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Silver Shares

Drive organic growth

29th January 2024

The 4Cs of community-led marketing​


Drive the network effect and unlock organic growth​

There is an increasing focus on driving community-led business growth

An ever-evolving B2B landscape is driving organisations to re-evaluate their marketing strategies to focus on creating authentic connections with audiences, encouraging brand loyalty and advocacy, as well as powering organic growth.

Community-led marketing places the audience at the heart of a brand’s strategy, creating a foundation of member-to-member interactions that enables meaningful connections with your brand.

The ultimate goal of any community-led strategy is to generate the network effect.

A phenomenon where, as your community grows, the number of members actively engaging with your brand increases – leading to a cyclical growth in value for you and for them. Achieving this can improve a company’s bottom line through increased retention that drives higher quality and more sustainable growth.

Let’s explore four key areas that can help you develop a network effect.


Your members are the bedrock of your growth​

Communities are not built on transactional relationships. Instead, brands must build communities of advocates through authentic, genuine connections that foster great relationships.

To form meaningful customer relationships and a strong business community, it’s important for you to define your audience and design your marketing strategy around them. This will help you understand their wants and their expectations, and enable you to connect with them around a shared identity and purpose.

Once you’ve established your brand community, avoid casting a vast marketing net that aims to attract the largest number of consumers. Address the specific needs and values of your defined audience with a bottom-up, authentic focus.

This will contribute to your community-building by making members feel valued and connected to your brand.

Although there is an initial investment in time and resources to make your community successful, it can be a powerful tool for organic growth. By inspiring your members to spread love for your brand they can build connections and bring new customers into your community. In turn, your new customers will become empowered to advocate for your for your brand further – triggering the network effect.

Continue reading to see how we assisted Boardwave in driving organic growth and strengthening their network effect.

Build authentic connections with your members to trigger the network effect and drive organic growth.


Bringing European software industry leaders together​

Boardwave is driving pioneering collaboration and thought leadership as the European software sector’s only independent, high-end networking community.

Through a series of exclusive discussions, programmes and mentorships, Boardwave created a network of software leaders with different technology focuses and gave them space to share expertise, ideas and services that advance the whole network together. This view of facilitating mutual growth within the network showcases the power of a community over the individual.

Learn more about Boardwave’s community-led approach and see ways you can build a community
that helps your business thrive.


See the full story


Treat your community like people​

Shared language forms the basis of any community. Communicating in a way that resonates with your audience and captures your brand’s identity and purpose will ensure you are connecting with like-minded individuals and building authentic connections with people who will truly buy into your brand.

Speaking your audience’s language makes them feel like an integral part of the community – fostering stronger brand loyalty and encouraging organic growth. A B2B organisation is still about connecting people, so taking a people-centred approach that utilises emotion and avoids a corporate tone often works better.

To maximise the strength of your relationship, ensure communication channels always remain open, authentic and frequent. This combination strengthens the sense that your members can get in touch at any time, will speak to a genuine person and not a chatbot, and keeps your brand ever present in their day to day.

Consider your language:

  • Take a people-centred approach
  • Utilise emotion
  • Speak your audience’s language


Your community is a place for everyone to learn

A positive community is one that gives everyone a voice.

A simple way to take your community with you on your brand’s journey is to open those communication floodgates and encourage two-way dialogue. Regular surveys, user-groups that drive input, beta communities and customer advisory boards all contribute to brand development and growth, making members feel part of your overall success.

The insights your community members have can be the most powerful tool at your disposal so let them teach you things, take their insights on board and see where it takes you – often it takes brands in a far better direction.

Community-led brands are experts in leveraging dialogue with customers and understand that building meaningful relationships means having a responsibility to listen to community members and trusting their opinions.

Next, read our ‘guests perspective’ from Neil Morgan as we dig deeper into why community-led marketing strategies are winning over B2B companies.

Encourage a two-way dialogue with your members and listen to their insights.

Guest’s perspective​

Why community-led marketing strategies are winning over B2B companies

1. Why do you think community-led strategies are becoming more favourable than product or sales-led strategies?

Tremendous growth, venture capital and private equity funding are driving investment in marketing and causing markets to becoming over-crowded and increasingly more competitive – making it harder for marketers to differentiate.

Interrupt-driven marketing is becoming increasingly less productive. Organisations now need to be more efficient and always ten steps ahead to stay competitive with traditional inbound marketing strategies.

Community-led strategies take the traditional marketing funnel and flip it. Instead of pouring efforts into the top of the funnel where you’re reliant on finding the right people, in the right place, with the right problem – you’re turning your attention to those who already care about your brand.

2. In your opinion, what is the main reason B2B companies should consider taking a community-led marketing approach?

Customers will come to demand it. You can either be on the front foot or left trailing behind. Successful communities take time to build, they need to be nurtured and require time, effort and attention. By starting now, you can set yourself up for success rather than scrambling at the eleventh hour to compete with those companies who already have a community of loyal superfans.

3. Your one piece of advice for those companies that choose to switch to a community-led strategy?

Start with the customer. You need to get to know and truly understand your audience so do your homework before you dive in. How do they communicate? What are their interests or their pain points? Where are the watering holes they’re already visiting? Are there any influential figures that they listen to? Do any communities already exist that I can try and tap into?

In advising B2B tech brands on their sales and marketing strategies, Neil has seen first-hand brands shifting from a product-led to a community-led marketing approach.

Founder, CMO Advisory


Stronger brand advocacy comes from interactive and compelling brand experiences

Truly creative digital experiences are a powerful way of captivating and engaging an audience.

Your brand should seek as many opportunities as possible to tell compelling stories in creative ways.

Engaging and compelling brand experiences help to strengthen your message, grow your community and increase brand advocacy.

Interactive creativity is fundamental in encouraging your community to engage with you. Static promotions or one-way conversations keep members distant and don’t facilitate community-building, so promoting collaboration ensures members feel included in your brand journey.

Learn how Finastra, a fintech leader, adopted a creative approach to affect real change.

Read our previous edition of Silver Shares on creative digital experiences to see how you can tell your story, creatively.


Find out more


An authentic story that’s driving global change

Driven by a belief that financial services should be fair and equal, Finastra found a creative way to inspire a community to take action.

The use of AI in financial services has caused a problem with algorithmic bias, leading to discrimination against certain demographics. Finastra launched its campaign, OPEN by {Default}, to directly engage with its community of financial experts and empower positive change.

Finastra developed a multi-channel marketing strategy to tell the algorithmic bias story effectively in the market. One standout feature was the Hack to the Future hackathon which found a new and exciting way to unite coders and inspire community-led change.


See the full story

We’re ready to empower your community-led marketing

If there’s one thing Silver is proud to do, it’s drive success for our clients.

At Silver, we know that ‘Business to Business’ marketing success is really all about ‘People to People’ and generating a successful network effect is the principal way businesses will thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

We are primed to weave compelling storytelling, incisive business intelligence and creativity together to build a successful community and create stronger, more meaningful relationships that power the network-effect.

Start strengthening your community and building organic growth today.