Imagine a situation where your most loyal, satisfied customers market your products and services for free. That is what brand advocacy is about. It is the most powerful way to market your business and is done by influencers known as “brand advocates”.
According to Social Media Today, highly satisfied customers tell other people about products or services they use without any incentives. This marketing strategy is highly effective because the opinions of these brand advocates have a huge influence on your target audience.
Why Brand Advocacy Matters
Annually, up to $6 trillion worth of consumer spending is attributed to brand advocacy. A business that enhances its brand advocacy efforts by 12% can increase its revenue by up to 200%. The reason why brand advocacy delivers these exponential results is the effectiveness with which brand advocates share product information.
Statistically, about 83% of brand advocates are likely to share information about the used products. Out of those who do so, 75% share their positive experiences with the products and services. However, it is not just about sharing positive experiences that make brand advocates effective marketers. Their positive influence emanates from the fact that they offer advice to other consumers as well.
Statistics show 64% of brand advocates share information about brands to offer advice, while 61% do so to praise them. Compared to ordinary customers, brand advocates have a higher chance to influence the purchase decisions of their audience. This is important for your business because a survey by Olapic shows 76% of customers are more likely to trust content posted and shared by others than that shared by brands themselves.
The success of brand advocacy is largely driven by two key components: word-of-mouth and information technology. Word-of-mouth marketing boosts more sales as compared to paid advertising. A large number of buyers trust on recommendations that are given by people they know, like family members and friends.
In terms of conversion rates, the potential of recommendations given by reliable friends to generate sales is extremely high. Such recommendations more likely lead to actual purchases because most of the consumers act based on what their acquaintances recommend. In today’s highly networked world, the internet plays a key role in leveraging the benefits of brand advocacy. Social media platforms and emails are the most preferred tech tools that influencers use. Data shows 58% of brand advocates share brand information on social media while 53% do so on email. So how can your business turn brand advocates into effect marketers?
Read on to learn a few of the surefire tactics to make your customers do all the talking for your brand.
Surefire Tactics for Brand Advocacy by Customers
Turn brand advocates into content creators
The influence that brand advocates have on social media is one of the biggest benefits they bring to your business. Use this to your benefit by creating opportunities for them to run contests on social media channels. The idea here is to get your social media followers to generate and contribute to discussions on your social media pages. You may reward them in return for their contributions. For instance, you could request your clients to take a photo with your product, post it on social media, and tag a custom hashtag.
The content generated during such social media campaigns is authentic and transparent. Such content speaks louder compared to the one generated by the business itself.
Maximize user-generated content
Sometimes people talk about your brand on social media – even when you are not running a campaign. For instance, your customers can tag their friends and comment on your brand. Don’t let those moments pass by. Seize them and participate in the conversation. Let your customers know about the special offers.
By doing this, you amplify your brand, promote it and even better, strengthen your business relationship with your social media followers. Regularly, track your social media channels and endorse posts or tweets related to your products or brand from your social page followers. Show appreciation for their efforts as this will encourage them to continue sharing their experiences.
Utilize live events
Beyond social media platforms, you need to take your brand awareness efforts to live events. Some events that you could leverage on are festivals, sports tournaments, awards, and concerts. During such events, focus on encouraging fans to talk about your brands and create customized hashtags to increase your brand visibility, since user-generated content goes viral.
Develop and publish actionable customer testimonials
Research shows that online visitors form an opinion about your business within 8-10 minutes. Psychological studies reveal that people tend to trust the opinions of other people more. So try to captivate your potential buyers in a short span, when they are forming an opinion about your business. The best way to do this is to showcase testimonials from your clients on your website’s homepage. This ensures that potential buyers are able to see what other people are saying about your business. When those testimonials are persuasive, they’ll boost the confidence of potential buyers on your business and ultimately persuade them to take action.
Request for valuable feedback from brand advocates
Brand advocacy thrives on what influencers say about the used products and services. This is valuable feedback that you can use to position your business for success. Reach out to your brand advocates and request for feedback about your brand. Use different communication channels to gather feedback from your customers and ensure you get their consent before publishing it online.
Develop customer case studies
Case studies are another tactic you can use to turn your brand advocates into marketers. Using case studies, you can share interesting insights with prospective customers. You can use approach case study development in two ways. You can choose to write the case study in your own words or have narrations from your brand advocates for the case study. For instance, you can have your client’s narrations in case study sections that discuss challenges they faced or the one on results achieved after using your brand.
The second approach yields more benefits because it carries the words from an external source. It may be more reputable for your brand and your prospective customers are likely to believe what other customers say. Boost your case studies with customer testimonials, as this boosts the confidence of your prospective customers. Keep the testimonials simple, short and precise – at least a sentence or two long. Ensure they demonstrate the satisfaction of your clients derived from your product or service offering.
Increase customer delight
Your customers expect quality products and this makes them happy. But while you try to do this as much as you can, there are times when things won’t work. When this happens, you’ll have disgruntled customers who leave negative reviews that hurt your brand on social media. If not managed well and in a timely manner, negative comments can have a negative effect on your sales and brand reputation.
To avoid this, track and manage customer issues in a way that turns annoyed customers into brand advocates. A help desk ticketing system enables your client support teams to track customer complaints and resolve them effectively. This, in turn, motivates unhappy customers to share their experiences with family and friends. Shared inbox feature of the help desk software allows customer support team access support tickets in one place.
Leverage the reputation on management platforms
Before making a purchase, people visit reputation sites like IMDb, Yelp, and TripAdvisor to read reviews. This is because reviews that feature on these platforms help gauge the quality of products and services offered by different businesses. They contain ratings from customers considered more authentic by potential clients. As such, it is important for businesses to have a presence on review sites that focus on their niche. Identify popular review platforms where your customers rate your brand, and track the reviews left for your competitors. For better results, approach your brand advocates and request them to leave reviews on such platforms; citing their brand experience.
Make use of customer referrals
You can use customer referrals to increase your customer base. Referral marketing is one of the most powerful ways to increase brand awareness; leading to profitable client acquisition. Further, referral marketing enhances customer retention as studies show that customers who are referred by others are more likely to remain loyal in a brand for a long time, as compared to those who have not been referred. Encourage your customers to refer your business to others. Let them know how they will benefit by telling their friends and family about your brand. Consider promoting the referral program that you create for your business through website ads, social media ads, and email marketing.
Integrate customer testimonials in social media marketing channels
Customer testimonials are powerful conversion tools that you can use to reinforce your brand value. Tap this power by adding customer testimonials on all social media channels, like Twitter and Facebook ads and marketing emails. The new trend that is working very well is placing video testimonials in marketing emails. If you opt for this approach, ensure the video you use contains a catchy statement where a customer’s feedback is well aligned to the email subject line. Include relevant links in the email that directly take prospective customers to the appropriate landing page.
Here’s an example of a video testimonial
That’s about it folks.
Of course, trying and adopting these techniques will not revolutionize your numbers, but your should start to see a significant performance bump after a couple of months.