Consumers are influential. They have the power to influence their peers to buy or not buy your products - both offline and online. How is this determined? Based off their experiences with your brand. Creating a brand advocacy program can help you take steps towards turning your customers into advocates. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Know Your Content
Before you decide on what you say to your advocates, you should know the story you're trying to tell. It's important to determine your tone of voice, narrative, platform and even your content creation process. Understanding the process of content ideation, creation, approvals and distribution can be demanding - which is why it's important to create a structure. The combination of everything outlined above will allow your advocates to help you tell your brand story.
Appreciate and Thank Often
At the core of building brand loyalty is rewarding and thanking users for their activity and engagement. Taking the time to say thank you forms a positive reciprocal relationship between you and the consumer, and brands that take advantage of this early on can create loyal advocates. If someone is taking the time to support your brand, you should ask yourself how can you say thank you?
In an earlier post I shared the importance of embracing employees as brand advocates. Employees continue to be one of the most under-leveraged resources for many brands. From experience, I've found that this is often caused by departments being siloed, which creates a lack of communication. Building a successful brand loyalty and advocacy program includes a company-wide initiative. You should ask yourself, if your employees won't buy your product, then why should anyone else?
Listen and Learn
If there is anything word of mouth marketing has taught us, it's that customers want to be heard, and not only that, they want to make sure you're actually listening. Advocates are not only keen on sharing experiences about your product or services, they can also provide insights and suggestions. If you're listening but not doing anything with consumer feedback, you'll build brand critics, not brand advocates. The importance here is engaging and adding value for your customers. In turn, they will appreciate your efforts and recommend you to others.
Are there other tips I've missed? Share them in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Jenni Rodger.