What can community marketing bring to the table? with Zapnito's Charles Thiede

This year, utilising Zapnito’s technology, B2B Marketing launched Propolis – our community for B2B marketers to share problems, insights and learn best practices. In this week's episode, David Rowlands, editor at B2B Marketing, sat down with Charles Thiede, CEO and founder of SaaS platform, Zapnito, to discuss what makes for good community marketing.

DR: Hi Charles – thanks for joining me today! Before we really get into the deep questions, can you please just introduce yourself and explain to our audience what Zapnito does?

CT: Zapnito is an enterprise SaaS platform, where we power communities for B2B organisations and knowledge hubs, where the client owns the data, content, and we help them with a strategy.  

DR: Clearly, community is not a new concept. It’s been at the heart of humanity for millennia. With that in mind, what can community marketing bring to the table that other traditional forms of marketing (email, social media, direct mail, etc) can’t?

CT: First, it’d be good to share what community marketing is. It’s having a community hub that exists typically alongside a product (or can be the product) to drive acquisition, retention and upsell, so community marketing isn’t necessarily a new idea. A lot of it has happened in the social world, but unfortunately with the noise such as cat videos and Twitter trolls, it’s hard to build a community there.

So, what community marketing is all about is taking over your community, taking it back from social media and bringing it back into your brand’s home, where you can engage with your clients and prospects in a really powerful one-to-one setting, but also share knowledge and leverage your thought leaders and your customer advocates into the community through content and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. Some other things community marketing can do includes:

  • Build a hub of trusted content in a safe space.
  • Internal and external experts can contribute expertise.
  • Create participation, rather than passive consumption.
  • Harness collective intelligence by bringing together different skillsets and perspectives – captured and shared in one place.