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, Author: Craig Fuher

How to Build Effective Community Partnerships

In today’s business world, brands often succeed by building their own communities. Customers don’t just want to interact transactionally. They often gravitate toward brands that they can engage with and learn from outside of the times when they’re making purchases.

What exactly is a brand community though? 

“To put it simply, a brand community is a place for people who prioritize establishing an emotional connection to your brand and meaningful connections with other consumers who feel the same way,” explains Amity.

Those connections could take place via social media, a Slack group, in-person events, etc. But forming your own community isn’t easy. To jumpstart growth and expand further than you could on your own, it helps to learn how to build effective community partnerships.

Work Together

By working with other organizations that have their own communities, whether that’s other insurance businesses, other types of B2B businesses, educational organizations, or anything else, you can reach a wider audience and draw more people into your own community. In turn, that can lead to benefits like stronger customer loyalty and customer satisfaction, which can then result in better renewal rates, more referrals, etc.

 If you want to build stronger relationships with customers, we can help. Click the button below to learn more. 

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H2: Grow Your Network

A good place to start when figuring out how to build effective community partnerships is to grow your network based on those you might want to partner with. That means identifying what types of partnerships you want and determining where to find those community leaders.

For example, an insurance agency might want to build community partnerships with law firms that might be connected to entrepreneurs that need insurance. So, the insurance agency would then want to start networking with law firms, such as by:

  • Connecting with legal professionals on social media
  • Attending events that attract legal professionals, e.g., events about business formation
  • Subscribing to legal newsletters to get a sense of what matters to these professionals and perhaps learn more about where to find them online and offline

As you grow your professional network, it can be easier to then approach other organizations to build effective community partnerships. Otherwise, if you try to partner with another entity without having interacted with anyone there before, your request might not be received as warmly.

Communicate Value

Once you’ve formed some connections that could help with building effective community partnerships, the next step is to communicate the value that this teamwork provides. If you email your local professional organization saying you want to co-host an event, or if you reach out to an InsurTech business to team up on content creation, the other party might wonder what’s in it for them. 

So, solving how to build effective community partnerships also means being able to convey the reciprocal benefits of these partnerships. For example, if you’re suggesting that you co-host an event with another organization, explain how you’ll promote the event to your own audience, who might be a good fit to become customers or members of whatever organization you’re trying to partner with. That means you might have to start small and build larger partnerships over time once your own community grows.

Also keep in mind the value that these partnerships provide for your own audience and see how you can communicate that to them. For example, if you’re promoting another organization in your email newsletter (and they’re doing the same for you), let your customers know why you’ve teamed up with that other organization and how their offerings might be helpful. Perhaps that other business offers services your customers are looking for, and maybe your partnership could even include offering your customers a discount on that other organization’s services.

Team Up on Marketing

A key component around how to build effective community partnerships is often getting into the nuts and bolts of marketing. That can include working together in ways such as:

Creating blog posts

To reach each other’s communities, you can create blog posts together in several ways. One idea is to guest post on each other’s sites so you can get exposure to each other’s audiences. Another idea is to create an article where you interview a leader at the other organization and incorporate their insights into your article. That can provide value for your own customers and encourage the other leader to share the content with their own network.

Engaging on social media

Creating blog posts in partnership with organizations often lends itself to social media engagement, like if you each share the article on LinkedIn and tag each other. But you don’t have to limit the engagement to these situations. You can also comment on each other’s posts and share their organic social media content. Doing so can help you both get exposure to new audiences.

Hosting an event together

From online webinars to in-person networking events, you can host an event with another organization to build effective community partnerships. Your audiences can learn and engage with one another, as well as with your brands.

Swapping business cards

Sometimes simple activities like swapping business cards to then share with your communities can be effective. For example, if you each have a physical office that tends to get some foot traffic, then trading business cards and having those available for customers can help them learn about the other organization, and the other organization can do the same for you.

Promoting each other in newsletters

If you have an email marketing newsletter, you can also promote each other there to gain exposure to new communities. Doing so could involve sharing blog posts from the other organization, writing about them directly in the newsletter, sharing a promo code for a discount on their services, etc.

Share Resources

Creating marketing content together isn’t the only solution regarding how to build effective community partnerships. You can also share resources that ultimately help each of your organizations. For example, you might get together with employees at another organization every so often to swap business-related ideas, whether those are around improving your marketing, strengthening customer experience, managing technology, etc. 

Another way to share resources would be to team up to increase your purchasing power, like if buying something in bulk is more attainable if you split the cost. You could even go so far as to share physical resources like office space, which could help you both save money and perhaps spark new ways to collaborate.

Sharing resources can also extend to connections, like if you make introductions to other professionals in your network on another organization’s behalf. For example, perhaps you have a good IT professional that you can recommend, and in return, the other organization that you partner with might recommend a good graphic designer.  

Keep Open Lines of Communication

The ways in which you can build effective community partnerships can change over time, such as when customer priorities shift or when new marketing channels emerge — it wasn’t too long ago that some of the major social media networks had yet to exist, which underscores how new channels can pop up. 

So, try to keep open lines of communication with other organizations. That way, as new opportunities form partnerships emerge, you can be ready to go, rather than trying to always start from scratch. By doing so, along with following the other steps mentioned in this article, you can figure out how to build effective community partnerships that benefit your own customers while exposing you to new ones.