B2B communities and financial outlay


(Leo Daley) #1

For those of you who have launched a B2B community, did you actually spend money on anything to promote it? We will invest in a short introductory training video for customers, but other than that, I’m wondering is there anything else that requires investment? We’ll do email, SoMe, customer and partner newsletters, internal comms and events… Anything else you’ve done that’s been effective? Ah… just thought of one. SEM Anything else? Thanks!


Supplier / Manufacture Strategy
So, what are you working on? Part 1
(Sarah Hawk) #2

I know that @designanalytics is or has recently started a B2B community, as has @Hbhospitality. @lcraig launched earlier this year, as did @Jennifer_Zowada


(Richard Millington) #3

I’d set aside around $2k to great a really incredible item of content about the topic (perhaps an eBook) featuring a lot of the top influencers (who will also promote it) to give you something to launch from i.e. lots of email addresses.

Most eBook designers would cost around $2k. I think we spent $750ish on the Proven Path book but it helped us launch our mailing list which eventually helped launched this community many years later.

I’m nervous about training videos. If the customers need training videos to use the community, the platform might not be intuitive enough. They tend to work best on older demographics. I find most people skip them unless they’re really, really good…and doing this really, really good costs a lot of money. We probably spent around $5k to $10k on our training videos for our AEM program.

You might want to test out social ads too. I know it works for a lot of people.

You might also want to hire a virtual assistant at $20 an hour to reach out individually ot a lot of people to invite them to join and get those first 100 members.

Good luck!


(Kath Reuben) #4

I’m in the process of relaunching a B2B Support community (private). To date, we haven’t spent any money on promoting it as we’re using existing communication channels. As it’s a private support community for customers only, we are maximizing word of mouth communication opportunities (so all client-facing teams have been briefed on the platform and will include this in their project/implementation/training process); internally the Customer Support Community will have a slot in our internal induction, our website and support links direct people to the community landing page to sign up (including signatures in emails), and we’ll have an email announcement go out to current members to relaunch them on the new site in advance of the UI change over. We’re aiming to do this all by month’s end, so can let you know how effective it is.


(Jennifer Zowada) #5

@Leo_Daley For the closed community I’m working on we haven’t spent any money. We are reaching out individually like @richard_millington stated. Over the past several months we had been hitting people up on LinkedIN in the industry so we have over 1000 connections from that avenue. We are also building alliances with some of the magazines in the industry hoping to get an article written about the community. Finally, we are collecting content from the top thought leaders in the industry to develop an e-book. Good Luck! It’s really exciting to see the first members join and participate.


(Leo Daley) #6

Thank you for your responses. The intent of the video is primarily to inform our existing users (of our current web based customer portal that’s being replaced with SFDC community cloud) and new visitors about what the community is and a few of its new features like P2P networking, questions, and ideation.


(Rachael Reilly) #7

Hi @Kath_Reuben, I’m in a slightly similar situation! We’ve just launched a 90 day pilot of a private B2B Community. We are facing a lot of technical difficulties at the moment but as soon as I’ve resolved them we’ll be full steam ahead again.

I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your relaunch.

Do you find it difficult to get repeat log-ins? Do you use SSO? Did you have any difficulties getting internal buy in?

I hope you don’t mind the questions!


(Kath Reuben) #8

We have a similar video on our landing page for users that outlines what we have, what they can do and where they can access. I take on board the comments that if the UX is strong, then it should be pretty intuitive. In part we’re doing it bc it’s a space filler - otherwise we’d have a big gaping hole on the first page. @Leo_Daley - how has the response been thus far?


(Kath Reuben) #9

We haven’t yet (re)launched to the Community as we hjave had lots of technical challenges too. Internally, buy in has been mixed - with very high expectations for the community to really help and save our Service Team from drowning in repeat knowledge calls, others are less enthusiastic as the previous community didn’t land well. We aren’t using SSO at the moment, it’s being developed across all our solutions before we can get it to work for Communities (I’m assuming you mean Single Sign On?).


(Leo Daley) #10

Launching on 10/3!


(Sarah Hawk) #11

So this is the first time I’ve ever heard this! What a great problem to have!
I’d love to see your community when it’s appropriate to link publicly. Happy to offer suggestions as to how you could better utilise the space.


(Rachael Reilly) #12

I know what you mean. It can be difficult to manage people’s expectations while still maintaining the levels of enthusiasm! We’re in the same position, not using Single Sign On as of yet. It is the end goal but not at the moment while we’re still piloting. Good luck overcoming those technical challenges!


(Chris Detzel) #13

Hi Leo, We are a B2B company that started eCommerce 3 years ago. We have over 130 eCommerce sites around the world. We are focused on upgrading 8 of them now, which we call our core countries. We started a community, a little over a year ago, for our customer to go so that they can ask each other questions about their trade or our experts that are in the field. We are focused on three core countries right now, and plan to expand the community in more countries next year. With that said, we have spent money on SSO and getting content on the site. We believe that content is king and we believe that SSO will help us, when integrated on the eCommerce sites, to get our existing customers to go to The Grid for support and to talk with their peers. One country believes that calendaring is key. They host a lot of onsite events and virtual events. They think that this could be another avenue for getting customers to login, create an account and bring more exposure to the community. We are looking more into that now. Good luck!

Chris