Posted By: Kyle Fagala
As you probably know by now, promoting and advertising the services you offer is an essential part of building your brand and there are several ways to accomplish this. What you might not know is that one of the most effective techniques for reaching your target audience is “word of mouth” marketing. A Nielsen report revealed that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising, but most ad dollars are still spent on television, print, and online campaigns. If you aren’t utilizing brand advocates, you’re missing out on a powerful marketing tool. That’s why we’re taking a look at how understanding brand advocacy can benefit you and your brand!
Brand advocates are cheerleaders for your company. These are your most loyal consumers, and they can play a vital role in your business growth. People are excited to be part of the brands they love, and want to share their positive experiences with those around them. When you put some effort towards developing brand advocates, you’ll see an increase in your reach. And the best part? Word of mouth marketing won’t cost you a penny! Let’s take a closer look at what brand advocacy is and how it can work for your brand.
What is brand advocacy?
Brand advocacy is a practice that naturally evolves when someone loves what your company has to offer and promotes it to their friends, family, and associates. Because this occurs both online and in “real” life, it provides your brand with new opportunities to explore and capitalize on. When you put time into identifying and nurturing your brand loyalists, you’ll both benefit!
The basics of brand advocacy
While word of mouth recommendations are nothing new, using brand advocates is a relatively modern marketing ploy. It begins with the fundamental features you should be offering your clients—honesty, clarity, and trustworthiness. If your team is providing service from these three starting points, live up to the expectations your customers have and also increase the likelihood of them sharing out of sheer enthusiasm for what you do. But how does that translate into brand advocacy? How do you take a client and create a brand advocate?
The key is in understanding that this is one marketing strategy you can’t force. Brand advocacy is a customer’s choice, which means you don’t have much control over it. It’s not structured, it can’t be planned out in advance—you give it your best shot and hope for the best, basically. But because brand advocacy is free, easy, and hugely effective, you’ve got nothing to lose! If you’re considering an advocate program for your brand, here are a few areas to focus on first.
Be exceptional at what you do
Before you begin any sort of marketing campaign, you’ll need to analyze what you’re offering your audience. The success of your products or services must come first—success with clients will follow. Whether it’s exceptional care, cutting-edge technology, or incredible results, your customers won’t be able to resist sharing what makes your brand special with their social circle!
Set a new standard for customer care
The services and products you offer are the core of your brand. Once you’ve got this nailed, it’s time to expand outward into the customer experience. From start to finish, every interaction a client has with you should be memorable. Take time now to ensure you’re providing a welcoming atmosphere, flawless customer service, and a client-centric attitude from all team members. Handle concerns quickly and with care, and resolve any issues as respectfully as possible. This will keep clients returning year after year and telling everyone exactly why they choose your brand over all others.
Keep clients in the loop
If you want your customers to “sell” your brand, they should have some knowledge of what you do and what you offer. Reach out to those you believe would make good brand ambassadors and offer education on your services through quick videos, blogs, or webinars. Make these resources fun and informative, full of interesting tidbits and easy-to-access knowledge! An educated advocate will be able to share the experiences they’ve had with you as well as field basic questions about what you do.
Incentivize brand advocacy
Incentives work, and they can be particularly useful when you’re building the foundation for an army of brand ambassadors. A large percentage of consumers say they like a company’s social media pages to get a discount or take advantage of some other offer, so get the ball rolling by attracting engagement with a worthwhile incentive! You can keep things simple by offering a discount or free product to brand advocates who share your posts, do a video about their experience with your company, or submit a review.
What a person says about your brand—and who they say it to—has the ability to increase your reach and convert your leads like nothing else. Satisfied clients who are excited about their experience with you have the potential to become one of your greatest assets! A brand advocate who’s on board with your goals can help you build awareness, acquire new clients, and retain current customers. Advocacy marketing works, and you won’t even have to touch your ad budget. What’s not to love?
Through brand advocacy programs, your clients are included in the growth journey for your business. This makes ambassadors feel valued by and invested in your brand. The enthusiasm they’ll have for your success will spread naturally and effectively to those in their circle—and who knows where it could go from there? By putting in a little bit of work and a lot of mutual respect, you and your brand advocates can build something exciting that will have rewards in both the short and long term.
If you’re not where to begin turning clients into advocates, the Neon Canvas team will be happy to help you out. Our goal is to help you take your brand to the next level. Thank you for trusting us with that opportunity!