Building a Marketing Plan for Engagement and New Users


(Chris Detzel) #1

We just launched our community in Germany. I need some ideas on what others are doing to get the word out to our customers. Below are things that we have done already and will do. Any other thoughts and guidance on how to get new users and how to get people to contribute content would be helpful.

  1. Creating a leaderboard that will get existing members excited to contribute. (One way we would like to use this is by getting some of our customers (specific ones we identify and ask) to contribute content. We would tell them if they hit X number of points per month (by contributing blogs, adding videos, posting questions, answering questions), we will pay them up to a certain number of Euros.(here are some of the rules behind it, this could change. Click here

  2. Re-marketing - Germany has a eCommerce site we can re-market, but this gets very expensive, and they are already doing some re-marketing campaigns on special products. I am thinking we can re-market customers that have already been to the community site.

  3. Monthly newsletter - We would create multiple blogs on our community to talk about specific products and email that out to our eCommerce customers. This does get some clicks and them use to the site.

  4. We have a “Forum” link on the front page of the eCommerce site. This gets some clicks, but not a ton.

  5. Online expert (could be a supplier or someone from the company) on for “Friday” from 15:00-17:00. Ask the expert anything that refers to Lighting

This is just the start. We have done simple campaigns that introduced the community and we have people that have joined and contributed some. I’m just looking for some one off ideas and even ideas that we can do on a consistent basis.

Supplier / Manufacture Strategy
(Richard Millington) #2

Hey @Chris_Detzel,

Congratulations on the launch of the community!

I suspect the first question many people will have is about the purpose of the community. What role does is serve for your customers? What do you want them to do within it? What makes it unique etc? Is this a customer support community or do you want it to be something more than that?

How many members do you have and how many are you expecting? What is the total audience size? What kind of retention rates do you have from the customers you have now?

What is the current flow of your customers? What are their habits? To whom and to what do they pay attention to? That’s probably going to uncover the biggest wins.

There are plenty of snazzy tactics you can try to get attention, but typically it’s best to find the one thing that really matters and do it well. The biggest impact is usually having something so remarkably amazing in the community that it draws people however they hear about it.

Leaderboards don’t tend to have much of an impact until the community is already quite successful.

(Chris Detzel) #3

Hi @richard_millington, sorry for the late response, but I think it’s still worth while to talk about. We have already started to do some things, so I will mention them here.

So, our purpose is to drive more revenue to the business through our current customer base and new customers through Google. Current customers on the eCommerce site is several thousand. Current customers on our community is close to 350 in Germany. This includes customers and employees. We have close to 5% of those customers and employees active right now. My goal is to have over 1000 German customers on the community by the end of the year. I would like to have 10%+ of those customers and employees (experts) active by the end of the year. Things that they care about are (Electricians are our customers) topics around LED Lighting, Smart Home, Circuit Breakers, Solar, Wiring, and other electrical topics.

One way to reach our existing customer base is from our eCommerce site within Germany. We have added links to our community on the eCommmerce site on the header, footer, and have added RSS feeds to some of the pages. We are about to add “RSS” to the PDP.

We have also created toaster ad’s that promote the community, which have helped a lot, but are somewhat expensive.

Customers seem to really like the community, but the biggest issue that we are facing is an internal one. Our company has been around for 70+ years and we are a B2B company. This means digital is completely new to our company and our industry. My thought is, if we can get the employees engaged, by posting good content and getting their customers to get on the community, then that’s a big win. I do have a strategy for that, and is working in Canada. I have to now convince Germany to do something similar, but there are some legal barriers to overcome.

(Nikoletta Harrold) #4

Hi @Chris_Detzel, I find it very interesting that you define the goal of your community from the company’s perspective. What about your member’s perspective? What do they get out of being at the community?

We are just launching our community here in the USA for a company that is not known to be good at any digital communication to their customers… so I feel your pain. I would love to chat with you and share some ideas of how we hope to get to our customers in a highly regulated world… maybe those will spark some ideas for you too. But I think the biggest question is, what are your community members getting out of being in the community?

(Chris Detzel) #5

I"m certainly open for a call. I will send you over my email address so that we can schedule something.

We do know, from other electrician sites and having conversations with them, what our customers want to talk about and how they find communities helpful. What we have a hard time with, is communicating out to them from email, digital marketing or other types of marketing activities. Our customers want and need help on product decisions, recommendations,example here, they want to talk to other electricians to see what they are doing. A great example is here. I am literally 2 degrees separated from our customers. The customer facing employees have the direct access to our customers, which included electricians, buyers, purchase agents and procurement.

(Nikoletta Harrold) #6

So this is the heart of the matter. The employees who speak to the customers day in day out… are they all trained and informed and advocating for the community? If so, do you have any strategy in place for them to drive customers to the community?

(Chris Detzel) #7

@Nikoletta_Harrold such good questions, I love it.

So, I reside in Dallas, Texas. My specific job is coming up with strategy for our customer advocacy program. This includes Community, Ratings and Reviews and LiveChat. A year ago, I only managed our Community, and when I say manage, I found people in North America, France and Germany to be our “Community Managers”. I meet with most of the weekly to talk about the community strategy. To give some context, Our company is a B2B company and has close to 30k employees worldwide. We sell electrical products to our customers, which include electricians.

In Canada we have a great program called the Black Belt Program. This program is made up of seven belts. The goal is to get customer facing employees to talk to their customers about our digital services. This includes getting employees use to our eCommerce site, getting a customer to order on the eCommerce site, Login to our community, post on the community, get two customers to login to the community and getting them to post and answer questions on the community. This has solved some of the problems in Canada, which was a content problem. We continue to have good, fresh content on a daily basis.

In Germany, there are some laws that prohibit us from doing something like that. I have to get over hurdles there first, before I can implement a program like this. So, I’m pushing the country owner to do some digital marketing, instore marketing, employee reach out and some of those tactics. We have had some success with some areas, but not as much as I need.

I hope that helps!

(Sarah Hawk) #8

I find this interesting! I wonder if you are talking about different things.

I think that all communities should a strategic goal which is business related (or how do they justify their existence) but that can translate into objectives which support the needs of the members (or they won’t be around to support the business goal).

(Nikoletta Harrold) #9

The one thing that consistently worked for me is to tackle the issue of “what will I get out of being in this community?”. The answer to that is different for the exec sponsor, employees and customers. I find attracting and engaging people in your community boil down to being able to deliver the right answer to the same question based on who you are talking to.

(james houston) #10

Here are the top 16 engagement plan that you will must like.

  1. Offer Coupons and Discounts
  2. Offer eBooks and Other Lead Magnets
  3. Offer a Loyalty Program
  4. Host Giveaways
  5. Conduct Contests
  6. Create a Challenge
  7. Cross-sell
  8. Up-sell
  9. Showcase Top Sellers
  10. Create Interactive Assistants
  11. Create Video Demonstrations
  12. Highlight Risk Reducers
  13. Present Product Plugs (Testimonials, Reviews, etc.)
  14. Provide Wishlists
  15. Present Trust Badges
  16. Present User-Generated Content