Emerging platforms provide a unique opportunity for marketers. While it’s important to try new things in your marketing, is it worth trying new things if the platform is still so new that you don’t know if you’ll find success? For example, the once dismissed TikTok is now a social media channel with immense value for all different kinds of businesses.
Discord is now an emerging platform posing the same questions as TikTok once did. Many marketers are unsure how it works and whether it makes sense to leverage the tool as an experimental strategy.
If you’re curious, this post will explain what Discord is, whether it makes sense to join the platform, and how to market your brand or business if you do.
What is Discord?
Discord is a voice and chat platform where users join conversation servers, sometimes through exclusive invites, and talk to other members about niche topics. Initially launched in 2015 for gamers, it has since grown to house a diverse group of users, from influencers to content creators to businesses using the platform as an alternative to Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Considering that it has experienced considerable growth and now caters to various groups, it makes sense that marketers may be curious about joining the platform and seeing if it can help them meet their marketing needs.
Can you advertise on Discord?
Yes, and no.
There are no native advertising tools that you can find on other social media platforms like Facebook or TikTok, but you can still advertise your business organically through community engagement; “Brands can authentically engage with consumers on Discord by leveraging what is already appealing about Discord to consumers — forming relationships around common interests and having discussions in real-time,” said Jesse Nicely, VP and group strategy director at Cashmere Agency, to Marketing Dive.
Which brands should use Discord?
Most businesses can benefit from using Discord, but the benefits are significant for those looking to create an always-on, engaged community of like-minded people that are interested in what your business has to offer.
Kenny Layton, Discord’s Head of Talent Partnerships, said to EDM.com, “We like to call ourselves the 24-hour diner of the internet, where communities can just come and hang out with each other at any time they want.” While it is possible to create a community on other social channels, most people follow a wide variety of accounts, creators, brands, etc., but your Discord community is focused solely on your business.
Brands that are interested in learning more about their audience should also consider using Discord; “A lot of the time with artists they’re always having to guess what the fans want or are thinking...there’s no better way to know what your fans want than to have them tell you. That can inform...marketing and advertising spend. That data is valuable,” says Brian Barnett to EDM.com.
However, as mentioned above, it is an emerging platform. There are no specific tools for advertising your channel, but, again, it can help you create relationships with your audience, which is a driving factor of customer loyalty.
If you’re interested in leveraging the platform, let’s discuss the different ways you can promote your brand on Discord.
How to Promote Your Brand on Discord
Build your own community.
The best way to promote your brand on Discord is to build a business-specific community server, along with different related channels for conversation. You can then invite users to join, have them find you organically through browsing the platform, or promote it on your other social channels and in marketing materials.
Marques Brownlee, a technology YouTuber, has a Discord community channel called the MKBHD. His community centers around discussions of his content, like podcasts and new videos, but he also created additional channels to promote different topics of conversation, as shown in the image below.
Music streaming service Spotify also has a Discord community that features the channel #listeningparty (shown in the image below). Active users can share links to playlists they’re currently listening to, and voice chat about the music.
Within your community, you can further promote your brand by sharing links to your external social profiles, as beauty brand Starface has done for their Twitter account in the image below.
In addition to advertising your business, you can also use Discord as a tool for customer service by creating specific channels to house answers to frequently asked questions, or where users can ask questions and get answers from you or other active community members.
When you create a community, you can also set rules to ensure that everyone is respected and welcomed and designate moderators to patrol the channel to ensure rules get followed.
Join communities and servers relevant to your business offerings.
Another way to promote your business on Discord is to join other channels or servers relevant to your business and engage in conversations. Most channels are moderated, but you’ll likely be allowed to share links to your content, like high-quality blog posts that help you to draw in new users.
Can and Should You Advertise Your Brand on Discord?
Nicely said, "Discord's fast-paced nature makes it fertile ground for emergent culture and trends, and allows brands the opportunity to constantly engage with consumers on interesting topics."
While the platform doesn’t have the built-in advertising features on other channels, it can be extremely useful for marketers looking to build a community of like-minded users who enjoy your business and want to engage in conversation. However, as noted before, Discord is still an emerging platform for marketing, so it can be challenging to get your foot in the door or see immediate success.
If you take the time to create a unique Discord community with different channels for conversation, engage with users in your community, and you provide them with high-quality content that they enjoy, you’ll likely find yourself with an active channel that teaches you more about your audience.