Society is fascinated by novelty. Whether it is the latest gadget, a new diet or social network, we get distracted. As marketers we often fall into a similar trap where we focus on the next visitor or the next buyer. The mistake is in neglecting the audience we already know.
Initially when building our sports website, we struggled with attracting the next visitor. It was only when we took a step back, asking ourselves “What are we trying to do here?” and “Who is our target audience” that we were able to see a more clearly defined picture.
For a sports site, the target audience is a group of sports fans who are fanatical about their team and their sport. These fans want to belong to a community of like-minded fans who they can interact with.
By understanding who our target audience was, we were able to change our marketing direction and focus more on giving our existing visitors a reason to come back to our site, instead of focusing on always finding the next new fan.
How can you build a community of like-minded people who visit your site multiple times a day and/or week? Here are four ways you can improve the community feel to your website:
1. Through Enriched User Profiles
The best method of understanding what your audience is interested in is by asking them. Allowing users to have rich, detailed profiles enable other group members to know who they are which, in turn, permit greater user communications between members and also, permits you a greater understanding of your fans.
2. By Enabling Two Way Conversations
Not all conversations have to be initiated by you. Provide a forum for members to discuss and share what they are interested in or struggling with, and you will see conversations take off in directions you never imagined, adding to the depth of the community.
3. Through Gamification
Use gamification to get people involved by letting them earn points and badges for joining, contributing, answering questions, etc. This will increase site usage and also provide users some fun, leaving them with good impressions of your site.
4. By Expanding Sharing
As marketers we tend to focus on Facebook and Twitter as if they are the only two social networks. People congregate all over the web, and using a widget like http://www.addthis.com”>ADDThis will allow your content to be shared all over the web, not just in two locations.
When we focused on building a community, we were able to earn more stable traffic, increase our number of page views per visit, and reduce our risk of unexpected changes in algorithms. As a result, we were able to increase repeat traffic to our websites from under 20% of all visitors to over 60%.
If you are ready to improve the sense of community within your website, contact us today!