Conduct member research to learn about the community attributes that your audience rank as most important. Pick the two most highly ranked.
Give them community attributes to choose from like:
- Cutting edge
Research other places members frequently go today to find these attributes and get the value they seek.
Create a competitive positioning chart with the two community attributes as the axes. Plot your potential community and common substitutes on the graph.
For example, a support community might use personalization and trustworthiness as its axes, and plot itself alongside alternatives like customer support, social media, asking colleagues, and formal documentation.
Evaluate the competitive positioning chart to see whether a substitute can accomplish the same needs better than a community could.
While this process is somewhat subjective, be honest plotting both the community and potential substitutes. While it takes initial work to find the right positioning, it prevents a community failing because better alternatives existed.
If a substitute performs better at one of the two attributes, move to the next most pressing need from your member research and create a new competitive positioning chart.
Repeat the process until you have found two member needs that are both important to your audience and high performing compared to alternatives.
Write a positioning statement structured using the formula: The [superlative] place for [audience] to [behavior] [value].
|Most trustworthy||Colleagues||Get||(get) Help|
Your positioning statement defines:
- Who the community is for (audience).
- What members will do (verb).
- What value members get from those behaviors (noun).
- Why it’s the best place to do that behavior (superlative).
- The most exclusive place for engineers to exchange ideas.
- The quickest way for customers to get help with product problems.
- A place for beginners to ask questions and get the friendliest answers.
- The most convenient way for teachers to find and share the templates they need.
Draw up tactics that will support your community’s positioning and fulfill your audience’s most valued community attributes.
For example, tactics for a community that is positioned as most trustworthy might include:
- Moderating and checking every answer.
- Requiring approval for each member to join.
- Recruiting and rewarding top community experts.
- Quickly removing poor-quality contributions.
- Displaying credentials of top community members.
On the other hand, tactics for a community prioritizing speed may include:
- Incentivizing enthusiastic members to answer simple questions.
- Notifying groups of top members about new questions.
- Showing unanswered questions in prominent locations.
- Sending unanswered questions to agents to answer after 12 hours.