Engagement, effective activity design and software flexibility are key ingredients for longitudinal MROCs. Dub’s online qual and insight community software, IdeaStream, offers advanced features that have been helping researchers from all over the world run more than 1,000 successful communities with ease for over 6 years. In this article we will share with you 10 ways IdeaStream can help you run your longitudinal online insight community and keep your participants engaged.
1. Give Participants A Sense Of Ownership
Unlike short-term communities, longitudinal MROCs are more challenging when it comes to keeping respondents active. It is important to create a timeline with different research activities but you will also need ways to achieve higher engagement and keep respondents logging in, even after they have completed all activities for the specified time. A great way of motivating community members is to create additional discussions that don’t necessarily relate to the main research topic. Let participants start their own discussions and you will soon be able to identify the key members who will help your community thrive. IdeaStream’s Forums page is specially designed for communities that run over a longer period of time. This feature allows you and your participants to add discussions that members are passionate about which will keep them engaged and motivated throughout the duration of your project. Conversations can be about sport, music, food, hobbies or anything that respondents connect with.
2. Making Connections
Monetary incentives aren’t the only motivation for participants, especially when it comes to longitudinal communities. You will fuel respondents’ intrinsic motivation to be a part of your community if you let them build their own relationships and interact freely with each other.
This way respondents will give you deeper insights and your end clients will also see how customers are talking about their brand in a natural way. Having access to IdeaStream’s Members area makes it a lot easier for participants to interact and connect with each other. IdeaStream puts participants in a familiar social environment, allowing individual members to have their own profile pages and ‘follow’ each other. IdeaStream’s Members’space can help you build stronger inter-community relationships and engage participants in the long run.
3. Enable Content Feeds
Similar to Facebook’s status updates, IdeaStream’s Community Feed will significantly increase the levels of interaction and engagement within your long-term community, as it maintains the flow of discussion and socialises conversations for all to participate in. The Community Feed is an optional feature located on the community homepage. Respondents can post and reply to discussions and attach various media such as pictures, videos, MP3s and document files. This feature puts participants in a familiar social environment, where participants feel comfortable.
4. Offer Multi-Channel Engagement
With IdeaStream Mobile you can capture experiences ‘in the moment’ and follow your participants wherever they go, via a stream of photos, videos and comments. Connecting through a mobile device has become a natural behaviour for respondents, especially for the younger generation. Moreover, smartphone usage has reached 50% in UK, USA and Australia.
But communities don’t have to be limited to a single channel (be it desktop or mobile). With IdeaStream you can choose to run your community on both desktop and mobile. Online communities that aren’t limited to a single channel can give greater convenience for you and for your respondents.
5. Integrate with External Apps and Solutions the IdeaStream API
Often, longitudinal communities combine qualitative and quantitative activities. IdeaStream allows you to integrate sophisticated quant tools from third-party quant platforms and other creative solutions so that you can screen participants, run surveys or interviews and engage using a number of different tools.
6. Humanise And Be Yourself
When running a long-term community it is important that your participants are real people and want to know the purpose of your project, how they can help, who the community managers are etc. To get this information across, talk to them like you would a friend or acquaintance. Inject energy and enthusiasm into your voice and be clear as to why they are there and what’s expected of them.
IdeaStream allows you to add widgets that are built to improve participant experience and to add the ‘human touch’ to your community. They are usually located on the homepage of your community, where you can briefly introduce the project by adding a welcome message with a picture or even record a video of yourself , share moderators’ picture, description and contact details, show recent activities and so on.
7. Prompt Activity With Notifications
Notifications appear on the top of the screen and on any page of your IdeaStream project. This feature is important because it calls for action and ensures that your respondents know what is required of them as a minimum. Notifications include invitations to take part in new activities, probes from the Moderator and comments from other members of the community.
8. Create Pages of Sticky Content
IdeaStream offers you the flexibility to create a custom pages should you want to share more information and content from other sources with your participants. Use this feature to add, for example, community FAQs or a blog, or maybe provide rich biogs of your team or relevant news related to the topic of discussion. You don’t need coding skills to add a custom static page, it’s all handled within your Admin Ctr.
9. Customise Your Community’s Look And Feel
The latest version of IdeaStream makes interface customisation easier than ever. You don’t need design skills to customise the look and feel of your community to reflect the brand or the subject matter, just access to the right assets then off you go. Simply add your own background image, a custom header or logo and change the colours of the platform to match your organisations visual brand identity or create assets that reflect the subject matter.
10. Optimise Your Activity Design
Dub’s expert team can help you optimise your activity design for long-term communities to achieve the best possible engagement and response. With our help you will create engaging activities, develop a road map of objectives, achieve highest possible levels of participation, plan incentives and competitions and share knowledge to better equip you for your next community. You can rest assured that our experts have sound qualitative research background and the right skills and knowledge to help you extract most value from your long-term community.
We have now given you ten good reasons to choose IdeaStream for you next long-term community, making community engagement a top priority.
To find out more about how IdeaStream can help you build and run a successful longitudinal community that keeps participants engaged, contact firstname.lastname@example.org