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Elizabeth Bell

Elizabeth is a content specialist at Higher Logic. When she's not writing about online communities or marketing automation, you'll probably find her cooking, reading, or playing volleyball.

Recent Posts

Creating a Great B2B Customer Case Study: 16 Tips for Marketing + Sales Enablement

Written by Elizabeth Bell on July 25, 2019 at 11:17 AM | 8 minute read

Quantifiable, well-presented customer case studies are how business-to-business (B2B) companies prove their solution works. And what does a great B2B case study come down to? A compelling customer story that demonstrates the success of your product or service, and makes others want to buy.

It’s no secret that consumers rely heavily on reviews, and buyers of enterprise software or other services are the same:

  • Prospects view case studies before requesting demos
  • Sales teams rely on case studies to support and close deals
  • Executives use case studies to prove to investors that your company’s product works

So, when customers will vouch for your company and back up your claims with numbers, that’s gold.

But now we get to the reality, which is that finding and producing effective B2B customer case studies is challenging for marketing teams. Why? Customers are busy, they might be unhappy with your company, or they simply might not be ready to share their story. Often, case study requests end in some form of “no” or a non-answer.

However, great case studies can be created! We’re here to help customers marketers rise to the top with 16 case study tips, organized by each stage in the case study process.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

Association Tips: 6 Irresistible Member Benefits that Convince People to Join and Renew

Written by Elizabeth Bell on July 18, 2019 at 9:45 AM | 7 minute read

Getting people to join your association is like making a sale. You need to offer them something they want enough that they’re willing to pay for it.

The problem is that many other organizations have similar offers and value propositions. So what benefits can you provide that convince people to join – and stay – with your association?

Here are six member benefit ideas that should do the trick.

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Topics: Engagement, Volunteer Management, Member Communities, Associations, Member Retention, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

What is Net Negative Churn? 4 Strategies to Grow Your Revenue

Written by Elizabeth Bell on July 10, 2019 at 1:22 PM | 5 minute read

Even the greatest companies out there are bound to lose a customer once in a while. It can be hard to pinpoint a single reason that your customers stay with you or leave. However, if there's one thing we know for sure, it's this: change leads to churn, especially in the SaaS world.

When services or products evolve, your new offerings aren’t always going to be the right fit for all your customers. Customer churn simply comes with the territory of doing business.

Since we know at least some churn is a given, is there any way for businesses to offset these costs? 

This is where net negative churn comes in. Although the wording can be confusing (isn’t churn already negative?), this metric is actually an effective growth strategy to help you counteract churn and increase overall revenue.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Success, Online Community

39 Online Community Stats You Should Know in 2019

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 13, 2019 at 8:58 AM | 6 minute read

The Community Roundtable annually releases The State of Community Management Report, and it’s chock-full of timely online community stats to help inform your strategies in the year ahead.

Community is increasingly recognized as a valuable and effective way to create complex organizational change, and The Community Roundtable’s research has backed up and lead that effort by finding hard data and facts.

We’ve pulled out 39 of our favorite stats from the report (but don’t worry, there’s more stats and info to be had in the full report!)

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community

Public Social Network or Private Online Community? 11 Tips to Guide Your Decision

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 6, 2019 at 2:10 PM | 8 minute read

Would you build your house on rented land? Or move all your belongings into a hotel room?

The answers are obvious. No, you wouldn’t, because you’d be trying to create something permanent in an impermanent place that you don’t own, where things could change at any moment.

Could the same concept apply to building a community for your customers or members on social media? We think so.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Associations, Online Community Software, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community, Integration, Advertising

8 Ways Online Communities Improve the Customer Experience + Retention

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 28, 2019 at 12:09 PM | 6 minute read

On the day you’re reading this, at least one of your customers is watching a webinar, downloading an eBook, or fielding a phone call from your competition. 

But you know what? Big deal. When you focus more on becoming competitor-proof than on true customer success, you’re getting your priorities wrong. Why?

Making your customers successful is a long-term retention strategy. Your business rises and falls based on the customer. If they love you, they won’t leave you – no matter how many competitors come knocking on their door.

And one of the best ways to ensure your customers’ success and support them throughout their journey?

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Support, Online Community

Onboarding for Retention: How to Engage New Members for the Long Term

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 23, 2019 at 2:55 PM | 6 minute read

Onboarding new members is a critical step for associations, and often one that is missed or under-emphasized. That first year of membership has a big influence on whether that member will renew with you.

If you’re onboarding with the goal of retention (and you should be), it’s all about connecting your members and continuing to engage them at strategic touchpoints. Engagement during their first year of membership, and every year after, is how you keep members around.

When evaluating how your onboarding program is doing, ask yourselves if these three things are true about your program:

  1. Are members quickly introduced your association’s benefits, like your member network and key resources?
  2. Are members drawn in so much that they want to remain and participate?
  3. Are staff able to introduce members to these benefits on a large scale and in a personalized way?

If the answer to any of these was no, don’t worry. We’ve got the resources you need to get your onboarding program where you want it to be.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Member Communities, Associations, Member Retention, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

15 Tips to Help Successfully Move Your Social Media Community to a New Platform

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 14, 2019 at 8:41 AM | 8 minute read

No matter the reason for the change, anyone who has grown an online community to maturity on a Facebook or LinkedIn or Yahoo group can tell you that the thought of moving that community to a new platform is enough to keep a person up at night.

There are logistical and personal challenges to migrating an entire community, like:

  • What if engagement totally dies?
  • What if we lose all the activity from our old group when we transition?
  • What if community users don’t move?
  • What if users start their own rogue communities because they hate our new platform?

But whatever your worries are, moving your community to an official community platform could be what it needs to become even better. Plus, with Yahoo Groups shutting down, it's definitely a good time to think about a new home for your community.

To get you to that new, better place, there are some strategic elements to think about as you transition your community from a social media group to an official community platform. 

(Not sure you want to move to a platform built for community yet? Let this post convince you.)

We’re here to help you meet your goals while avoiding these pitfalls.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Engagement, User Group Management, Member Engagement, Online Community

3 Benefits of a Customer Advisory Board for Your Software Company

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 9, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 5 minute read

Do you have a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) or customer advisory council? A lot of software companies do. It’s one of those boxes that you check because you know it’s a best practice.

But something else that’s common is when companies check the CAB box just to have one, but don’t end up doing much with it (likely because of the workload it takes to manage). Rather than becoming the product and customer experience-changing entity that it has the potential to be, many CABs go into hibernation, never to be heard from again.

It’s time to change that. It’s time to mobilize your CAB for action.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Support, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

What is a Social Business Model? 8 Companies Doing it Right

Written by Elizabeth Bell on April 23, 2019 at 12:19 PM | 17 minute read

Once upon a time, during the initial rise of social media platforms and online communities, people were aflutter about what these new developments would mean for their business. The term “social” seemed to compound every business buzzword, making it difficult to understand what a social business really looks like.

In today’s world, the social business model has become an expectation, rather than a new idea.

Here’s our formal definition:

What is a Social Business Model? The social business model is a framework utilized by companies to improve their customers’ experiences, using online channels to prioritize customer success and customer engagement.

Now that we (and the social business model) are older and wiser, we can reflect on what the impact of the introduction of these platforms. To help illustrate the concept better, we’ve compiled a list of eight companies we think are using the social business model well. Spoiler alert: Netflix is one of them. 

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Online Community

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