Six Tips to Optimize Your Community Funnel with Branch Metrics

Six Tips to Optimize Your Community Funnel with Branch Metrics

Podcast to Blog

Bonus Episode

On the C2C Podcast, Bonus Episode,
Derek Andersen, CEO and Co-Founder of Bevy, talks with Elizabeth Kinsey, Developer Marketing Manager at Slack, who, previously at Branch, built the community events program at Branch, and how she made it indispensable.
(Full Podcast Transcript)

Community building is an important aspect of any company. Identifying, nurturing, and inspiring users to be involved in the community can have long-lasting positive effects on business. One common thing that we hear with many different people in the community space is how difficult it can be to make a business case to build a sustainable events community inside a company. In an interview on the C2C Podcast with Elizabeth Kinsey, Developer Marketing Manager at Slack, previously at Branch, talks with Derek Andersen, CEO and Co-Founder of Bevy, about how she built the community events program at Branch, and how she made it indispensable.

Elizabeth begins with the questions asked by organizations that haunt the dreams of many community managers, “how are these events and how is this community actually bringing value to the business? Where does community fit into marketing and into the funnel?” Elizabeth and her team at Branch were able to break their funnel down into six steps. “These are some things that we did to try and make it a little bit easier to prove that value,” she says, “and also to get our attendees to actually be people that use our products.”

Tip one: Who is in the Community?

Seems obvious, but the first step in building and managing any community is figuring out who is in it. “We had to do was know who we're talking to, and get that information up front,” Elizabeth says, “if you don't know who your community is, then you don't know how to get them to like your product.” They found it was as simple as putting an extra field in the sign up/RSVP page, that asked which company the new member worked at. Elizabeth warns about putting too many fields on the page, for it might deter people from signing up.

Tip two: “Send the right message to the right person at the right time”

The Branch community isn’t necessarily all about sales. In fact, a lot of the community members don’t use Branch, some have never heard of it! When inviting attendees, Elizabeth says, “we like to make sure that in terms of the mix of the people we have it is some people that already use us, but some people that don't, because we're not really there necessarily to sell them the product. We're there to talk about the problems that they face, and people face more problems than just the people who are using our product.” Once you know who your community members are, whether they use Branch or not, you can move them into the funnel to receive the appropriate follow-up emails, notifications, and future event invites.

“You need that organic word of mouth. It is literally the most powerful tool that you have.”
ELizabeth Kinsey

Tip three: Build different nurture streams for each type of member

The follow up emails that are sent are just as important as the event itself. Identifying what type of member each person in the community is, then allows you to accurately funnel them into each nurture stream. Elizabeth goes into some more detail: “We’re using progressive profiling on our marketing forms…if we already know who someone is, we don't need to ask them again, but we do need to know maybe what's your job title, or maybe we don't know how many people use your app, maybe we don't know what your company size is, and you're going to have different needs if you're a small to medium business than if you're Pinterest.” It’s important to know who your members are. Between events, you need to ensure they are staying engaged, and these nurture streams will ensure that.

Tip four: Ask people to do things

Elizabeth says, “asking people to do things, even though they're not your customer already, is a really powerful motivator to get them engaged with you.” The community events at Branch are content driven, which means they are looking for panelists to speak a their events. The panelists that take part are not necessarily Branch customers, although sometimes they are, but the community team makes sure to invite non-customers to sit on the panels, as well as prospects and leads. “We like to make sure that in terms of the mix of the people we have it is some people that already use us, but some people that don't, because we're not really there necessarily to sell them the product.” Elizabeth says, “we're there to talk about the problems that they face, and people face more problems than just the people who are using our product.”

Tip five: “create content from that community and give it back to them”

Creating content for your community is a must. This can come in many different forms: blog posts, podcasts, forum conversations, help articles, etc. Branch has turned this into an annual guide they call “The Mobile Growth Handbook” The guide is full of all the people who spoke at their community events, there are quotes, topics, questions, and ideas that were brought up at the events, and this guide is sent to every attendee they saw in the year. “We feature people that are both customers and non-customers alike in it,” Elizabeth added.

Tip six: “Don't forget about them when they become customers”

Lastly, Elizabeth talked about the importance of continuing the relationship even after that person has become a customer. “The relationship does not stop when someone buys something,” she says. In fact, she argues that once someone has become a customer, that’s when the real work begins. “You want your attendee who is ‘net new’ become a lead, and then that lead becomes a prospect…then they become a customer, and then you need to continue to engage them and turn them into an advocate.” Companies are beginning to harness the make-you-or-break-you power of customer to customer marketing, and community building is a huge part of this. Elizabeth says, “you need that organic word of mouth. It is literally the most powerful tool that you have.”

Check out the incredible in person community at Branch. Read the case study!

What to read next:

Community. What is is good for? Absolutely SO MANY THINGS! The best companies in the world are pioneering these programs, find out how they are buidling community and why you should too! "What is Community?" a Bevy Blog Post.

About Author

Beth McIntyre

Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our community and connecting with members. When I'm not writing for the Bevy Blog, I'm writing about my global travels!

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