Influencer marketing is seen as a way to connect with new fans and leverage the trust of an influencer’s followers. Micro-influencer marketing stretches that concept a bit further. But there are complications with influencer marketing too, often around budgeting, or gathering data on the impact of the campaign. So what if, instead of striking deals with the influencers, you connected with a community where the leaders are not so clearly defined? A new report from agency Bump says that a “community marketing strategy” offers an alternative path, and that marketers should start engaging with online communities to understand them better.
What does Bump mean by “online communities”? Think Discord and Reddit: places where fans instinctively gather around a concept, genre, ideology or artist, and quite possibly not official artist channels. The key themes they draw out are an interesting snapshot of online music communities and what makes them tick: they are “progressive idealists” with a strong sense of inclusivity, they considers themselves active fans that are curious, seek new good music and support the grassroots artists. The report leans towards electronic music communities, and features case studies of brands that have successfully connected with them.
Bump itself is closely connected to the Identification of Music group – a large community of music fans that interact across a number of social media sites, as well as Reddit and Discord (both subjects of recent Sandbox Guides), and data from these members forms the basis of this report. The basic learning of building strong relationships with these communities is: listen and engage, instead of simply pushing a message.