Customer Advocacy Marketing is the method of inciting and enabling clients through social media interactions, brand acceptance, customer appreciation, product reviews, and word-of-mouth publicity to create awareness about the brand. This is a process where customers can’t resist communicating products, experiences, and customer service about the company.
The successful companies accelerate success through advocacy. Naturally, some businesses create customers who advocate for their goods and services. The influential perceptions of the companies, the outstanding customer experience, and great products or services frequently drive this advocacy. When utilising this advocacy and engaging customers as a collaborative team, they should optimise growth.
Customer Advocacy Marketing is about how to develop your customers into advocates.
Customer Advocacy Marketing Principles
A step-by-step formula of the principles of advocacy marketing to help inspire business strategies:
1. Provide an outstanding product or service
|It doesn’t matter how amazing the marketing or customer experience is, customers would not become advocates and enthusiasts without an outstanding product or service. Focus on what you’re offering before deliberating on the marketing strategy.|
2. Deliver an unforgettable brand experience
|The customer engagement they have with your company adds to their experience. These memorable experiences make it easy for customers to support your company and share positive information about your company among their peers.|
3. Work with a customer’s perspective
|A customer-comes-first culture creates a distinct sense of loyalty and mutual trust between the company and their customers. One of the main ways to develop this culture is to really listen to the customers and make them feel appreciated in the process.|
4. Make advocacy convenient for customers
|You can divide your client advocates into two categories:
1. Those who are so passionate about their experiences with your brand, will do whatever it takes to share information.
2. Those who value your brand but will only share their experiences, if it’s simple or encouraged.
5. Actively look for advocates
|Take the time to identify your customer advocates so that you can contact them when it’s time to launch a campaign or ask them to assist in providing constructive criticism on your marketing campaign or products in the meantime.|
Stages of the Customer Advocacy Marketing Strategy:
- Identifying & Engaging: How does the company identify with advocates?
- Achievements: What actions can you ask your advocates to fulfill that would be useful to the company?
- Reward: What incentives should the company be using to reward advocates, in order to build a strong relationship with them?
- Develop: How to use advocacy in your sales and marketing programs?
Customer Advocacy Marketing is a great way to drive growth. The level of trust is at an all-time low, customers respond positively to this type of authentic marketing campaigns and utilise this kind of method.
Statistics of Advocacy Marketing*
- 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, making it one of the most trust-rich forms of advertising.
- 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.
- Earned media (press, word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer referrals) drives 4x the brand lift as paid media.
- 82% of consumers proactively seek referrals from peers before making a purchasing decision.
- 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
- 67% of consumers surveyed say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.
- The average social media user is connected to 400+ friends and family.
*Resource: by Austen – Ambassador Marketing
Customer Advocacy Programs
A Customer Advocacy Program is a marketing program that promotes and allows your highly content customers to proactively endorse your company and its products/services to friends, team members and many others.
Examples of Customer Advocacy Programs
Understand exactly which of your customers are advocates, so you can engage with them to create more brand awareness and introduce additional customers to increase long-term investment return.
Word-Of Mouth (WOW) program – Satisfying your customer will automatically make them spread the word about your brand.
Referral Program – Refer a friend programs can be used to get an existing customer to sign up a friend and be rewarded.
User-Generated Content – send photos of your products being used by real customers to show how the product really looks or works.
Social Media Program – Get you customer to post your product on their social media for an incentive. E.g.: $5.00 gift card
Offers and Incentives – Offer consumers a deal they could not refuse
Customer Appreciation Day – showing appreciation to your customers like a celebratory dinner for your promoters, or a customer appreciation day or a party for being loyal to your brand.
Rewards Loyalty Programs – Your customer spend money and are rewarded with a financial reward E.g.: 1 point for every dollar you spend
Customer Advocacy Software – A advocacy software platform is an innovative communications tools such as photo and video messaging, integrated text messaging to advocates, direct social media posts to customers profiles, rotating email messages, auto-population of advocate information into web-forms.
Customer Engagement Programs – Getting the customer involved or engaged in an entertaining activity that way you will be transforming happy customers into brand advocates.