Should we include Discord in our marketing efforts?

Digital
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Often referred to as the ‘enfant terrible’ of social media, Discord is taking the world by storm. But, although many industry experts are citing it as the next big thing, what can it bring to the world of digital marketing?

Here, we’ll explain what Discord is, how it differs from traditional social media and community engagement platforms and how it can be used as part of your marketing strategy.

What is Discord?

Discord is one of web3’s biggest community platforms. It’s a community-powered voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) application that’s marketed as a ‘place to talk and hang out’. A free version of Discord is available, but users can also upgrade to one of the premium ‘Nitro’ versions.

On Discord, users can create their own public or private server (private servers have unique invite links that expire in seven days). As with several other communication platforms, users can send out alerts with @here or @everyone.

Discord was created in 2015 with the aim of encouraging a feeling of togetherness among gamers. However, although it has undoubtedly helped gamers communicate with each other, today the platform’s audience includes everyone from study groups to yoga classes.

Now, the platform has more than 150 million monthly active users and 19 million active servers per week. However, its audience does skew younger and the vast majority are from GenZ.

What makes Discord different?

Users like Discord because of the functionality it provides. As part of this, users particularly like the way roles can be allocated. This prevents all users within a channel from being bombarded with unnecessary and irrelevant alerts. It also makes sure that only people who have the correct role can access certain channels and pieces of information.

On top of this, Discord’s video and audio settings are superior to those offered by other providers, and animated backgrounds, gifs and profile pictures are another big benefit. This is because they allow users to define their online personality.

Where does Discord fit with digital marketing?

Although Discord does not have a native advertising platform, there are many marketing applications for the software. Two of the easiest ways to reach your target audience are through the creation of customer community groups and through events and live streams.

Customer community groups

Discord’s channels, threads and roles allow you to manage your customer marketing efforts within a branded hub. This is because, unlike Facebook groups and Slack offerings, Discord channels allow for lots of flexibility and organisation while remaining inside a branded experience.

Using Discord, you can:

  • Identify engaged prospects/customers and tag them for VIP events
  • Create bespoke experiences with real-time pings
  • Allow users to collaborate and share on any device
  • Track first-party data

Whether you’re launching a new product or keeping an eye on what your customers are saying about your product or service, Discord makes it possible.

Events and live streams

Discord’s event feature is perfect for live streams. It provides moderators with a great degree of control and offers functionality such as pop-out screen-share and the ability to move channels and switch user audio settings.

Plus, channels can serve as sponsor hubs and networking areas, and attendees can each get roles associated with their passes.

Discord and digital marketing – the view from Spike

James Weller Account Director at Spike commented, ‘Thousands of people descend into their favorite Discord server, every day, to discuss – NFTs, Cryptos, Sports, games, films. Friendships and businesses are being formed by people that have never met from other sides of the world. It’s hard to argue that Discord has accidentally fumbled its way to being one of the most important tools to the metaverse and potentially a metaverse within its own right.’

As we move towards web3, the role of user communities is more important than ever. As a result, it’s clear that Discord is now a powerful social community tool that should be incorporated within our marketing efforts.

However, the extent to which it should be included remains debatable. Although it provides high levels of community management (and clear advantages over Twitter Spaces, Slack channels and Facebook groups), adoption figures outside of GenZ remain unconvincing. As a result, widespread adoption is likely to be slow in the coming years.

That said, as the emerging metaverse/NFT and crypto space does take off, Discord will definitely be at the heart of this move. Due to this, we definitely think Discord should be on the list of tools you should endeavor to include in your own community management and marketing strategy. It’s certainly one to watch.