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Aerohive Forrester Groundswell Awards Entry Community-Powered depth Marketing


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Aerohive's customer community is called HiveNation, and its primary goal is to capture customer goodwill and build word-of-mouth buzz around our company and its products. As a brand, we make complex enterprise networking solutions simple, friendly and accessible. HiveNation is similarly friendly, navigable, and accessible, so it's a perfect extension of our brand!

Built on the Get Satisfaction community platform for customer conversations, HiveNation is the primary depth market strategy for the company. The community is integrated with the Aerohive website and Facebook and Twitter presence, and has its own banner on the company blog. In addition, we have branded the community with its own name and iconography so that anywhere there's a social sharing button, there's a link to the community via this icon. Even better, HiveNation conversations index extremely well in search engines, like Google, so much of our traffic is driven from searches by prospects looking for more information about us.

HiveNation is a buzzing hub of people -- customers, employees and prospects -- and content that benefits Aerohive's marketing, product, sales and service departments. For marketing, the team uses the community as a platform for thought leadership and content marketing. These conversations result in natural SEO and lead generation. In addition, some of the most viewed conversations in the community describe why the Aerohive solution is superior to competing products -- and it is active customers who are positing this content. The product and service teams also leverage the community to collaboratively ideate on feature requests and solve customer problems.

Even more important, HiveNation is a great tool to influence customer satisfaction and brand perceptions. Aerohive customers love to sing our praises (and we are happy they do). Because the content captured in the community is easily distributed throughout the website, blog, and social channels, customer goodwill can be used for maximum effect.

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Aerohive Forrester Groundswell Awards Entry Community-Powered depth Marketing

  1. 1. Aerohive: Forrester Groundswell Awards Entry Community-powered Depth Marketing Aerohive’s wireless networking solutions are unique in their simplicity and user-friendliness. That’s our core product differentiation. What better way to differen- tiate our marketing than with a customer community that is equally friendly and simple for us to have meaningful conversations with our customers and prospects. That’s why we created HiveNation on the Get Satisfaction platform. In the HiveNation community, we are able to create a dialogue that helps underscore our brand and product differentiation. For example: • Employees and industry experts have conversations with custom- ers on new developments in wireless standards, providing a great platform for thought leadership. • Our employees and other customers are quick to answer pros- pect’s questions about Aerohive solutions. This authentic dialogue is some of our best content marketing. • Seasoned IT professionals themselves, our customer champions help resolve technical problems encountered by other customers entirely within the community. Success Statistics - About Aerohive People want to work any- where, on any device, and IT needs to enable them — without drowning in complexity or compromis- ing on security, perfor- mance, reliability or cost. Aerohive’s mission is to Simpli-Fi these enterprise access networks with a cloud-enabled, self-or- ganizing, service-aware, identity-based infrastruc- ture that includes inno- vative Wi-Fi, VPN, branch routing and switching solutions. The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. Customer Testimonial “IT people love to help each other out, and Hive- Nation is the best place for us to connect with each other. In the commu- nity, you might have eight Aerohive employees and 15 customers helping you solve a problem, answer your question, or brain- storm on new feature. But not just customers benefit—it’s the specific insight about practical use cases that engages poten- tial customers who want to learn more about the company. All companies should use a community like HiveNation.” — Bradley Chambers, IT Professional & HiveNa- tion Champion
  2. 2. • In less than six months, the HiveNation community has attracted 1,400 members • 50% of members are considered active (taking more than one action in the last month) • The community gets more than 10,000 visitors a month • More than 66% of pageviews come from searches on Google and other search engines • 25% of conversations are considered very active (more than 10 actions in the last month) • HiveNation has three official customer champions The Need for A Dynamic Customer Community Aerohive is recognized as a visionary in wireless and wired networking, but our market is crowded with competition. To differentiate, we have embraced a customer-centered busi- ness model, always striving to become a more social and engaging brand for customers and prospects. Aerohive has long been connecting with its customers on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. To take our social engagement strategy to the next level, however, we recognized the need for an online community that could serve as an always-on hub for dynamic and interac- tive customer conversations, where our customers and prospects could go to find and share information about our products and services. We also knew we needed a solution that didn’t require much IT support, as we needed our IT team focused on other projects that are core to our business. Being a customer-first company, we decided to leverage Get Satisfaction’s community platform to give our customers and prospects a place to ask and answer ques- tions, share product feedback, offer praise and report any problems or issues. We call our customer community HiveNation. Creating a customer community on the Get Satisfaction platform, however, wasn’t only a big win for our customers, it also offered additional key benefits that extended across the entire company. Leveraging The Power of Aerohive’s Customer Community We built HiveNation on the Get Satisfaction platform with the goal of creating a place for our customers and prospects to connect and share information. Rather than relying on tradi- tional, company-generated marketing content alone, Aerohive sought to use the goodwill and happiness of its existing customer base to create scalable, engaging, and compelling marketing content. For B2B, authentic and engaging content is the fuel the makes the mar- keting automation engine run. The Aerohive customer community puts us on the cutting edge of “social depth” marketing by enabling us to:
  3. 3. • Create a social and engaging experience for customers and prospects on our marketing website • Capture the goodwill of our most satisfied customers that can be turned into authentic marketing content • Optimize and amplify this content for discovery by prospects on our website, across social channels, on our company blog, and in Google search results—as the community platform helps with SEO and organically elevates community conversations in search results • Actively engage our customer base with community-based marketing campaigns HiveNation is a key part of our inbound marketing strategy. The community is tightly inte- grated with the marketing website, the corporate blog, and the company’s Facebook and Twitter presence. In addition, Aerohive explicitly encourages community engagement by using Get Satisfaction for HootSuite to Tweet links to relevant conversations to bring cus- tomers and prospects into the conversations taking place in the community. As a “social depth” best practice, Aerohive integrates community across all our marketing channels to create a seamless customer experience. Because of its importance as a core marketing program, we have also branded the community as HiveNation and created unique iconography so that our customers and prospects recognize it as an official channel. Hive- Nation has three primary entry points: • Marketing Site: Community is linked in the top-level navigation as well as on each prod- uct page in a sidebar of relevant community conversations called “The Buzz.”We have also included the community in all of our social sharing calls to action, giving it equal prominence as Facebook and Twitter. • Blog: One of the primary rotating banners on the blog page is an invitation for custom- ers to join the community. In addition, each page of the blog has a “Community” tab that opens an overlay window for blog readers to browse or post in the community. • Social: Aerohive features the community inside the Facebook company page. We also leverage Get Satisfaction’s Hootsuite integration to publish community conversations into social channels. This is especially useful for driving community engagement on par- ticular topics. The Results HiveNation has been the driving force for meaningful business results that impact Aerohive’s marketing, support, sales and product teams. The benefits include:
  4. 4. • SEM Arbitrage with User-generated Marketing Content One of the most viewed conversations in the HiveNation Community resulted from a question that wasn’t even asked by a customer—it was asked by a prospect who was evaluating the Aerohive solution. The customer was curious about some of the points of differentiation against the competition. Aerohives’ passionate customer base was quick to engage, providing detailed information and insight about why the Aerohive solution is better. This conversation continues to get significant referral traffic from Google searches and this traffic is absolutely free—how’s that for SEM arbitrage? See the conversation here: • Community as an Outbound Channel for Events & Launches Aerohive products are constantly evolving as technical standards change. As a result, Aerohive does a lot of outbound content marketing and thought leadership to educate the market—and potential buyers—on these changes. With the upcoming launch of the new 802.11ac standard, HiveNation is becoming a great channel to post thought-lead- ership and engage experts, the press, and current customers in discussing the implica- tions. Already, we have included a video series with experts and will be using the commu- nity to engage customers prior to our launch event. See the featured video on the rollout of 802.11ac here: • Capturing Customer Engagement for Brand Building “Wanna Bee” was the first—and one of the most fun—community campaigns that Aero- hive ran to promote the launch of our community. It was so successful we plan to use it as a template for future programs. The goal was to drive traffic to the community and pre-populate it with content prior to the official press launch. The idea was simple: Offer schwag (a bee) to encourage community engagement. The program was a huge suc- cess and led to a series of interesting follow-on campaigns that generate great customer testimonials and other content. Check out the initial campaign here: http://community.