Building social communities: the NOT campaign opportunity

The quiet moments between a company’s hyped marketing and communication campaigns are overlooked and under-valued marketing opportunities. Before the rise of social media it was acceptable to ignore these moments, but we now have the tools and the techniques to convert this ”downtime” into an opportunity to build loyal communities.

Companies plan out their annual marketing campaigns with the focus of their budget spend on creating big spikes in interest and awareness. The size of the budget determines how many spikes there will be and how high they are, but regardless of the spend, there will always be quiet periods between campaigns that can be converted into customer loyalty gold.Without going into detail about integrated marketing and social calls to action, which are an absolute given, as your big marketing campaign dies down and the general interest fades, there will still be a fair number of people whose interest remains. The millions you spent shouting at them through the television and radio has won their interest, but now what? Maybe they’re still undecided about your product. Maybe they’re not in the market yet, but will be soon.Your marketing reaches millions of people who don’t immediately run out and buy your product, but might still be interested. Ignoring these people until your next big shouty campaign will tell them that you’re only interested in them if they have their money out. Maybe they need more info, maybe they’re suffering pre-purchase jitters, maybe they can’t afford your product yet, or maybe they’ll never be able to afford your product but still love it. How does your marketing serve these people?Building social communities is a long-term play. It often isn’t as loud as your traditional marketing campaigns, but it is hands down the best way to convert the marketing-driven spike in attention into an engaged, always-on opportunity. Each new marketing spike will bring new people to the community, building slowly, and opening up those precious times between the campaigns. The quieter time, or “not campaigns”, offer brands the opportunity to listen, converse, share, help and become more engaged.Winning interest from your marketing and converting some of it into the community means your marketing spike will never drop to zero, and each time you launch a new campaign you’ll have a higher base from which to work. Like I said, it’s a long-term play but if you take the not campaign seriously and work hard to maintain a healthy social community around your brand, you’ll soon have an incredible marketing asset — a large, actively engaged community.

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