Apple, Coca cola, Microsoft, Nike, these are the names of some of the companies that have such a strong relationship with some of their customers that these clients would arrive to irrational actions for them.
Who are the brand advocates?
Sometimes customers feel such a strong connection with a brand, they become passionate about it, devoting time and efforts into promoting and defending it. These customers are your brand advocates. By spotting and cultivating your brand advocates, you could have a great and very cost-effective marketing tool. Exceptionally loyal, their pitch about your brand is a great way to gain brand recognition, boost sales and differentiate from your competitors.
Why does your brand need them?
Acquiring new customers is and has always been the top marketing objective of companies. The problem is that nowadays new customers have little to no brand loyalty toward that company. Which also explains why it costs 6-7 times as much to acquire a new customer versus retaining an existing one.
Cultivating happy customers and turning their satisfaction into powerful word of mouth marketing for your business is cost effective and a great way of gaining visibility and trust from your customers’ peers.
So why not focusing your efforts on building a close relationship with your existing customers rather than just acquiring new ones? Happy customers that have great experiences with the brand they love will spread their love using their social networks, and through the WOMM your brand will gain new customers that will land on your website with a positive attitude and willing to know more about your business.
How do you recognise your brand advocates?
I admit that finding your brand advocates needs you to invest time and effort. The first thing you have to do is carefully watch out of what is happening on social media, if for example your brand is being mentioned, who shares your different posts. Secondly you have to be able to differentiate between your legit brand advocates and those who interact with you for pure convenience like a prize for instance.
How should my brand interact with its brand advocates?
Once you have recognised your real brand advocates, you must cultivate the relationship through interaction, asking them for their opinions or ideas, participating in the conversations they start about your brand, and making them feel special.
Another great way of cultivating them would be using rewards. You can name them the nº1 fan, or send a public message naming them, even inviting them to see your workplace or to write an article that you will publish.
What will be the outcome for your brand?
Word of mouth marketing and brand awareness: Customers are growing to be skeptical towards push advertising but on the other hand they trust user-generated content and WOMM more and more.
Managing your online reputation through your brand advocate: We know the difficulty to control everything that is being said in the web about our brand. You’re not managing your reputation online, your customers are. Teaming up with your brand advocates, there will be more motivated individuals speaking up for the brand and convincing haters or detractors about the benefits of it.
Brand advocates can create some of the best value for a small business or emerging brand. The word of mouth marketing that results from their kind words can exponentially increase your company’s profile and positive associations. Keep them engaged as you grow and you’ll likely catch more brand advocates’ and influencers’ attention along the way.
Now it’s time to find them and tell them how much we appreciate their support!
If you are interested in a deeper understanding on this topic I leave you with this interesting infographic and by clicking here you will be redirected to the full study on brand advocates.
This post is also available in: Spanish