Do you know that brand advocacy is the most powerful element of your marketing strategy? Not top notch SEO, not expensive UX Design and not next generation Ai. None of these things come close to beating the voice of your existing customers, in fact, word of mouth can be attributed to being behind 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
What a person says about your brand, whether on social media, Google reviews or even while in the pub, converts like no other channel. Customers who are willing to share their great experience with your brand are your greatest asset. Leveraging them into your marketing strategy will give you more ROI than anything else.
Brand Advocacy: Understanding your customers:
A large proportion of consumers, and importantly your customers, don’t trust traditional advertising but 90% believe in brand recommendations from their friends and trusted industry leaders.
This phenomenon is why marketing techniques like influencer marketing and word of mouth have become massive in recent years. But it’s nothing new. Brands have been utilising influencers and industry leaders in order to promote their products and services for as long as there have been brands.
One practical example is Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with a popular brand. In 2016 alone, he generated $500M in value for Nike.
“Ronaldo posted 1,703 times overall on social media in 2016. Those posts generated 2.25 billion social interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, and views on videos). Nike was referenced or its logo visible in a photo or video in 347 of the posts. These posts had 477 million interactions. The result: $499.6 million for Nike in media value from Ronaldo’s posts.”
Marketers are turning to brand ambassadors, social media influencers and even motivated customers to help them meet their marketing goals – in the process, they’re building brand awareness, acquiring new customers and keeping retention numbers at a healthy level.
At Shareable we help you create more of these highly satisfied customers. We help build brand awareness and relationships with customers who will become brand advocates for you, posting pictures of your product on Instagram and taking the time to write reviews on your business’s Facebook page.
Brand Advocacy: How we do it.
Let’s face it, incentives work and when you’re first building your brand advocate army they can be a way to get an easy win. Ask yourself: ‘why’ someone should follow you on Social Media. Generally speaking, people won’t engage with your brand if other people aren’t – even if your product or service is exemplary.
By incentivising your social media engagement (especially in the early stages) you are more likely to build lasting positive relationships with your target audience demographic. Getting the ball rolling with a competition, discount or give away can be a very cheap way to rapidly build a highly targeted audience.
Brand Advocacy: Building a customer-centric knowledge base
As marketers, we are often using our content marketing activities to educate our clients’ customers about the products or services they’re selling. This content becomes highly shareable information that customers can share with their own friends and contacts on social media. Are you writing a blog for your customers? Ask yourself if the blog posts you’re writing are something that your customers would be likely to share. If not, why not? If the content isn’t up to scratch then it’s unlikely that they’ll view it as something to share with their network of friends and colleagues.
Adobe’s recent ‘State of Content’ report found that some of the top reasons for sharing content are because people want to:
- Raise awareness on an issue
- Share knowledge
- Show others content that’s enjoyable
- Connect with others
Create content with value
More than 50% consumers, worldwide, are happy to pay more for products or services from brands that are aligned with their values. Is your brand environmentally friendly? Is it sustainable? Do you want to be known for social awareness? Consumers are more passionate about the brands that advocate their passions.
Be involved. Have an opinion as a brand. You don’t have start some great cause to inspire your audience and turn them into advocates, simply speaking out or becoming involved as issues arise can show consumers how much your brand cares. More importantly, you’re giving your brand advocates a good reason to talk about your company.
Brand Advocacy: Saying thanks
When someone writes a positive review, say thank you. If they refer a friend, say thank you. Have they shared their experience with their social networks or in any way advocated your brand, say thank you. Real brand advocates are the ones who shout out your brand whenever they have a positive experience. Want to encourage more advocacy from your satisfied customer base? Let them know their act was appreciated.