Let’s talk about Discord—a small but mighty platform you can leverage to deepen relationships with your audience and provide a more unique experience than what you might expect from some of the social media powerhouses.
In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the growing platform, discuss its capabilities, and go over a few best practices to consider while implementing your Discord marketing strategy. Ready to dive in?
What is Discord?
Discord is a social media platform where users can join or create servers (or “guilds”), allowing them to chat in real-time via text, audio, and video. The platform gained popularity as a space for gamers to convene during live online multiplayer events. But over time, Discord has evolved to attract users from all walks of life, fostering social interactions, collaborations, and community-building around shared interests.
Discord facts you should know
So what is Discord’s position in the social media landscape? Let’s take a look at who is using it and how, and where it stands among some of the most popular social media platforms out there today.
Discord’s user base is small but growing quickly.
Discord has about 563 million registered users. Of them, about 196 million are active monthly. To put that in perspective, the most comparable major platform in terms of active monthly users is Pinterest, with 445 million active monthly users. Facebook, the most-used social media platform, has nearly 3 billion.
Despite its relatively low number of registered users, Discord is growing quickly. The platform had just 45 million registered users in 2017. That makes for a 1,151% increase in just six years.
The number of daily messages sent on Discord has also exploded.
Discord users sent 4 billion messages per day in 2022. In 2018, they sent just 480 million messages per day.
Millennial men are most likely to use Discord.
Discord is most popular in the United States.
Discord is a safe bet if you’re looking to reach an American audience. There are about 219 million visitors to discord.com per month in the United States. The country with the second-most visitors is Brazil with just over 100 million.
Discord key features
Discord servers are virtual communities within the Discord platform where people with shared interests can gather, communicate, and collaborate. Each server operates as an independent group, offering specific channels for different topics or activities. These servers cater to a wide range of interests, from gaming and technology to art, music, and more.
Discord text channels are chat rooms within Discord servers. Each text channel is dedicated to a specific topic or discussion area, allowing members to send messages, links, images, and files and interact in real time. Discord text channels provide an essential means for communication and collaboration, fostering vibrant and engaging communities around shared interests or activities.
Discord voice channels are spaces within Discord servers where users can have real-time voice conversations. They enable members to connect using their microphones, creating a seamless and immediate communication experience. These channels add a deeper social and interactive aspect to Discord, allowing users to engage in group discussions and communicate more dynamically than traditional text-based chat.
Direct messaging on Discord allows users to send private text messages to each other. It enables one-on-one communication and is accessible from the Friends List or by clicking on a user’s name. Additionally, Discord offers voice and video call options within direct messages, allowing private voice or video conversations between users.
Discord bots are automated programs that run on Discord servers, providing various functionalities and enhancing user experiences. Bots can perform tasks like moderating chats, playing music, providing server information, managing roles, and executing commands. Developers can create custom bots using Discord’s API or use existing ones from the Discord Bot List.
Roles and permissions
Discord rules and permissions are essential for maintaining a safe and organized environment within servers. Server administrators can set rules to govern user behavior, content sharing, and general conduct. These rules may cover topics like respect, appropriate language, and prohibited content. Permissions control what actions users can perform on the server, such as managing channels, banning members, or sending messages.
Rich media support
Discord offers rich media support, allowing users to share a variety of media formats within messages and channels. Users can send images, videos, GIFs, links, and files, making interactions more engaging and expressive. Additionally, Discord supports embedding content from various platforms, such as YouTube videos, Twitter tweets, and Spotify playlists, directly into chat messages.
Discord engagement ideas to boost your marketing strategy
Create a dedicated discord server.
Creating a dedicated Discord server allows you to increase brand loyalty by building and nurturing a loyal community of engaged users. By engaging directly with your audience in real-time, you’ll be able to have conversations, respond to questions, and receive feedback and concerns faster to help develop stronger relationships with your fans.
Offer exclusive benefits.
Provide unique content, sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes, or early access to products and services to server members to make them feel valued and special. One popular strategy is to start a conversation on one social media channel, then invite your fans to continue the conversation on Discord, where real-time interactions are more user-friendly and have more robust capabilities.
Run contests and giveaways.
You’re likely already aware of how running contests and giveaways on social media can improve engagement and create buzz around your products. Maybe you’ve even run a couple of successful contests already.
But on Discord, you can get more creative, like hosting a digital scavenger hunt, for example. Here are the steps:
- Create clues. Prepare a series of clever and challenging clues related to your brand, products, or industry. Each clue should lead participants to the next clue or a specific channel in your Discord server.
- Form teams. Encourage participants to form teams to foster collaboration within your community.
- Set a time limit. Set a timer for the scavenger hunt to create a sense of urgency and excitement.
- Offer prizes. Hook up the winning teams with some prizes. Consider exclusive merchandise, discounts, or special experiences.
Host live Q&As.
By hosting a live Q&A on Discord, you can leverage real-time interactions, gain insights, and strengthen your brand’s relationship with your audience.
Here’s how to do it:
- Select a date and time. Choose a date and time that works for you and your target audience. Consider time zones and schedule it well in advance to allow participants to plan.
- Make the announcement. Spread the word on your Discord server. Use an @mention to notify your community and provide details about the date, time, and topic of the Q&A.
- Set up a voice channel. Create a dedicated voice channel for the live Q&A session. Ensure all participants have the necessary permission to join and speak in the channel.
- Promote the event. Promote the event across your social media channels and any other platforms you use to reach your audience. Encourage your community to share with their friends too.
- Prepare questions. Come with some starter questions in advance to kick off the Q&A session and ensure a smooth start.
- Go live. On the scheduled date and time, join the voice channel, and start the live Q&A session. Begin by introducing yourself and welcoming participants.
Leverage bots for engagement.
Discord bots are powerful tools that streamline server management, enhance user experiences, and promote engagement. Here are some additional benefits:
- Automate moderation. Bots can help you easily keep your server safe and free from spam, inappropriate content, and harmful behavior.
- Unlock engagement features. Bots can add interactive and engaging features like games, polls, and trivia, making your server more entertaining and encouraging community participation.
- Customize experiences. With custom bots, you can offer personalized experiences, such as greeting new members, delivering announcements, or responding to specific keywords.
- Offer support. Bots can provide quick responses to frequently asked questions, assisting users with common queries and streamlining customer support.
- Access data and analytics. Bots can collect data on server activity, user behavior, and engagement, providing insights to inform your marketing and community-building strategies.
Gather feedback and insights.
Gather as much feedback as you can from your Discord audience to deepen your understanding of your community, improve brand perception, and create more effective marketing campaigns.
Here are a few thought-starters:
- Emoji polls: Use emoji reactions to create quick and fun polls in your Discord server to ask questions about your products, services, or content.
- User-generated content (UGC) contests: Organize contests that encourage members to create content related to your brand. This could be fan art, videos, or testimonials. Not only does this provide valuable feedback, but it also generates authentic content for marketing purposes.
- Interactive quizzes: Host interactive quizzes or trivia sessions based on your brand or industry. This engages users while providing insights into their knowledge and preferences.
- Ask me anything (AMA) events: Host live AMA sessions with key team members, allowing members to ask questions about your brand, products, or future plans.
Conduct focus groups.
Conducting focus groups on Discord empowers you to gain direct and authentic feedback from your community, leading to a customer-centric marketing approach and more successful campaigns.
To hold your own focus group, follow the same steps you would for the live Q&A we discussed above. Some additional notes to keep in mind:
- Pre-screen participants. Select participants who represent your target audience and have relevant insights to share. Consider their demographics, interests, and engagement level within your community.
- Record the session. With participants’ permission, record the focus group session. This allows you to review the discussion later and capture key insights accurately.
- Analyze the data. Transcribe and analyze the focus group data to identify trends, patterns, and valuable feedback.
Key takeaway: Optimize your Discord marketing strategy to take your marketing efforts to new heights.
In today’s social media marketing environment, diversifying your strategy is essential. Discord offers unique ways to engage your target audience and continue conversations on a platform built for real-time interactions. If you haven’t already, there’s no better time to start getting familiar with Discord and using it to your advantage.
Are you ready to stake your claim in the creator economy? Discover more helpful tips and resources from the experts at GRIN: Creator Management Learning Center