Discord: What Is It and How Can You Use It For Marketing?

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everything you need to know about using discord to boost your marketing efforts

Your kids or your friends’ kids might be using it regularly, and it could be what your B2B marketing strategy is missing; we’re talking about the Discord app—and it might be time for you to create a profile for your business.

Sure, it was initially created for gamers to converse (think: Fortnite and Mindcraft), much like B2Bs do via Slack or message boards, but now, with a userbase in the hundreds of millions, brands and companies are wisening up and accessing a whole new market of prospects. 

So, should you set up a Discord server for your company? Let’s find out.

What is Discord?

Discord is a popular voice and text chat platform with over 150 million active monthly users and 390 million registered accounts. It has its roots in gaming, with 70% of users joining the platform for gaming, according to their 2020 numbers, but it’s also finding use among businesses and marketers that are looking to engage with customers where they are. 

the growth of Discord's estimated monthly users

There aren’t any ads on Discord, and the platform relies on sources like premium subscriptions and game distribution for revenue.

It’s helping businesses build their brand by using the Discord community to grow by using a combo of video, voice, and text communication.

Users spend at least 280 minutes on the platform every month, and there are 19 million groups or “servers” available with a wide assortment of interests. Discord users were reported to log a total of 4 billion minutes of conversation a day, while an analysis carried out by Verto Analytics has Discord users spending more time on average on the platform than those on Twitter or Snapchat. It’s being dubbed the “anti-Facebook.”

A lot of people compare it to Slack and Microsoft Teams—and honestly, its messaging system works pretty similarly. But with their strong focus on community, Discord’s growing popularity means anyone can share their interests—and any business can grow an audience. The real question is: How? 

How can you use Discord for marketing?

A lot of people prefer to use social media to reach online customers, but messaging apps like Discord have 20% more monthly active users than standard social media platforms.

Really.

Discord is free, secure, and has apps for both desktop and mobile. Both private and public servers (groups) can be created—and there really isn’t a limit to how many servers you can run. And for businesses ready to take the leap, Discord can replace Slack, Skype, and other business collaboration tools. 

Why? Discord uses fewer system resources than Slack or Skype, and they have amazing customer service. Their development team is easy to reach, and their company’s own marketing model focuses on listening to the needs of its massive community—a community you can now reach. 

Obviously, internal communication is just one of the many uses of Discord for your business. It’s also an ideal platform to engage with your customers, and Discord marketing is being hailed as the new social media marketing.

Here’s why.  

Choose who you add.

Discord is all about personalization—and they have a ton of options. You can control who is in your group(s)—much like a Facebook Group—but Discord offers even more customization beyond that. You can label members. Specific roles can be assigned to each member. Access to different channels within your server can be granted or denied based on roles.

Basically, you decide how you control the group as well as who you invite—and it’s a more private setting than platforms like Twitter, so you can target messages however you’d like.

Create Moderators and Tiered Groups.

Unlike some social media platforms (we’re looking at you, Facebook), with Discord, you’re not limited to just one group within your server. You can set up several text and voice channels, and you control access using the above-mentioned assigned roles.    

There are different access levels to different chat groups, depending on if you’re an owner, admin, moderator, or member, and you’re able to plan with your team on one channel while engaging with your customers and prospects on another.            

What’s more, you can create special groups for highly active members and niche channels for different departments—like a technical support group and one for marketing. 

Tiers and member levels make organizing and communicating across multiple channels seamless.

Promote your company’s values and exclusive sales. 

While Discord users do tend to skew younger, they are typically smart consumers. Half-baked marketing schemes that fill social channels won’t work with them—they are looking for data-backed research and real value. 

The key to building an engaged community for your business on Discord is by providing exclusive sales to community members. Discord enables this through its partner program.

A simple way to give away prizes or special discounts? Announce the launch of your new Discord channel and offer these incentives to the first 1,000 members. It’s a great way to lay the foundation, spark interest, and create an active community.

Take advantage of their customer service. 

More than 80% of consumers now use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to seek resolution for issues they’re having—and these customers spend more with companies that engage with customers on these platforms.

But Discord offers something that the more common social media platforms typically don’t; they provide customer service. 

The ease with which members can reach resolutions fosters the community environment that keeps bringing customers back—and it’s one of the most effective ways to engage with prospective and current customers. 

Moderate your community. 

In addition to internal communications, you can also create a Discord server as a platform for moderated social discussion. Depending on what your target audience might want to discuss, you can create different channels and let your audience bond with one another.

You can create a text channel to discuss interests that seem relevant to your business and target audience, and you can even start a voice or video channel if needed. 

The sky is pretty much the limit.

The best part: As your community grows, so will the popularity of your business. Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely powerful on Discord, after all. 

Related post: How to Create Product Awareness as a B2B Brand

Network with like-minded people. 

Discord isn’t just about building your community; you can also meet other like-minded individuals and businesses on different Discord servers. 

Finding relevant servers is easy once you know what you’re looking for. From there, you’ll be able to meet other business owners and grab opportunities for collaboration—and you’ll be able to expand the reach of your products and services beyond your target audience. 

Share relevant industry content. 

You can obviously use Discord to share your website articles and other updates from your industry—but it’s so much more than that. You can connect all employees on a single server and leverage their social media presence, too. They can share the articles on other Discord servers and their personal social media profiles to increase reach.

Basically, it makes your team subject-matter experts by default, and it will help you develop authority among your audience.

Related post: Here’s How to Build Trust In Your Brand in 2022

Post image-based content. 

It’s not just about articles here; you can also post branded memes, GIFs, and screenshots to market your business.

Since it’s more like a chat app and it’s independent of any algorithm, whenever you post content on your business server—or the community server—every member will get it. 

So, the more relevant and share-worthy the memes, the more interest in your business. On the other hand, if you post filler content (throwing something out there just to keep up a posting cadence), everyone will get that as well. 

That’s why, on Discord, it’s key to focus on strong, relevant, and shareable content. There’s no posting for the sake of the algorithm on Discord. 

Monitor activity.

Much like Google Analytics, you can aggregate your Discord data daily, weekly, and even monthly—and you can even export it for further analysis.

By doing this, you can figure out your audience’s geography, engagement with channels and other members, member retention numbers, and even where your server members are coming from. 

Discord in a nutshell

This gaming-app-turned-social-media-giant is still heavily in the gamer space, with 70% of Discord users engaging with the app for gaming purposes, according to 2020’s numbers. But the non-gaming user base is growing, and gamers are branching out and using Discord for reasons beyond building their Minecraft cities or hunting down Borderland aliens. 

Discord lends itself to community management with true engagement. For this reason, the most important thing to know with Discord is your audience. 

Right now, Discord users are predominantly teens and younger adults, so if your core audience segments are Gen X or older, Discord may not be on their radar. However, if your core audience segments include Gen-Z or young Millennials, you should definitely look into how Discord can help grow your brand and engage your community.

Related post: Gen Zs or Millennials? How to Uncover Your Target Audience

But Discord isn’t a professional network like LinkedIn; it’s for a casual audience, so keep that in mind. The content you share on Discord isn’t looped or hidden by algorithmic patterns, so users on your server will see everything you post—for better or for worse. This means making sure everything you post is engaging and relevant.

Discord is primarily an app for real-time communication, but it offers a lot of benefits to businesses—if they learn how to capitalize on them. Build a community, meet like-minded individuals, and provide quick customer service.

Need help designing your Discord strategy? Reach out.

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