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What is community-focused content, and why is it important?

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Community-focused content is an essential aspect of digital communication that businesses need to engage with. To establish transparency and trust, as well as deeper purpose and authenticity, companies must communicate their values, their stance on corporate social responsibility and their contributions to local communities.

According to Salesforce's 2021 State of the Connected Customer report, customers expect companies to demonstrate their values and beliefs clearly. More importantly, companies need to focus on community-level content that caters to the local audience's personalized needs, as it demonstrates a deeper sense of purpose and authenticity.

Providing information on how companies respond to crises or promote economic and environmental outcomes in local communities is critical to gaining customer trust and loyalty. If your organization hasn't already incorporated community-focused content into its content-marketing strategies, here are some examples of how it can benefit your business.

If your content-marketing strategy has yet to incorporate community-focused content, it's important to consider its potential benefits for your organization.

Defining community-focused content

Community-focused content is the act of producing content specifically targeted at a particular community, which may be based on geographical location, cultural background, interests, or other demographic characteristics. There are several key features that define this type of content.

Firstly, the content should demonstrate how a company's products or services relate to or are valuable to different communities. Instead of just providing a product page detailing the clinical advantages of a new medication, for instance, a company could create a series of blog posts showcasing how diverse groups have benefited from the medication.

Secondly, community-focused content should utilize personal stories to explore topics in-depth and make them more engaging for readers. For example, a blog post could concentrate on the day-to-day experiences of an individual within a particular community, or it could even be a guest post authored by that individual.

Lastly, community-focused content should strive to be inclusive in its language and tone to demonstrate sensitivity to various communities. For instance, if a brand is creating content focused on a region of the United States where Spanish is widely spoken, they should provide content in both English and Spanish.

Why is community-focused content important?

The significance of community-focused content can be attributed to several factors. Recently, with the effect of the COVID-19 and the prevalence of remote work, people were experiencing a greater sense of isolation, and authentic, relatable content was one outler to help re-establish that sense of connection.

Secondly, there is a growing interest in issues such as social justice and the environment, and individuals are more inclined to support businesses that align with these causes. A study by Cone Communications found that 71% of U.S. millennials want companies to take the lead on social issues they consider significant. Consequently, there has been an increase in content centered around corporate social responsibility, which aligns with community-focused content and has become increasingly crucial for brands today. The storytelling must demonstrate how companies are making a positive impact for their communities and others.

Moreover, including community aspects in a content strategy can have favorable implications for recruitment. According to Deloitte, 50% of millennials are willing to accept a lower salary to work for a company that shares their values. Brands need to show that they are doing their part for their communities to attract the best talent.

How to deliver community-focused content

To have a significant impact, an organization should execute community-focused content in an organized and thoughtful manner. A crucial first step is to have the right content management tools, which can streamline the process. There are several ways to achieve this:

  • One effective method is creating microsites for different locations that cater to specific communities. However, it's essential to have a content management system that enables publishing to multiple channels, so that different groups can be reached on various sites and platforms.
  • Another useful approach is to localize content through translation. This ensures that people in other countries or those who speak different languages feel included, and it's easily done through a CMS like Brightspot that supports localization.
  • Collaborate with multiple content creators. Allowing different people to create content in their own voice can add depth to your content. Ensure that you have content creation tools that multiple people can use with ease. Additionally, having a system that allows you to review user-generated content in the same editorial interface as expert content can be very helpful.
  • Incorporate photos and videos: Visual assets such as photos and videos can enhance your storytelling. Use the right CMS that can make it easy to organize photo and video assets and integrate them into your content. A headless CMS can also make it easier to tailor experiences for users of different devices so that these assets appear exactly the way you want them to no matter how your customers are accessing your website.
A close-up of Walmart's star logo is seen on the back of an employee's shirt inside a store. This blog post explores how Brightspot helped Walmart shift its corporate communications strategy.
Photo By Spencer Tirey

Community-focused content in action: Walmart

Let’s take a look at community-focused content in action.

Walmart, one of the world's largest retailers, partnered with Brightspot to achieve its objective of creating community-focused content to enhance its corporate communications. The company understood the importance of sharing not only informative, but also engaging content with its stakeholders. In order to do so effectively, Walmart aimed to communicate its rich history, care for the environment, communities, and associates by sharing human stories and faces alongside its corporate news.

To achieve these goals, Walmart needed a CMS that could streamline the entire content-publishing process, improve storytelling, and enable quicker changes. With Brightspot, Walmart’s corporate communications team now manages each website’s content calendar and makes changes quickly and easily. With the right tools and support, Walmart successfully pivoted towards community-focused content, demonstrating that even the largest corporations can adapt to meet evolving expectations.

During a time when social isolation is increasing, it’s clear that community is more important than ever. Digital tools can help brands portray that and showcase the ways in which they care about the communities in which they operate.


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