Web Design

Building Communities vs Paid Ads

March 2021

Which is Better, cultivating or ads?

There are so many blogs and articles out there telling you how you should run your business. With all the information out there it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. This blog isn't to tell you what to do but to give you the information you need to make the best decision for you. We don't want to tell you what to do because how can we be experts at your business? Shoot! How can anyone really be an expert at anything? There is always something new to learn or a better way to do things. We are committed to being lifetime learners in this way and therefore want to foster an environment where we feel like we are learning together. 

Ultimately we want you to be the best ecommerce business owner you can be and that is why we wrote this post. Figuring out if you want to create a community around your brand or just do paid ads can be challenging. On the one hand building a community takes a lot of time, strategy and execution. You must consider the following: 

  • What kind of community would my target audience want?
  • Does this community already exist?
  • If it does, what is missing from this community that my brand can offer?
  • Do my customers hang out online? Or in-person?
  • What makes them feel like a space is genuine?

The list can go on and on and on but, don't be overwhelmed. You don't have to be perfect at this right away. Pull your market research back out and begin to answer these questions. If you realized that you haven't answered these questions in your market research then find your target audience and poll them. Or become a member of the communities they already exist in and observe them. Find out what their pain points are and how you can create a community around serving them. I know I am writing this like it will be easy and from my own experience I know it will not be. It will take time for people to trust you. It will take time for them to see the value in what you are trying to create but continue to be genuine and sincere in wanting to serve them and they will eventually come. 

When you have a community around what you sell you have a built in fan base that has already been converted into believers and it makes it easier to sell your products to them. There is a trust that you genuinely care for the community and therefore if your product addresses their pain points accurately then it will actually help them. 

Using ads is a different approach, that isn't bad if you have the right investment and strategy behind it. A lot of start up ecommerce businesses struggle with brand awareness. People don't know who you are and therefore don't really pay attention to what you are talking about or selling. In the beginning you will have friends and family support you but, to the rest of the world your brand means nothing to them. With this knowledge you can have an ad strategy that targets your audience to make them aware of who you are and then retarget them again and again to get more familiar with your brand. After seeing your ads over and over again (must be good ads) they will begin to recognize your brand and should be able to at least know what you do and offer. 

There is a world where you do these things separately but there is also a world where these two things can work together. This is where strategy comes in. Consider the time, resources and goals of your business. This will determine how much you do of each of these activities. There is no one right or wrong answer. If you implement a strategy and see that it's not working you can adjust. Keep adjusting until you get it right! If you want to be made aware of when more content like this gets published subscribe to our newsletter.

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