One of the biggest weaknesses that most marketing campaigns have? A certain subset of customers will always view advertisements as being insincere. This is just one reason why brand advocacy is such an important point of concern for business. After all, who could ever accuse a friends recommendation of being anything less than genuine?
A few other important advantages of brand advocacy include:
- Increased brand awareness. If you can get your customers talking about the company, this can help get you onto the radar — and even if no one rushes out to buy from you immediately, you will at least have a better shot of wooing customers in the future.
- Better social media presence. When customers are having their own conversations about your brand, you are bound to be all over the social networks — which will, in turn, drive traffic to your profile and maybe even to your web page.
- Advocates really do influence purchases. Statistician and author Malcolm Gladwell found that content created by unaffiliated brand advocates is 50% more likely to inspire a purchase.
The bottom line? If you are looking to increase sales and grow your business, then cultivating brand advocates is a failsafe way of doing just that. But how exactly can you work on creating brand advocates? Here are a few strategies worth implementing:
- Make Customer Success Your #1 Priority. No one is going to become a customer advocate for a brand that failed to meet their expectations. If you want customers to be actively promoting your business, you had better be sure that you are giving them something worth promoting. Providing a high-quality product, excellent customer service, and a competitive value are all musts.
- Network Relentlessly. From contacting industry influencers to forging relationships with partner companies to attending local events — the more connections you can make, the better your odds of winning some advocates. Some of the best connections you will make may appear relatively mundane at first, which is why keeping an open mind and a positive, friendly attitude are so crucial.
- Directly Encourage Advocacy. Asking customers for word-of-mouth references, creating social media promotions that encourage sharing, and even instituting a referral discount are all effective ways of creating an incentive for brand advocacy. Though we would all love to be so popular that brand advocacy emerged spontaneously, the truth is that a little hands-on encouragement is usually a must.
- Hit the Social Networks. We live in 2017. Any effective marketing campaign is going to have a strong social media component — and this is doubly true for strategies such as brand advocacy, which rely upon mass communication. If your social media presence is underdeveloped, then you are going to have a tough time fostering these types of marketing relationships.
- Don’t Forget About Your Employees. Satisfied, enthusiastic employees make for some of the best brand advocates in the world. And disgruntled employees will work hard to trash talk your business, even if it potentially harms them! This is just one of many reasons why employee satisfaction is such a crucial component of company success.
To learn more about how you can grow your business through brand advocacy and other effective strategies, visit Strat IQ Consulting online today!