5 Ways Loot Crate Built a Massively Successful Online Community

If you want your business to truly thrive, you’ll have to focus on building a community.

Take a look at any successful digital business, and I guarantee you’ll find a team of enthusiastic people that follow this basic but essential principal.

The internet marketplace is immense, and it’s hard to make a difference. Trust me when I tell you that pleasing customers and generating loyalty is critical to standing out.

It’s the principle of “social selling”, and it’s largely responsible for the explosive growth of social media marketing.

One group that’s really been getting this right over the past few years, is an LA based company, Loot Crate.

Let’s take a look and see what we can learn from their superb example.

What is Loot Crate?

It’s a lot of things. But these three sum it up pretty well:

  • A monthly subscription box for geeks and gamers with over 600K subscribers
  • Named the #1 growth company for 2016 by Inc. 500
  • The brainchild of Chris Davis and Matthew Arevalo

Loot Crate began in 2012 and has grown a stunning 66,788% in the three-and-a-half years since it first opened its mailroom doors.

It appeals to a somewhat narrow range of tastes, but this niche has a particularly rabid fan base.

Davis is quite candid about the fact that the collectibles sold in his crates, are something he and his kid brother wanted when they were kids. Things like action figures, tee shirts and cool gadgets.

It’s the kind of thing that appeals to folks attending Comic Con. Think Star Wars, Pokemon, and Halo.

loot crate

It may not be for everyone, but that’s a good thing. After all, finding a profitable niche is one of the most important ways for young businesses to succeed.

Loot Crate has done just that. For over 600,000 people it provides a miniature Christmas morning, once a month.

How Does Loot Crate Inspire So Much Love?

To put it simply, they’re just as enthusiastic about the boxes as their fans and subscribers are.

Many of the best products and services were first built to satisfy the entrepreneurs only needs or desires.

Loot Crate definitively falls in this category, and they not only encourage their fans to spread the enthusiasm, they celebrate the “loot” themselves!

We asked Matthew Arevalo what content marketing strategy his team used to inspire Loot Crate’s  astounding 36-month growth trajectory, and here’s what he had to share.

“Every piece of content we create serves a purpose—fueling the passion in fans and bringing them joy. That is our number one priority.”

matt loot crate

(Photo by Ringo Chiu of www.photoformula.com)

This couldn’t be more on point. It also shows that Matthew is really in touch with what Loot Crate subscribers truly enjoy about the product.

Let’s dive deeper and examine 5 specific ways that Loot Crate continually provides joy to their thriving community and fan base. By putting these strategies to use yourself, you’ll be one step closer to the ultimate success all business owners seek.

It is worth noting that building a community doesn’t happen overnight, but if you continue to execute consistently, you will pick up momentum.

1. Content Consistency

For Loot Crate, consistency includes providing  colorful visuals and embracing an overall feeling of celebration. There’s a sense of continuity to all of their content.

They even go so far as to feature YouTube videos of people opening their packages each month. Aficionados (you know who you are) call them unboxing videos.

There’s usually a visual superhero vibe across all of Loot Crates content mediums, and an everpresent but understated sense of humor. The emphasis is always on fun.

They’re also not afraid to be different.

Instead of an About Me page, Loot Crate has a commercial at the top of their homepage that explains it all. Here’s a link so you can watch the commercial in its entirety.

2. Designed to Share

Loot crate relies heavily on its YouTube presence. It’s the perfect medium for a brand that shares videos of it’s subscribers happily unboxing every month. What better way for Looters to share and experience the joy of others?

Not only that, but the loot itself is often shareable. They’ve cleverly provided supporting content, for example Star Wars trivia, to coincide with packages as they hit subscribers’ mailboxes.

There’s plenty of helpful FYI-ing going on from surrogates too, like Leo Camacho. A bigtime foodie, he talks about things like quality, snacks, and the upsell or “Level-up” packages.

It probably won’t surprise you to know that you won’t have to spend nearly as much of your own time or resources running promotions, when you have “expert witnesses” doing the promoting for you and simply because they want to.

3. Chats on Social Media

Take a look at their Facebook page.

loot crate facebook

Notice anything noteworthy?

2.5 million people follow their Facebook page!

That’s due in part, to the fact you can invite your friends to “like” this page. It’s also due to consistent audience-targeted posts like this one.

battlestar galactica

512 Loot Crate fans have liked, loved or “laughed at” this post in roughly 24-hours. That’s seriously awesome engagement.

4. Interviews

Here’s an interview with the two Loot Crate founders, discussing the discovery and launch of the company. It happened over one single weekend. You heard right. From pitch to liftoff, the process took 54-hours.

Every month, featured YouTubers are called upon to fill an interview slot. It’s an engaging and otherworldly experience to see ultra-fans simultaneously explain and geek out over any given month’s themed loot.

These “celebrity” endorsements are worth their weight in gold since they’re actually genuine experiences. This isn’t the same as getting a TV host to eat Doritos, it’s a much more honest approach to influencer marketing.

5. Guest Posts, Interviews, and Articles

Blogposts are a huge opportunity to really flesh out themes and to highlight games like “The Beauty of Valley“.

This post includes a video and brief explanation. Their marketing team is smart and doesn’t overdo it with the instructions. After all, who likes to read manuals? They just detract from the most important part of the experience… playing the game.

In a sense, you could almost say that Loot Crate is a monthly party for big kids who like getting presents and talking about it with all their friends. It’s brilliant throughout.

The simplicity of its mission should serve to inspire your own business, product or service. Building an understanding of your customer and learning how to convert them into super fans is crucial.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, your community is the foundation upon which you’ll go on to build a skyscraper of excitement. Take care of your customers and they will multiply.

Perhaps even more importantly, don’t give up early on. Cultivating a loyal group enthusiasts isn’t going to happen overnight.

Creating a sense of content consistency is so important. As you continually show customers why they should be excited and what you’re all about, they’ll become increasingly more likely to share their own excitement with others.

That’s why you must ensure your brand is designed to be shared from the get-go.

Remember…

  • You share your content on social media
  • Your fans consume your content
  • Your fans start sharing your content for you
  • You obtain massive outreach potential

Interview satisfied customers. Make them the star of the show.

Where appropriate, invite your most enthusiastic followers to write, create art, or film videos. Encourage them to share their joy, so you can then share that with others.

And don’t forget: repeat, repeat, and repeat some more. Before you know it … your community will be thriving.

The out-and-out geekiness of the Loot Crate ethos might not work for your business, but within the confines of your particular business or industry, there is probably a “celebration”. Get out there and find it!

A heightened awareness of how to provide great and shareable content, how to drive social media engagement and generate interviews can and should be duplicated for your unique community in any relevant way.

Customers know when you care. And customers know when you don’t. It should come as no surprise that the businesses which take the time to care, will succeed over those that don’t.

Bookworm by day, keyboard-wielding copywriter by night. I write fancy stuff on the internet. History geek and headline hoyden on my days off. And my baseball team is better than yours -- Go Padres!
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