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Product-Led Growth Is in the Past - Community-Led Growth Is the Futureby@deepikapundora
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839 reads

Product-Led Growth Is in the Past - Community-Led Growth Is the Future

by Deepika PundoraMay 12th, 2023
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58% of the top B2B SaaS companies in the world have a widely active community around their product. You could start a community on your website, Slack, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, Reddit, or any other channel your audience frequents. A brand community provides a familiar environment for your product users and potential customers to come together.
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Communities have been all around us for a very long time. They’ve psychologically impacted how we look at things and make decisions.


Whether it’s family, friends, or a community based on shared hobbies, they all have one thing in ’s common — they’re either based on a shared interest or a pain point.


Internet communities replicate the same values found in real-world communities.


There Is No “I” in Success, Only “We” — The Rise of Brand Communities.

Since the global pandemic, more and more people are turning to online communities to connect, network, and exchange information. And this includes brand communities as well.


58% of the top B2B SaaS companies in the world — yes, the world — have a widely active community around their product. That’s 58 out of the 100 companies surveyed by PeerSignal. Do you know why? Because these communities work on one principle — Invite, Include, Inspire.


But, What Even is a Brand Community? According to PeerSignal, a brand community is


“a place where helpful interactions happen between people united by common interests and administered by a business with a stake in those interests.”


Powered by Users, Fuelled by Fans — Why Brand Communities Matter

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The essence of what a brand creates is affiliation and identity. And as we all know, marketing is all about attracting an engaged audience interested in what you have to say and what you’re selling.


A more advanced and improved approach to doing the same is creating a community around your business.


But why?


Community-led growth has been a long time coming. Users in the fragmented SaaS market feel overwhelmed by their options and turn to influencers for help selecting tools. At the same time, the number of platforms for communication and sharing has grown.


There are more channels than ever to connect with your audience. And for your audience to connect with you.


In such a scenario, a brand community provides a familiar environment for your product users and potential customers to come together, share experiences, ask questions, and solve queries.


You could start a community on your website, Slack, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, Reddit, or any other channel your audience frequents.


When moderated well, a brand community will also gift you your biggest supporters and advocates, apart from your brilliant product, of course. Notion, Slack, Zapier, Ahrefs, etc., are some of the best examples of community-led business growth in the last 20 years or so.


If you’re scaling and aiming to hit a sustainable growth rate, investing in a brand community can pay off big time.

From Users to Fans to Advocates — The Compounding Returns of Building a Community

Here are 5 reasons to consider community-led marketing if you haven’t already.


  1. Drive organic leads and shape product-market fit.


  2. 27.3% of customers rely on online communities in making purchase decisions. With a community-led marketing approach, you tap into this market. This way, not only do you increase brand engagement, but you also establish yourself as a market leader with sound industry knowledge.


  3. You can educate and give guidance about product use. This helps you focus and customize information on relevant features and details for improved product understanding.


  4. Initiate ‘word-of-mouth’ advocacy by letting your customers talk about you candidly.


  5. Get a solid market share and top-of-mind brand recall. As people begin to talk about you and like your brand, you get more organic leads and brand visibility.

And Here’s What Not to Do:

Don’t rush the process. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

How Hubspot Unlocked Growth With a Community — A Visionary Tale

Let’s take the example of HubSpot — A cloud-based CRM platform for people in marketing, sales, and customer services. And how it grew its user base solely with inbound marketing and a community of advocates.


They host a community on their website, where audiences can connect with peers and access a library of educational resources. From online courses to webinars about inbound marketing, customer services, and sales, they covered it all.


These community groups are global, and they also have study groups for members to have conversations and clarify doubts. But their main strength is the Community Champions and Leaderboards.


They pick a member who has contributed quality solutions to queries posted on the community and give them a special feature. It encourages other members to participate in the community actively and know that their efforts won’t go unnoticed.


The HubSpot Academy was a resounding success as well. And supported the business in quickly broadening its user base. If you’ve come across their very popular course on Content Marketing, you know what I’m talking about.

Community-led growth gives customers a platform to thoroughly explore the product, whereas product-led growth may be what smoothly leads users through the product journey. If anything, the two growth tactics work best when combined.


I love how Pramod Rao, Co-founder of Threado, tackled the question of product-led vs community-led marketing strategy,


“When done properly, community and product-led growth together have the potential for becoming the bible for the next generation of startups. There’s too much emphasis on “one or the other” but not enough on how well they complement each other.”


As we’ve established above, there is no “I” in success. Only “us” and “we.”


What do you think of the rise of community-led marketing?