You have an audience. But do you have a community?

Gregarious Narain, co-founder of Zealous, explains the big differences in his Creator Economy Expo presentation.

“An audience is a group of individuals who share a common interest in a creator’s content, typically consuming and interacting with it in a passive manner,” he says.

“A community is a group of individuals who are not only connected by a shared interest in a creator’s content but also through shared values, active participation, and meaningful engagement,” Gregarious says. “Members often collaborate, contribute to content creation, and form deeper connections with each other and the creator, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual support.”

How do you go from audience to community? Gregarious shares five things to do:

1. Start with ideation: Create content that resonates with the audience by asking for input from the community. Host a brainstorming session or post a poll about your topics. Ask members to share their stories, which could inspire new ideas.

2. Co-create: Involve members in your content. Ask them to co-host a podcast or collaborate on a video. Feature their ideas, artwork, and stories in your content. Create a question-and-answer feature to respond to their interests and concerns.

Feature members’ names in content credits and acknowledgments. Share behind-the-scenes content that highlights their involvement. You could even create a community-driven production team or content series.

3. Get real-time, pre-live reactions: Often, you produce content and publish it. But what if you could address the content consumers’ questions or negative reactions to it before going live?

Ask a selection of community members for feedback on early drafts or previews. Host a live editing session with them so they can give feedback and you can make the changes right then. If you don’t prefer those direct scenarios, regularly ask the community for suggestions and adjust your content calendar based on their input.

4. Make them marketers: The power of a community can extend the power of your content business. By involving them in marketing and sales, you foster a sense of loyalty and recognize their importance to your business.

Ask your community to share your content on their social platforms. Create a referral or ambassador program to formalize their marketing involvement and reward them for their efforts.

Learn more about referral programs in The Tilt article from Marc Maxhimer

5. Make the community theirs: Develop a sense of shared ownership and responsibility by empowering community members to act as moderators and managers. Appoint the most trusted and interested members to serve as moderators or admins so they can help manage discussions and enforce community guidelines. Encourage all members to report inappropriate content or behavior. Provide communication channels so members can voice concerns or make suggestions related to moderation and community management.

Learn from expert presenters at Content Entrepreneur Expo.  Purchase your digital pass today!

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.