Advocacy Marketing: A Social Media Trend for 2021
Advocacy marketing is a social media marketing strategy that more and more marketers are prioritizing. It involves getting customers who are now loyal followers of the brand to talk about your brand and products.
Having existing customers publicly supporting and promoting your brand is a plus since 80% of shoppers do online research before purchasing.
In fact, 83% of shoppers trusted referrals from family and friends or recommendations from fellow customers. Word of mouth referral marketing may be free, but that path to get there is a combination of different techniques to bring meaningful customer experiences.
One of the most successful ways to expand the business is the word of mouth marketing. It helps your target market get to know you and other people who promote your brand for you. You build more vital credibility and gain the trust of your consumers even more.
As mentioned, advocacy is one of the most affordable ways to strengthen your brand reputation and get new leads. You can optimize prior efforts and investments when your happy customers begin talking about you, your products, and your services.
5 Successful Advocacy Marketing Strategies to Inspire You
Tesla Referral Program
Tesla found a great way to engage and mobilize their loyal customers to get more leads. And not just any clients, but people who view their brand in a positive light because the person who refers them is a satisfied Tesla customer they know.
The company combined advocacy marketing with referral marketing. Tesla implemented referral packages that gave both the referred person and the existing customer amazing discounts – a $1,000 discount on a new order for both.
That wasn’t all, though. Tesla gave current customers even more inspiration. If customers could refer ten people, they get the exclusive privilege of buying a limited Model X SUV Creator Series that was not sold to the public.
What’s more, the first person to do that also got the vehicle for free.
It was a good campaign since a customer is usually more likely to purchase a friend’s recommendation.
Apple is known to appreciate and capitalize on UGC (User-Generated Content). The company knows how to show appreciation to its loyal customers, which breeds more loyalty from their market.
The rich experience that iPhone users have, for instance, has proven time and again that even if iPhone is not the most cost-efficient nor advanced-featured phone in the market, its loyal customer base continues to advocate the brand.
For instance, Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” advocacy campaign sourced many pictures from Apple users worldwide, using designated hashtags. Apple chose the best images and advertised them on billboard ads and public transit.
Apple advertised the work of 77 iPhone users from 24 different countries. With little to no editing required, they superimposed the phrase “Shot on iPhone” over the pictures.
It shows that marketing does not involve a lot of time and money with the right advocacy. And integrating UGC into your campaigns makes your users feel more involved, increasing their loyalty even more.
Starbucks launched “Tweet-A-Coffee” as an advocacy marketing campaign. Customers were encouraged to buy $5 gift cards for their friends via Twitter. When customers tweet with the @tweetacoffee handle together with the referred person’s Twitter handle.
The first 100,000 people who joined the program also received $5 gift cards.
It proved very profitable since it produced about $180,000 in sales. It allowed Starbucks to gather actual data about who its brand advocates were.
The advocacy campaign helped them identify potential customers because over 27,000 brand advocates took part in it. If they strategically engage this potential market, they will attract new clients too and strengthen long-term revenues.
Adobe’s Affiliate Program
It is Adobe’s version of an advocacy or referral program. The Adobe Affiliate Program allows its most avid supporters and advocates to earn considerable commissions by simply referring people to the brand.
Advocates can promote Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Document Cloud, and Adobe Stock on their websites, blogs, or social media platforms.
Creative Cloud provides the most current versions of Adobe’s creative apps like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, and Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements.
The program is completely free, user-friendly, and it works too. Advocates and affiliates can earn as much as 85% in monthly commissions.
Microsoft 365 Business Affiliate Program
Since it is online, users can work on the go and multiple devices without losing files. It is easy to recommend Microsoft 365 and become an affiliate because of the convenience for users to work offline and online seamlessly. With Microsoft 365 apps, the world is your workspace.
Microsoft’s other cloud-based technologies have also revolutionized the productivity sphere. The likes of Microsoft Windows Server take your business to greater heights with bridge on-premises environments with Azure services. Users can create more hybrid scenarios so they can maximize existing investments.
Microsoft also has the ever-reliable Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter, a server OS (operating system) specially designed for organizations and enterprises with expanding needs.
Users get support for the business’s many digital activities and resources by getting the OS to scale up with them and provide affordable business continuity, especially during trying times. Microsoft’s products seamlessly work together, much like the apps within Office 365, to provide meaningful and quality experiences to their users.
Buy the download and activation keys conveniently and at Softvire’s year-end sale. Purchase the most trusted brand names in software for as much as 20% to 30% off.
You won’t find better deals anywhere online for MS Office 365 products than with Softvire.
So, how do you go about a successful advocacy marketing campaign?
5 Proven Strategies in Advocacy Marketing
Brand Advocates Identified
Do you know who your brand advocates are? Typically, they are your top followers and the most active in engagements on UGC channels like social media, comments section, forums, and like.
You can also look for brand advocates among your team or employees. Advocates are similar to brand ambassadors, so you need to be strategic in choosing them.
Ensure that they also embody what your brand stands for, that they are the right fit to represent your brand, albeit as an advocate or voluntary ambassador.
Be Consistent and Trustworthy
Consistency is critical in promoting any brand. Customers need to know your brand is reliable and trustworthy.
Be prompt to answer customer concerns. Your website should be safe and free from malware or data leakage.
Sadly, not all businesses think of security being a top priority. They are not even aware of common threats to business, so they do not know how cybersecurity measures to impose.
High bounce rates signify something is not right. Is your webpage loading slowly, the UI/UX unappealing, or your website seems spammy?
Do realize your website should truthfully reflect your brand’s identity. If your brand collaterals and everything else concerning your brand show inconsistency, it does not help customers trust you. And even loyal customers will not recommend something they do not feel confident with.
Build a Brand Narrative
Customers seldom advocate for forgettable businesses. A good backstory and brand narrative make you unforgettable with audiences.
A good narrative makes customers identify with your brand and your values. It enables them to identify with the brand and encourages them to get involved. The more they get involved, the more they feel part of that story.
Visual Capitalist shows in the infographic below America’s top tech firms and the values they stand for. These values can be seen in their branding strategies and highlighted in their campaigns, products, and services they provide.
For example, Google is known for innovation and fun, openness to create software or platforms that increase public engagement and satisfaction. On the other hand, Apple uses product design to portray the value of simplicity through its brand.
Boost Outstanding, Unforgettable Experiences
Any marketing strategy will fail without a top-notch product or service. It is all about the product, backed by the level of service you give. It is the one-two punch that can knock your competition and produce loyal advocates from your consumer base.
A good product and great business also provide your customers with outstanding and unforgettable experiences. It makes customers feel they got real value for the time, trust, and money they invested in your business.
Each interaction they have with your brand adds to their experience. Happy customers are more likely to advance the cause of your brand and become advocates in the future.
Blend Advocates Voice into Your Brand
When you have identified your brand advocates, engage with them. Create opportunities for your brand to get to know them more. It could be a fan meeting, product launch, and the like. Create and nurture a strong community for your brand advocates. It could be via social media groups, email marketing, or even chat features.
In this way, you will get to identify who among your brand advocates have the most potential to uphold the brand’s image and voice fluently. It is also good to listen to your brand advocates even if they say something that you might deem negative. It could be a complaint or feedback about your product or service.
Attend to that and try to learn from what they are saying. Your customers are the ones who truly experience your brand and service. If you find out the main concerns customers have with your business, you can create solutions and draw more customers in the long run. Even complaints can encourage people to speak up about your business in a good way. If they see that the brand treats both those who comment positively and negatively, that is a plus to your identity as a brand.
Make it easy for readers and customers to leave testimonials and feedback on your site and other digital platforms too. Do not be scared of people’s opinions. It might be raw, but if you sift through the comments, you will get authentic insights on whether your brand is useful as a brand or not.
You can start marketing campaigns specifically centered on encouraging customers to post, comment, and share your content using a branded hashtag. Remember, every voice counts.
Conclusion: Advocacy Marketing is a Lifestyle
Advocacy marketing is not a one-time strategy or an overnight sensation. It takes time, patience, and consistent efforts to provide excellent products and customer service. It is doing everything you can do on your part to give meaningful experiences to your customers.
In short, advocacy marketing is a way of life. You want people talking about you organically and your vast following to have a deep foundation of a reliable brand with excellent customer relations.
Never tire of sparking conversations and launching creative, trending campaigns. Never grow weary of engaging, of letting your audience hear your voice while listening to the voice of those who follow and support your brand.
Purposefully aiming for excellence in everything you do as a brand will spill over into the most loyal, effective, and life-long brand advocates.