How Building a Community Can Grow Your B2B Sales in 2022

Collin Bunch
Collin Bunch

January 25, 2022

How Building a Community Can Grow Your B2B Sales in 2022

One of the best (sometimes the only good) things about tradeshows and conferences before the pandemic was the random collisions with people in your industry. Between speakers, you could find people and potential customers who care about solving the same types of problems. Even when the pandemic no longer dictates our behavior, the days of in-person meetings and conferences driving B2B sales will never be the same.

Digital communities empower people across your business ecosystem as a place to get help, ask questions, and connect. Your company will gain customer insights, attract new clients, and strengthen relationships with existing clients, partners, and suppliers.

Consider how saturated ads, email, and paid search are in most markets. Gaining trust and loyalty in your space by facilitating authentic connections through user-generated content will build compounding ROI and a virtual “mote” around your business. Competitors may follow your features and strategies, but they can’t replicate the “mote” that is your community and user-generated content.

Top Benefits for Building Sales Through Community

  • Upsell and Cross-Sell Awareness - As current and potential customers discuss use-cases, best practices, and opportunities it organically leads to upgrades in purchases or connections to other parts of your business.
  • Reduce Churn, Increase Customer Value - Customer success is critical for the growth of any business. Your community can solve problems and connect people to improve their outcomes so they stay customers.
  • Improve SEO, Help the Right Prospects Find You - User-generated content with questions and responses, even best practice articles generate lots of threads or “bait” for your business while also increasing its ranking for Search.
  • Customers & Community Drive Your R&D Team - Leveraging the themes of frustrations, opportunities, and iterations for your offerings

At Job Board Fire many of our most successful clients leveraged a strong niche community to scale their business. Your community further engages with prospects who have already proved their interest in your offering - what better salespeople than other customers and vendors who already know and trust your business?

Before You Launch Your Community

  • Talk to Potential Members - Talk to some of your current customers and prospects. What are their goals, priorities, and challenges? What kinds of content could be created by or in collaboration with your customers and prospects?‍

  • Do a Soft Launch - Make your early adopters feel heard and seen and allow your team space to make mistakes, and learn from them.‍

  • Measure What You Can - It pays to be data-driven. Measure the number of registrations, track activity, and figure out what people value most about your community.

A B2B community should be developed with specific business goals in mind. But even as you work to obtain benefits for your company, you must also work to provide benefits to your community's target users.

You can't have a community without members. And busy business people won't participate in your community unless they are getting a real return on their time and effort. Keep your eye on their goals as well as your company's, and offer something for everyone to ensure that your project will be a success.

If your website plan focuses too heavily on content generated by your organization, then you can end up with a knowledge center or an online magazine rather than a real community.

Examples of B2B Communities We Love

GrowthHackers

Marketers use the community to learn, collaborate, and build their brands by sharing helpful content.

Top posts on GrowthHackers:

Zapier Community

Zapier which connects and automates all types of processes for your organization leverages their community to grow their and support customers. Because they connect and do so many things, they could never dedicate enough resources to helping everyone best use the platform.

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The Zapier community has 10,753 Topics and 36,509 Replies. Consider the investment it would take to create that many articles that actually provided value? Moreover, if these conversations didn’t happen here, they would likely take place on Reddit, niche forums, and private groups that would never connect to each other or the actual business. Their community naturally becomes a constant referral place for help and best practices. They don’t even offer direct customer service because the active community provides enough support.

Building a community daaaaoesn’t happen overnight or even in a quarter. Your team however large/small needs to commit resources and personal bandwidth to nurture and engage with people. There are many tools and models that can help you boost or manage your community.

One solution is to launch a niche job board in your space. A job board acts as a content marketing engine on auto-pilot. Job posts are the user-generated content that drives organic traffic to your brand.

Learn more about How to Monetize & Build Community with a Niche Job Board.