Community-led growth is changing the way companies grow. It works as a booster, encouraging customer interaction, and adding value that goes far beyond the service itself.
Say hello to the age of community-led growth.
What Is Community-Led Growth And Why Should I Care?
According to recent trends, a thriving community might soon become one of the most impactful channels for a SaaS company. It’s a key focus in how a lot of modern businesses expand and develop highly efficient, long-term, go-to-market strategies.
So what is community-led growth, and why should you, a founder, care about it?
Let’s jump in and find out!
What Is A SaaS Community?
How SaaS companies define their communities is both a benefit and a drawback. It can be challenging to explain it as an arbitrary concept. If I ask ten people from different walks of life to describe the word “community” from their company’s point of view, I’m sure I will receive ten different answers.
Peoples’ desire to connect prompts them to create communities. They get together because they have similar goals — and common interests.
It’s no different in the case of a customer community.
A customer community, aided by technology (ie. Facebook Groups or a full-blown community platform like Tribe.so) provides a dedicated space for your consumers to interact with one another and with your business.
Btw. speaking of communities — check out the new Userpilot Community! Join the forums and ask questions to other users, exchange best practices on user activation, product adoption and retention. Our team will also be sharing insider tips on how to grow your product even faster!
Customers will gather together because of their common interests and objectives, just like they would in any other community, whether online or offline.
Customers may efficiently self-serve, interact, and provide feedback in a user group, making them more invested in your product.
Community-Led Growth As An Extension Of Product-Led Growth
The idea behind product-led growth is that the product itself drives motivation, adoption, and a good user experience.
Community-led growth encourages customer interaction and adds value that goes far beyond the product itself. Customers may seek advice from peers, find information, accelerate their decision-making, and buy your product in a community setting — all within their comfort zones.
Software is becoming more splintered than it has ever been. There are many tools to pick from, many of which have similar or even identical features. Users are swamped with options and seek advice from peers or influencers.
Because of these factors, many businesses are prioritizing Community-Led Growth.
Community-Led Growth is a natural extension of Product-Led growth, as it’s adding value to customers beyond the product by encouraging user interactions and information sharing across a network of like-minded individuals who, in turn, become advocates, boosting the community even more.
The Community-Led Growth Model
When you contribute to, engage and grow your community, you’re supporting your entire team across multiple departments.
Product & Community
Build with, not for, your community. Your community is comprised of your most significant customers; thus, teams should always take a customer-centric approach to product development.
Support & Community
Some of the first business communities were solely focused on support, and they still play an essential role alongside support personnel today. You can count on your community members to assist and educate customers, set a good example for best practices, and cut down on the number of low-level support inquiries your team has to deal with.
Marketing & Community
To ensure that a consistent message is conveyed across all channels where you communicate with existing community members, your marketing channel and community should work together.
You can easily generate content relevant to your customer base, become thought influencers, and elevate and promote people in the community to encourage loyalty if you have a firm grasp of each team’s objective.
Sales & Community
Members of a community place a high value on trust, having been burnt by sales teams who tried to utilize communities as just another selling channel. Members will automatically favor your organization if you provide value to them through curated content and relevant engagement efforts, and they will become community-qualified prospects.
Why Every Founder Should Think About Community-Led Growth
Establish A Synergistic Relationship With Your Customers
Community-Led growth enables you to create something more relatable for your users — a movement in which they can participate and which focuses on topics they care about.
Sometimes, your product can even attract ‘grassroot’ movements like the example above of RoamResearch’s fan community — the RoamCult.
Become a Market Opinion Leader
Once you’ve learned to understand your market, you can start providing the material and services that it needs. A well-managed community responds to questions in the dead of night, troubleshoots with colleagues, and offers best-practices materials, allowing you to develop innovative solutions you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
This opinion leadership develops your company’s brand over time.
Real-time Insights and Actionable Responses
Actively managing your community provides your sales staff with a solid pipeline of interested potential customers — in many situations, a community channel is the first point of contact with your company.
Because of the peer-to-peer answers, customer service can respond to issues in real-time while also becoming leaner and reducing the number of complaints. Product teams can also observe what users are missing, what requests people make, and what feedback they have in general.
What’s In It For Them?
A community is formed by people who get together to aid, advise and collaborate around a similar interest or purpose. There are two crucial elements to consider:
- A desire to give back to the community
- The feeling of gaining something from the community
It is your responsibility as a founder to link the goals of this community with your company’s goals.
The best community members are invested in the product and are regularly and keenly looking for daily interaction to always connect with the product and the community.
These communities brought together by a community leader and then encouraged to bloom independently with minimum management and maintenance.
How long will it take before community-led growth becomes the norm? The way things are going, I give it only a couple of years at best.
So, hop on board of the community-led bandwagon and experience the new heights of customer involvement, interaction, and insights exactly how you want them.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Natalie Luneva is a co-founder of Outranking.io and Depositfix.com. She’s also a growth consultant to SaaS founders and the host of the SaaS Boss podcast. Currently, she is working on the book Community-Led Growth that is scheduled for publication later this year. Natalie is on a mission to help SaaS companies scale, clarify business priorities, and grow high-performance teams.