The pandemic has taught B2B companies that they can’t go back to how things used to be. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
When all B2B community marketing went online, many companies tried to replicate in-person events with how they hosted their virtual events. But, let’s be honest, it just isn’t the same. But there have been a plethora of people who’ve learned from their all-virtual year and are revolutionizing their businesses.
Ahead, we’re unpacking what B2B companies relied on in the past, where B2B community marketing is going, and highlighting some businesses that are shining examples already.
Here are 3 ways B2B community building is changing in 2021:
B2B companies need to sustain deep, focused relationships with their target group of customers to succeed.
What that means is community building for B2B companies involves keeping up with discussions permeating the industry, staying present in peer networks, and regularly communicating with key customers.
In the past, B2B community marketing largely hinged on hosting big in-person live events focused on specific topics that brought together a wide range of people to connect. You know what we’re talking about: going to panels and keynotes with industry leaders, hitting up mixers after events, and generally networking at the event.
But the way B2B businesses used to operate most likely won’t return. New solutions must be found and the first shot at this was the variety of virtual events that companies hosted in 2020. The problem is that many of these virtual event solutions for B2B community marketing simply tried to recreate what an in-person event was like instead of utilizing the software to its full potential.
1. Virtual events are here to stay, but there’s room for improvement
As we stated above, many B2B community building efforts during the pandemic revolved around creating virtual events and experiences to replace already planned projects.
Virtual events are great because they allow more people an opportunity to attend your conference, but they can be a downer if they aren’t fully utilizing the benefits of the digital space.
Many B2B companies who hosted virtual conferences in 2020 tried to recreate their events 1:1. We saw conferences that built out complex web pages that replicated auditorium stages, conference halls complete with embedded video feeds, one-way broadcasted keynotes, and un-interactive presentations where attendees couldn’t ask questions or converse.
While these were honest attempts at trying to keep B2B community marketing calendars intact, they just don’t cut it when you’re trying to actually build connections between your attendees.
What followed after these events were invites to Slack communities and other chat apps as a means for some kind of B2B community building to take place. While these were okay quick solutions for networking, we would be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit they are a bit draining and lifeless.
But online community platforms are helping B2B community building take on these new challenges with powerful tools and services.
2. Online community platforms are changing B2B community marketing
We’ve been talking a lot about how B2B community building, specifically, event hosting was changed by going digital. But there’s another aspect to this equation and that’s how online community building platforms are helping change the game for what’s possible.
Many online community platforms have built tools and services for B2B business owners to create community spaces for their members. Why have so many people flocked to this solution? Because, as we’ve seen with some of the lackluster virtual events that happened last year, developing a great B2B community website is hard work.
Online community platforms, however, are providing businesses with options that can exist long after they’ve hosted a virtual event.
More specifically, platforms like Mighty Networks are building powerful and robust services for B2B businesses that allow them to have communities, online courses, paid memberships, and virtual events. And most importantly, they are all under your company’s branding, available across web, iOS and Android devices.
3. Build your own custom experience
White-label branded apps are changing the way B2B community building works.
Here at Mighty Networks, we offer a premium service called Mighty Pro that gives all of the features businesses get on a regular Mighty Network, but expanded so that you can create your own branded app available in the App Store and Google Play Store.
That means, your app has your brand icon, you can deliver branded push notifications, events, and more. This is a great app for community managers because it provides you with immense customization and brings your community together under one roof.
But why is this important for B2B community building? Let’s unpack that a bit more.
A private network
Online community platforms are allowing B2B businesses to create their own private networks. This is an amazing opportunity because it allows these businesses to build spaces that are specific to their needs, and gives them more control over them too.
After all, B2B community building is all about bringing together a group of like-minded people around a common interest or goal. This means that you’re creating your own network effect for your B2B business. Each new member that joins your community app adds additional value to your network just by being there.
A branded community app will also give your members the most seamless experience for interacting with your content. The more clicks that it takes to get to your community, the more likely it is that people will end up going somewhere else.
Your business gains legitimacy
Another reason to consider a community building platform with a white-label app service for your B2B business is that it gains your business legitimacy.
Whether you’re hosting a virtual event or trying to build a B2B community, allowing your members and attendees to access your community anywhere will keep them more attentive and interactive.
One of the major problems of many virtual B2B community building offerings is the fact that they are locked to computer experiences. The fact of the matter is that many people use phones and tablets more than their computers.
When you’re thinking about how to build a B2B community, having the most available experiences possible with your branding means that your members will be focusing all of their attention on your app when they log in.
If you’re curious about what B2B communities have found success using Mighty Pro, we’re covering those below.
B2B companies using online community platforms to grow their business
If you’re curious about what some successful B2B communities look like, ahead we’re showcasing a few who’ve elevated their businesses with the help of Mighty Pro.
Wealth Without Wall
Russ Morgan and Joey Mure started their B2B community Wealth Without Wall, a membership site for those seeking to establish long-term financial freedom and passive income without Wall Street.
They started back in 2017 as a Facebook Group but quickly realized how distracting social media community platforms can be. They quickly realized that they’d need a more expansive platform if they wanted to bring Wealth Without Wall to the place they wanted it to be. That’s when they found Mighty Networks and Mighty Pro.
Switching over to Pro allowed them more control over their brand and community experience, and since launching in early 2020 their community has grown to over 3,700 members.
Lee Roberston started his B2B community Octo Members in 2018. It’s a private community that provides UK-based financial services professionals with resources for personal and professional growth.
Octo Members started in 2018 and through the help of Mighty Pro has grown into a community of over 2,700 members. Robertson was drawn to pro because he wanted to create a private community where industry professionals could share their experiences and expertise with one another.
Having a dedicated native mobile app allowed Roberston and his team to launch their community quickly without the need for a lengthy development cycle.
The What Works Network
Tara McCullin launched The What Works Network, her B2B community back in 2016, and never looked back. Her community is focused on helping small business owners come up with more sustainable and profitable business practices.
Her online community has close to 700 members and is filled with people passionate about small business ownership. McCullin focuses on providing excellent virtual events, regular content drops, and most importantly creating an environment where people can interact and share their knowledge.
Mighty Pro is the best platform for B2B community building
We believe that the best way to build a community for your B2B business is by choosing a platform that does what you need.
Mighty Networks is a leader in the world of online community building and has many tools for you to experiment with to build a thriving community, offer paid memberships, and design online courses. You also get a powerful website builder that gives you the tools you need to deliver your awesome content.
When you choose our premium service, Mighty Pro, you’re building a brand that’s always with your people. Mighty Pro gives you all of the features offered with Mighty Networks in addition to a white-label branded app.
That means, your B2B business can utilize your brand icon, deliver branded push notifications to your users, handle events, and much more. Most importantly, you can be up and running in as little as 3 weeks!
If you’re thinking about a B2B community building solution for your business, then you’ve found it. Let’s get started building your community together.