How to unlock community growth and attract more members - Tom RossHow to unlock community growth and attract more members - Tom Ross

How to unlock community growth and attract more members

To unlock community growth, you need to have an understanding of community marketing.

As with general marketing, community marketing typically follows the 80/20 rule. That is to say, 80% of your results will come from 20% of your marketing efforts.

In many cases, your member acquisition and community growth will actually stem from 1-2 key marketing drivers.

A growing Youtube community, driven by Reddit

One of our members at Learn.Community, Toby, has just released his latest educational space video on Youtube:

Whilst his Youtube channel itself doesn’t necessarily constitute a community, Toby is now getting help to build a monetised community around his brand.

Toby’s channel is a great example of the 80/20 marketing principle in action.

He shares each new video with his social media following. He asks friends to share the video. The video gets announced to his Youtube subscribers.

However, all of these efforts yield very limited results.

In Toby’s own words:

My second video for my channel was doing okay but not great yesterday after lots of promotion but as with the first one I put it on the space page on Reddit, where I keep getting really good resonance and I was lucky enough for it to go viral really quickly. My video went from 12 likes to 12 thousand likes overnight and I’ve got 1200 wonderfully supportive comments on Reddit to get back to.

What caused this latest video to attract 14,000 views in 21 hours (and climbing fast!) is that Toby submitted it to the Space community on Reddit. The video was picked up and trended on Reddit’s homepage.

This wasn’t some random viral moment. It was intentional. Toby saw similar (albeit more modest results) sharing his first video on Reddit. Therefore, he’s now been able to establish a repeatable, high-impact marketing channel for each new video. Clearly, his videos resonate with the Reddit community.

How to unlock true community growth

Like Toby, there will likely be 1-2 key drivers of growth for your online community.

Think of these drivers this way – if you didn’t do them, you’d see no real progress. If you did them, but stopped doing everything else, you’d see similarly positive results.

If Toby only shared his new videos across all his channels, the video would capture hardly any attention. However, if he paused all marketing apart from sharing on Reddit, his video would still attract 99% of the views he is currently seeing.

At Learn.Community, we have a field in our application form where people can specify where they discovered the community. If you use an application process for your community, I absolutely recommend this strategy.

I can clearly see which channels are driving the most members for us.

Double down on your best marketing channels

We all have limited time, so it stands to reason that we can’t do everything. In my case, my biggest drivers of new members are being an active person of value in complementary communities, and getting in front of new audiences through distribution.

Therefore, these are the channels I focus on most. It’s far more manageable to really focus on 1-2 channels for marketing my community, versus trying to spread myself thin across every single platform.

I’m constantly auditing what’s working and what isn’t.

Podcasting – not a huge driver for me.

Live workshops/webinars on other people’s platforms? – That’s a great channel for me.

I could do 40 podcasts and attract the same number of members as one solid community workshop. Therefore by focusing on community workshops, I’m being 40X smarter with my time.

I encourage you to stop treating all your marketing channels equally. Start paying attention to which are really driving community growth for you, and go all in on them!

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Connect with like-minded community builders and make real progress with your online community. Learn.Community offers an active forum, weekly workshops and a complete learning pathway.

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