Editor’s Note: CMO Coffee Talk is an open space for more than 1,300 CMOs to come together weekly with their peers and discuss timely, crowd-sourced topics. Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing co-hosts these dynamic, illuminating conversations with 6sense CMO Latané Conant.
The best email newsletter advice I’ve heard within the past few years came from Ann Handley, who reminds us that the most important part of a newsletter is the LETTER. It’s your message — what you say and how you say it — that’s at the heart of great communication. (Not to mention earning and growing a following.)
At a recent CMO Coffee Talk discussion, we covered community best practices — what goes into the most successful of them, how to sustain engagement, and (in some cases) how to inadvertently kill them along the way.
Learning From the Best
It was an honor to have Heather Foeh and Jocelyn Brown join us to share their experiences and best practices for creating and sustaining the Eloqua Topliners community. It’s one of the best examples of B2B community I’ve ever seen.
So what makes for a great community? It’s the opportunity to commune with others. It’s literally right there in the name!
Communities don’t last if they’re all business. Great, lasting communities are about the people in them. The more you help them get to know and care about each other, the more your community will thrive.
The word “commune” is often used in a spiritual context, and generally means to “feel in close contact with” others. Think about the communities that matter most to you. They likely make your short list because the people in them matter to you … and you to them.
Small talk. Shared experiences. Silver linings in your day, your life. Truly connecting with each other. That’s how you start to feel in close contact with others. That’s the foundation of a great community.
A Blueprint for Community Success
Other best practices of the most successful communities, according to Heather, Jocelyn and the more than 200 CMOs who joined us for this session, include:
Open It Up
Allow prospects, not just customers, to engage. This has the added benefit of giving you some major SEO and link-building juice. It also serves as a powerful tool for attracting and engaging future customers.
Keep It Moderated
Find someone in your company who can serve as the community manager, and find early community members who can serve as co-managers to keep conversations, content, and engagement humming.
Make It About More Than Work
Proactively facilitate opportunities for community members to get to know each other outside of work. This includes sharing hobbies, passion projects, celebrating wins big and small, and much more.
Take It Offline
Create opportunities for the community to engage with each other in the real world. This includes conferences (yours as well as third-party events where your customers and prospects are attending en masse) as well as encouraging local market get-togethers.
Coming Up on CMO Coffee Talk…
In our next CMO Coffee Talk meet-up (which is just around the corner!), we’ll deep-dive into change management best practices. Modern marketing involves much more than just new revenue targets and playbooks. It involves reinventing the very nature of how marketing is done, as well as how marketing interacts with other revenue team departments.
We’re bringing in outside change management experts to share their best practices and cautionary tales. Don’t miss this one!
Join Our Thriving Community!
If you’re a B2B CMO or head of marketing and want access to a community of your peers (1,300 strong and growing) as well as many specific ABM-related resources, benchmark reports, tactical examples and more, we welcome you! Click here to apply for membership.