Updated: Jan 31
In the years to come, social media communities will become more discerning and targeted than ever before. There has been talk about private communities for some time already. Mark Zuckerberg himself wrote in the spring of 2019 that Facebook communities will become much more private in the years to come.
Marketers have already started paying attention to such communities and 40 percent believe that private groups on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn will become more important for the creation of effective digital campaigns.
What does it take to deliver the right content to such groups and ensure engagement?
Content marketing in 2020 will be heavily focused on small social communities and provoking the right response from these groups. Careful content curation will play a key role in guaranteeing relevance. Here are a few other essentials that will need to happen for optimal results.
Defining Your Target Audience Will Still Be Important for Content Marketing in 2020
Even if you rely on innovative content formats, you’ll still have to follow one important traditional rule – define your target audience in advance. Know your buyer persona and understand your ideal client’s circumstances. Niche online communities tend to attract similar-minded individuals. These people share a common interest or a conviction. Based on this information, you can put your fingers to the keyboard and write or create content with the specifics of the audience in mind. To promote content successfully to an online community, you have to know exactly what motivates the specific group of people.
Start Digging Digitally
As already mentioned, online communities in 2020 and the years beyond will become much more private and difficult to identify. You will have to do some digging to find where your audience is hiding. Begin with Facebook and LinkedIn – two of the platforms that enable the creation of specialized communities. The power of websites like Reddit, Quora and Tumblr shouldn’t be underestimated. They can be even more powerful than popular social media in terms of attracting highly specific audiences.
Facebook groups and communities are often private and restricted in terms of access. Thus, you’ll need to sign up as a member first. Becoming an engaged member of the community is your first and primary goal. This is where you need to focus all of your effort before you even start thinking about advertising and promoting any kind of content. It’s also crucial to be clear about your participation right from the start.
Don’t pretend and focus on transparency if you want to make the most of the opportunity. People have become increasingly good at recognizing promoters. If you pretend to be just “one of the guys” and eventually start spewing promo messages, you will very soon lose your membership.
Analyze the Content That Has Already Been Shared
Content marketing in 2020 will be even more heavily dependent on research than it already is today. You can’t just experiment with different types of content until you find the one that works, If you’re perceived as a spammer, you’ll quickly lose your community access privilege.
This is why you have to pay attention to detail before posting actively. Sixty-three percent of social media marketers believe that “listening” will become even more important over the coming years. When it comes to content marketing, brands typically focus on what they want to say. Rather, they should be paying attention to what the audience wants to hear. Social listening provides a ton of useful information about how a brand is being perceived in the online realm. Based on such data, companies can make much more adequate decisions in terms of content marketing in 2020.
Understand Why People Join Online Communities
Content creation on its own is seldom enough to target communities effectively.
To make the most of these online gatherings in 2020, you have to understand the reasons why people join niche online groups. Statistics show that 90 million Americans have participated in online groups. Of these people, 49 percent reported that they joined a community to communicate with people who share similar interests.
Hence, getting in touch with other birds of a feather trumps the access to niche, useful information. A desire to help those participating in the same community is another common reasons for joining. Marketers need to offer value to the community in some way, rather than engage in direct sales. Content that is emotionally-charged, informal and niche at the same time will do good, especially if it addresses some of the questions/issues community members are dealing with.
Customer-centric context will prevail in 2020 and beyond. It will play a paramount role, whether you’re targeting B2C or B2B online communities.
Content in 2020 will connect, touch and entertain people even more than it has done in the past. Thus, you will need to spend more time on creating quality content and identifying the right communities to share it with if you want to boost engagement and see actual returns.