Discord entered the market six years ago as a social platform for gamers. It quickly became popular by offering audio and video chat features that don’t overload system processors for mid-game communicating and strategising.
The platform has grown alongside the rise of esports in the gaming industry and enabled the growth of new segments, such as esports coaching.
Discord has allowed coaching-based businesses to provide a better service through its functions. For example, streamer and League of Legends coach NEACE used the platform’s features to create a two-week League of Legends bootcamp experience — the first of its kind.
You may be thinking, isn’t Discord just for gamers? No, not anymore.
Over the course of the pandemic, many non-gamers moved to the platform to stay in touch with friends and family. Its multichannel functions allow for easy transitions between different social groups and you can even organise these social groups into categories to limit hundreds of individual conversations happening at the same time.
We expect the use of Discord for non-gamers to continue to grow rapidly since the announcement of its new features and campaign to reposition itself. Discord’s new features include a Stage Discovery for communities to publicly list their audio events, threads to increase the ease of keeping up with conversations in larger communities, ticketed events and an in-app poker game.
Since its launch in 2015, influencers have seized the opportunity to use the platform to chat and engage with fans, and now businesses are slowly beginning to look towards Discord as a potential new marketing channel. These new features suggest Discord aims to branch out into the events industry too.
But before you put Discord into your marketing mix, you need to ask yourself one question: What do you want to achieve?
Marketing isn’t about jumping on the new and upcoming channels before everyone else. A successful comms plan selects platforms based on the target audience. So, if Discord is the right relationship marketing tool for your business, we’ve put together some tips for successfully use it:
1. Increase engagement
Unlike email marketing, Discord’s reaction functions provide your business and your customers with an opportunity to communicate directly with each other. It’s a great way to share content you would normally put in a newsletter, such as upcoming offers or product news.
However, this should work hand in hand with the email marketing not as a substitute. Some of your audiences will not be in your Discord server and as with email marketing lists, this takes time to grow.
The ability to divide servers into channels also allows for targeting messages through audience segmentation, without the need to manually sort these audiences. Discord also provides insights on the demographics of your server’s community to support this.
2. Provide a feedback channel
Discord provides a transparent space for customers to feel heard and express their opinions, providing businesses with valuable insights on how they can improve.
Instead of using traditional email marketing surveys with low response rates, try asking your Discord community what they want to see from your business.
This also provides the option to be able to answer any customer concerns or queries in Discord and may be able to reduce the strain on customer services by allowing other community members to support each other through sharing resolutions.
3. Exclusive content offering
Membership tiers and exclusive offerings to loyal customers are powerful relationship marketing tactics.
With the ability to make private, invite-only servers, businesses can use Discord as a ‘members-only’ channel to encourage subscriptions or to reward loyal customers.
However, it’s important that you consider what you can offer that’s different and of interest to your audience. It could be exclusive offers, exclusive members events or even hosting on the platform.
Creative funding site, Buy Me a Coffee uses Discord connectivity as a benefit for members, allowing them to grow their own Buy Me a Coffee community base and supporters.
4. Bringing together your community
Your business’s Discord server could be used simply to bring customers and supporters together as a community.
Not only does this help to give value to your customers by joining them with others that share similar interests, but it also allows you to listen to what your community wants in one place.
You could also use Discord to bring your community together through online events, which are likely to rise in popularity as we reboot following the pandemic.