What Is Discord & How Can You Use It For Marketing?
Discord is an underrated gem of a community management and communications platform.
The VoIP based chat platform allows users to communicate via voice, screen sharing, and text.
As a gamer, I am a big fan of Discord and use it more than I use Slack, skypeAnd the Differenceor hangouts.
And from a marketing standpoint, I’m glad it’s becoming mainstream and more brands are incorporating it into their communication plans.
Unconvinced? Let’s take a look at the following:
- What is the difference?
- Who uses it?
- Strategic differentiation points (or what makes Discord great).
- Where Discord fits into your digital marketing strategy.
- Use Discord for advertising.
What is the difference?
Discord is a community-powered VoIP app on iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows.
Users can create a public or private Discord server. These private servers contain unique invite links that expire in seven days. Servers can have public and private channels (denoted by #), and threads within said channels.
As with many other communication platforms, users can send alerts using here or everyone.
Where Discord shines (and we’ll get into this in more detail in the next section) is in user roles, Which can give users access to certain channels, as well as alert only people with that role.
Discord allows users to upload stickers, emojis, and gifs, and use those already shared by the community.
Who uses discord?
As of February 2022, Discord says she has:
- 150 million monthly active users
- 19 million active servers per week
- 4 billion server minutes per day
Discord CEO Jason Citron told NPR in 2021:
We surveyed 20,000 of our users and asked them questions like, “What is the biggest misconception people have about Discord?” “
The shocking answer was that the biggest misconception is that Discord is only for gaming.”
Citron and co-founder Stan Vishnevskiy created Discord in 2015 to encourage a sense of togetherness between gamers and a better way to communicate with them.
Today, Discord says it is “used by everyone from local hiking clubs, to art communities, to study groups. Discord has millions of people creating places for their friends and communities, and talking for upwards of 4 hours a day on the platform.”
How much does sedition cost?
Users can choose to use the free version or one of the Nitro upgrades.
- Screen sharing at 30 frames per second (low video quality).
- 1 server boost per server (paid add-on allows you to unlock additional emoji slots and perks such as animated server icons).
- Access to video chat, private servers, public servers, and voice chat.
- Access to Discord Bots for your servers (artificial intelligence that can monitor new members on your server and send automated messages).
- Image shares and file uploads with limited bandwidth
- It can belong to up to 100 servers.
Nitro Classic ($4.99 per month)
- More customization options for profiles (animated avatar, custom tag, Nitro badge).
- 30% off server boosts ($4.99 per month).
- Custom/animated emojis can be used outside of the original server.
- Screen sharing at 60 frames per second.
Nitro ($9.99 per month)
- Multiple profiles, allowing you to separate personal and professional identities.
- Customizable backgrounds for videos.
- Unique stickers and emojis.
- 2 free server boosts ($119.76 per year).
- Uploads can be up to 100MB in size.
- Better quality broadcasts and longer posts (4000 characters).
- Be part of more communities (up to 200).
Strategic Differentiation Points (or What Makes a Great Discord)
User roles are one of the biggest reasons I love Discord.
These roles allow you to alert only people with this role about important messages, as well as limit access to channels.
One of the biggest causes of friction in Slack or Skype is the overuse of pings at the channel or server level.
By assigning roles in Discord, you can enable brand advocates, moderators, or any other niche member, while not bombarding anyone else with alerts.
In this case, my user profile indicates that I am an officer of the guild I belong to, as well as a clan leader (subgroup).
I also have a “Judge Chat Pass” which gives me access to the secret channel for events where we hold competitions.
Discord’s video and audio settings are pretty impressive compared to other communication platforms.
While there are some settings that can only be used by server administrators, users can adjust:
- Single user volume.
- Move users to different audio channels.
- Mute (either to help someone leave the mic on or via the server).
- Invite users to other servers that you have access to.
- Define roles and notes.
- Stick the user to the server (that means they can’t hear the content).
Animated backgrounds, animated images, and profile pictures are another great benefit.
While it’s mostly a paid feature (you need server boosts or be a Nitro subscriber), it adds a lot of flexibility for users to define their online persona.
Where contention fits in your digital marketing
Discord’s community spirit is key to unlocking its full potential.
Your community—through streams, events, crowd-sourced content, and other collaboration opportunities—can give you real-time product feedback, give you insights into ideal messaging, and help create new brand evangelists.
While there are many marketing apps for Discord, they are some of the easiest ways to reach your target audience with minimal infrastructure effort:
customer community groups
Whether you’re launching a new product or keeping your finger on the pulse of how your customers/prospects feel about your service, Discord channels, threads, and roles provide great mechanisms for managing great marketing to customers in a branded hub.
Unlike Facebook groups, LinkedIn communities, or Slack/Skype offerings, Discord allows for a lot of flexibility and organization while staying within a branded experience.
Brands can identify highly engaged leads/customers among Discord users and tag them on important events like product reviews, discounts, etc.
One of the main reasons brands may want to focus on is the decline in reporting for email marketing, as well as the fluctuations in social media tagging.
Discord allows brands to create personalized experiences using real-time voices, which is a big step up from Facebook or LinkedIn. And you can do this while skipping the reporting issues that can come from relying on open rates.
Building on Twitter Spaces, Discord Events are great because they allow users to collaborate and share without device restriction, where users can take the stage and share without having to be on a mobile device.
Finally, the bots and integrations are top notch. It allows first-party data tracking along with a lot of convenience features like helping people standardize time zones, moderate content, and other automations.
Events and live broadcasts
The Discord event feature is a gold mine for live streaming events.
Between pop-up screen sharing, user audio settings, and the ability to get people to a new server or move channels on the go, Discord outperforms many web platforms.
While accuracy won’t be perfect unless the server is boosted to level three (or you’re a full Nitro user), the amount of control in the hands of the moderator is much greater than with virtual event technology.
Channels can act as sponsor hubs and networking areas, and each attendee can have roles associated with their passes.
Live broadcasts can be turned into daily events or communications.
Can you advertise on discord?
Discord does not currently offer a native advertising platform like Facebook or Twitter.
However, there are actually all kinds of servers that market themselves as Discord Growth experts and ad channels for your server.
Discord is a powerful social community tool and a no-brainer to play in your marketing efforts.
Not every campaign or brand will need the paid version because you get most of the functionality in the free version.
Put Discord on your list to test and enjoy as much control as you would have over managing the community. See where it can fit into your marketing strategy.
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