching presentation of your offer, services, or technological solutions may be a video in the form of a cartoon.

Such a video has several advantages:

  • You don’t have to hire actors or think about a film set.
  • By referring to abstractions, visualizations, and comparisons to present your products more simply, you will explain their functionality.
  • It is easier to smuggle in visualizations and colors that can build associations with your brand.

Does such a video animation also have drawbacks? Obviously:

  • You don’t put real faces in them.
  • If the company wants a very “serious” image, it will not be a good communication tool. It can be seen as too casual.

Now the Question Is: Where Can I Use Such a Video? Isn’t YouTube Enough?

A video can often turn out to be better than a presentation to a potential customer. In the email, you send not only information about the product, but also a link to the animation. Thanks to this, the customer does not have to spend valuable time analyzing how your solution works. He watches the video and can quickly understand what product you are coming to him with.

What Can You Gain From Video Animation?

In sale:
  • A chance for a much faster signing of the contract. You take away the need to explain the operation of a product or service.
  • Time! There are no more explanations and conversations, or they are much shorter.
  • Scale. You can send many more such emails for informational purposes.
 On your website:
  • The Internet user who enters your website will be able to understand more quickly where he was directed, what you offer, and how this product works.
During conferences or webinars:
  • It is easier and more effective to show a video that doesn’t require the participants to listen carefully and gives dynamic animation a chance to increase their attention and thus remember the brand.
At meetings with a potential investor:
  • The film can help give a fuller understanding of the company, its goals, and its vision.

I hope that I have convinced you to think about animation for your company’s communication. If you are interested in such material, contact me! Below you will find some of our productions.

 

Do You Want to Raise Funds as Part of the Crowdfunding Equity Campaign? Don’t Forget to Communicate!

Do You Want to Raise Funds as Part of the Crowdfunding Equity Campaign? Don’t Forget to Communicate!

Equity crowdfunding is gaining popularity every year. According to the forecasts of the research company Technavio, the value of the global crowdfunding market will increase by 239.78 billion USD between 2021 and 2026. Therefore, it is an attractive and interesting way to obtain financing for the development and operation of your company. By giving away part of the shares, you can fund the company financially, as well as acquire a group of ambassadors. What increases the effectiveness of the campaign?

In this post, I will share with you information not about how to obtain such funds, but what should not be forgotten when planning an equity crowdfunding campaign, i.e., promotion!

Expectations and Reality…

Even though promotion seems obvious, I see a rather mixed approach to this issue from discussions and observations. Often, a company’s board seeking funding assumes that a mere presence on the platform will provide adequate funds. It sometimes limits its activities to posting on social media and the company’s website.

Unfortunately, reality can be disappointing here. Often, when all family members and closest friends have paid, the meter stops. Nervous refreshing of the page won’t do any good. Analysis of companies that are on equity crowdfunding platforms and the search for whom to invest in here today is not a routine activity of Poles.

In such situations, it is best to take a step back and see what the plans for communication activities look like. Do you have every week of the campaign planned? Do you know what’s going to happen and where? Or do you rather decide to go with the flow and let come what may?

Communication Is the Key to Success

Some campaigns do not end in spectacular success for a simple reason: you need to inform others that you are planning or starting to collect funds, e.g., on the Beesfund platform. I keep saying that, and I’m going to say it here. If you don’t talk about your company loudly enough, often, and substantively, no one will notice you. People are so busy that they either need to be amazed by something, or you need to be extremely visible so that others decide to invest in your product.

We have already implemented several promotional campaigns for companies raising funds using Beesfund, Crowdway, and FundedByMe. And I admit that usually, companies come to us a week before the start of the campaign, or… when it is already in progress. But the results leave a lot to be desired.

In such situations, we have two options: get to work quickly (we do it when we believe that the project is interesting and we have an idea for it) or apologize and say that, unfortunately, we do not have enough hands to work at the moment.

But It Can Be Different…

Starting work with the selected platform does not take only fifteen minutes. You have to prepare the proper documents, and arrange all the formalities. If you plan such activities, come to us. Talk to us and tell us what you do and why others should be interested in your product. Do not wait for support until the raising of capital stops.

How Can We Help You Raise Funds for Development?
  1. We’ll plan the campaign from start to finish.

“Stand out or get lost” can be paraphrased here to “Stand out or get lost in a crowd.” When equity crowdfunding becomes more and more popular, you start to compete with other companies in your category.

You are competing not just for funds that someone can invest in your company. First, you compete for the attention of the media, influencers, and investors who like such initiatives. And the campaign can give you more than just extra funds; this is a great opportunity to promote the company and gain more recognition in your segment. You can get the visibility that you would normally have to pay a lot more for. Don’t waste it!

  1.   We will offer you interesting activities.

As I wrote above, you need to stand out. Therefore, we will offer you activities that will allow for an interesting presentation of what you are doing. According to one advertising slogan: “Better visible, visibly better!”

  1.   We will regularly inform you about the public interest in what is happening around your campaign.

Let’s talk a month before your campaign. Then we can calmly plan all the activities. You’ll feel more confident because you’ll know what’s going to happen. Such a campaign is an additional job—after all, you will not suspend your normal activity for a month or two while it lasts. If you plan it properly, you get the feeling that you have control over what’s going on. You don’t need the extra stress. Above all, however, you will gain more funds.

Do you want to take care of the communication yourself? Below is my checklist, which is what you should have if you plan to implement a communication campaign yourself:
  1. Write down the most important things about your company that make you different, better, and more interesting.
  2. Prepare a dedicated video about the campaign. Let others get to know you and find out why they should invest in your company. Show how you want to spend the money you collected.
  3. Make a calendar of posts and ads on social media. Once the promotion starts, you won’t have to work on it on an ongoing basis.
  4. Make a list of the media and journalists you want to reach with the information, and then send them a message about the ongoing collection.
  5. Make a list of all the people who could help you share information about your campaign.
  6. Test and observe. Here, unfortunately, there are no ready-made patterns that you can copy 1:1. Analyze what makes the meter on the campaign page grow and repeat these actions.

Good luck! If you want to talk about your campaign, I invite you to individual consultations.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Creating a Community

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Creating a Community

I would compare community building to mountain climbing. In the beginning, often our dream peak seems distant and difficult to reach. But with each step, we see that we are getting closer and closer, and the trees at the bottom are getting smaller. And so, step by step, we reach the dream mountain. There’s no shortcut here. This process must be done according to what the environment is telling us.

What is there to remember when you start your adventure with community building? Whether it’s building a community around a person or a topic, the following tips should work for each of you.

1. Designate a permanent place of communication

In the beginning, we should choose a space where our group can be kept up to date with what is happening.

It can be a channel on social media (or even a few), mail, or even a permanent event space. You choose a place based on where you find people who are interested in you, what resources you have available, and what your goals are. The most important thing in all of this is consistency.

Chaos, which is a situation in which you once post on your Facebook profile, then suddenly send a letter by mail, and then do an Instagram story, may turn out to be too expensive. At first, it’s better to choose fewer channels and manage them well, rather than try to be on every platform.

2. Be systematic

Communication with your community should be directed towards building a habit. And this is created through regular activities. By sharing content every day, you’re getting used to the content you create. Regularity is essential here. I even noticed the need for regularity in my surroundings, for example by observing activities on Instagram. If people who publish regularly suddenly stop, I feel very surprised. I wonder what happened. I see the need to find out what’s going on with them right now. And that is their strength!

During the partnership with Venture Café in Warsaw, I conducted authorial interviews called “Women”! I talked to absolutely exceptional women about their beginnings in business, the biggest lessons, and their goals. From the very beginning, the organizers have focused on building communities around this project. All interested parties knew when and where the meetings were taking place.

If someone asks about the recommendation of interesting events in the field of innovation in Warsaw, it is known that I can always offer something.

Therefore, be systematic, systematic, and, once again, systematic 🙂

3. Create a symbol that identifies the community

There are plenty of these symbols in our daily lives. The well-known Apple’s bitten apple image or the Nike “swoosh.” In my opinion, Martyna Wojciechowska’s partnership with the W. Kruk brand was great. I liked the Freedom collection the most—wings, compass, hawk. Symbols that, on the one hand, have their meaning, and on the other hand, leave room for each of us to give our own meaning. At the same time, they are beautifully related to the ambassador’s personality, her daily work, and her motivations. By owning such jewelry, a person can find what is missing in their life or demonstrate what is important to them.

6 rzeczy, o których warto pamiętać przy tworzeniu społeczności

 
4. Communicate your values clearly

The beginnings of community building seem easy. We know what’s important to us, what drives us. However, over time, a crisis may come. On the one hand, it may seem to us that we talk about something so often that it makes no sense to repeat it. People in our circle need to know these things. However, here we forget that new people may still be appearing, and it is because of them that it is worth repeating some things.

6 rzeczy, o których warto pamiętać przy tworzeniu społeczności

 

On the other hand, the values that are important to us could become blurred. Something that was important to us at the beginning becomes commonplace and is no longer something special. It also happens that our values change, which is not a bad thing in business. It is then that the accusations appear, such as “sellout,” or “he/she is no longer the same as he/she used to be.”

I encourage you to observe your communication during this time. Continually emphasize what is important to you, and what motivates you. And when the change comes, speak boldly of it. This is always fairer and creates an opportunity to start an interesting discussion, to start a dialogue.

5. Express yourself and listen to feedback

The community is not made of one-sided communication. It is a dialogue, and it is worth being aware of it from the beginning. The community requires its creators to be open to feedback. Not everyone will always be comfortable with what we are doing, and will have their own different expectations, often emphasizing it and informing us about it. But that’s the kind of living community that’s the best test group there is. The ideal situation assumes that you will be able to send information to specific people, that they are the first ones who can check if everything works or does not work as it should, even before wider distribution. This can be a great distinction for them, and for you, it will be valuable feedback and information on what needs to be improved.

You can count on the brutal honesty of the group members. However, when you listen to their suggestions and implement them, you will gain dedicated users. You’ll give them a sense of agency. Co-creation is a wonderfully engaging element.

6 rzeczy, o których warto pamiętać przy tworzeniu społeczności

 
 6. Organize meetings

Nothing can replace a face-to-face meeting. Despite the huge number of communication platforms, most of us are happy to meet with others in real life. I observe this daily, and I see that even though people talk to each other through instant messengers, a live meeting allows them to raise issues that go beyond the current topic of conversation.

People are social beings, and often a sense of belonging to a given community can be seen during the conference. Events can integrate strongly, open your eyes to other opportunities for cooperation, and encourage you to talk more openly.

For how to organize them, you can read here and here.

When building your community, try to create conditions for your community to meet. Whether by opening a new store or launching a new app, or maybe by a hackathon. You have plenty of options here. Test and see which one works best for you. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, contact me 🙂

How Do You Build a Community Around a Brand to Sell More?

How Do You Build a Community Around a Brand to Sell More?

I’ve always believed in groups. It’s in groups where important, interesting, and sometimes intriguing topics are discussed. I trusted that there was strength behind them, and looking at how the modern business looks today, I was not wrong.

When we look at the best-performing companies, especially those directing their offer to individual customers, we notice that they all strive to build a community around their products.

Through various activities, they try to attract and keep us as long as possible. Why? To put it bluntly—building a community pays off! In this material, I will tell you why and give you tips on what to remember when you create your own.

To Build a Community Means to Spend Time on It

A lot of time, actually. It won’t happen overnight, just like you won’t make a friend overnight. And often, building such friendly relationships within the community is aimed in this direction.

Looking at various brands, we will see that they are largely addressed to women. For what reason? There are a lot of factors behind this, but the key here seems to be the need to build bonds, to belong. Women, more often than men, admit that they like and want to be part of a group. Of course, that doesn’t mean men do not also.

When we look at groups on Facebook, we will immediately notice how many women’s organizations are there. They allow you to talk, exchange opinions, and share your thoughts. This is how women establish real relationships: by talking. The more intimate and difficult the topics are, the stronger the bond between the women is formed.

The need for bonding is one of the four needs that make the economy work in this way and not in another. It is worth taking it into account when creating your communication campaigns.

How to Build a Community Around the Brand

Observing various communities, I noticed that two models of their design can be distinguished.

The first is based on the personal branding of the leader.

The second gathers others around common topics.

Jak budować społeczność wokół marki by sprzedawać więcej

How is the First Model Created?

Here, the first place is taken by the leader. A person who, with charisma, passion, and commitment, convinces others of what they believe, and what is important to them.

Such a person strongly emphasizes their values, and over time begins to gather around themselves people who are similar. Such a person can inspire and educate them.

This model is also associated with our search for a “role model,” someone you can refer to or whose example you can follow. Sometimes such a person is a point of reference – “Yes, I want to be like them!”

You can read about how to work on your personal branding to build a community here and here.

The more reliable, coherent, and interesting a role model seems, the more they will attract others. The disadvantage of such a model of community building is the so-called “human factor.” For one thing, knowing that others look at what a person does and the risk of a setback does not always help. For another thing, you need to sense the moment when it no longer matters who is a leading model in a given project. Suddenly, the project can begin to live its own life and have a chance to survive even without the person behind them.

The next step is to recognize the needs of the emerging community, understanding their motivation and concerns. Then, we are only one small step away from creating a product, i.e., trying to monetize and scale our values.

You can make money from speeches, meetings, and consultations—however, only the scale gives real development opportunities. Look at the influencers. They are not limited to creating materials in their social media channels, but they market products that they first present to the communities they create, and they are usually the first tester and buyer of new products and then become their ambassador. Clothes, books, restaurants, cosmetics, jewelry. There’s a lot of it. The longer I look at it, the more I wonder what makes the product successful.

For me, a brilliant example of such a strategy is Anna Lewandowska, who leads her community like a pro. In the National Court Register, I found information about six companies she is involved in. But she has a lot more products. What is very striking is the consistency and complementarity of what she introduces to the market; here we have snacks, a cafe, a sports center, trips, sports camps, a training app, clothes and accessories for children, and cosmetics. No wonder that in 2021, Wprost magazine valued her assets at 231 million PLN.

It’s safe to assume that her marriage helped her. It certainly gave a completely different start. But there are a lot of well-known soccer players’ wives who have not achieved such business success. In my opinion, they do not build communities around themselves as effectively as Anna does. Her financial results speak for themselves.

Jak budować społeczność wokół marki by sprzedawać więcej

The Second Model

The second model of community building does not focus directly on a man who, like the sun, attracts others to orbit him. It’s the topic and issues relevant to the selected group that are important here.

This approach will work very well in B2B. The key is to define the problems of the group people are interested in and prepare a product that will respond to them.

It can be an event you organize, a book, an ebook, or anything you think is best for the situation.

We created one of these communities for Hubraum; you can find the details here.

The topic of how to build, develop, and create products around the community is particularly close to my heart, which is why I will certainly talk about it more here. If you think it would be useful for your company, contact me. I will try to help you.

 

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