Customer brand advocacy or Consumer brand advocacy refers to the actions by which satisfied customers initiate favorable interactions with others about a brand.
What is Customer Brand Advocacy?
Brand advocacy is a popular form of modern business marketing. Brand advocates promote the business through word of mouth. Their positive reviews about the company’s products or services help to promote the company to new customers.
In simple sentence brand advocacy is any behaviour that involves a customer supporting or recommending the brand that they love.
Who is a Brand Advocate?
A brand advocate is a customer or employee of a business who proactively shares about the company to their networks via social, word of mouth, email, or through content without any incentive other than their love for the brand.
You may have also seen or heard the term “brand ambassador,” which is a pretty interchangeable meaning with a brand advocate.
But a brand advocate or “brand ambassador” will rep your brand, show support, and even influence the buying habits of others.
Why Brand Advocacy Matters?
Brand advocacy can make a company stand out from the crowd. It‘s a powerful publicity machine that works for all types of organizations, from B2B companies to charities. A successful brand relies on how people perceive it.
Here’s why brand advocacy is important:
Keeps a Company Ahead of the Competition
Being the brand that everyone’s talking about because of a new product or unforgettable ad campaign keeps a company ahead of its competitors.
Encourages Customer Loyalty
Loyal customers return and repurchase. They name the brand in conversations and influence how and what others buy.
Building people’s trust is the key to creating a brand advocate. If someone trusts a company they believe in its values and how it treats them.
Boosts Content Creation
Advocates work as marketers for an organization without realizing it. Every time they post a video or share an article they’re giving the business free publicity. An invaluable marketing tool such as asking guests to post on a blog can boost brand awareness.
Promotes Business Growth
Brand advocates indirectly affect business growth as every new sale creates extra profit. Although difficult to measure, this form of subtle marketing should have a place in the marketing strategy as it’s as important as traditional marketing.
Helps Find New Audiences
Brand marketing has a target market. But what if that target market is saturated? How does an organization find fresh customers?
Brand advocacy can find new audiences who may not be in the target category. For example, smartphone advertising aims at a certain age group.
People outside that group may be encouraged to buy a smartphone if a friend or colleague they trust raves about it.
How to Build an Effective Brand Advocacy Program?
The brand advocacy program should be included in marketing strategies. It should apply to both employees and external groups.
This is the opportunity to encourage a passion for your brand and create something special.
1. Define your Advocates
Employee advocacy can’t be left to chance. From your customer and employee base, determine who your advocates are, as these people are loyal to your brand.
You can do this by reviewing who engages with your posts. These people are going to help you improve your brand image.
Look after your advocates and offer them rewards and incentives to keep them interested.
2. Make Sharing Posts Easy
Everyone is super busy in today’s digital world. How many times have you read an article or seen a product you want to buy and intended to go back to it later?
But you didn’t get the time, forgot about it, moved on and something else caught your eye in the meantime.
Make it easy to like, share, or repost your message when someone reads it.
To do this, choose the best brand advocacy software that is easy to use, cost-effective, and reliable both for your intranet and website.
3. Be Consistent
Having a strong presence turns an organization into one that consumers trust.
If you show up every day with a blog post or special offer people know you’re for real and care about what they think.
They’re more likely to follow you and anticipate your posts each day. When customers spend money they like to feel safe, and a reliable organization nurtures this feeling.
4. Create Promotions
Everyone loves a great deal. Make special offers and discounts part of your brand advocacy program.
Add to this referral programs, rewards, competitions, introductory offers and you’ve got a winning formula for getting people to support you.
5. Listen to your Employees and Customers
Your program should include asking employees and customers what they think. It’s easy to set up a website or intranet survey that only takes a couple of minutes to complete.
Why not ask for testimonials and reviews? This kind of feedback can tell you if you’re doing things right.
It’s also important to show you’ve listened by publishing results and opinions. This makes customers and employees advocates as they feel their opinion counts.
You can also do this with a comments area – and make sure to always reply to comments promptly.
6. Be Real and Approachable
How often have you clicked away from a website that’s cold and boring? No one wants to buy from a website that feels unfriendly.
People like to see the actual employees they’re dealing with. This means posting biographies on your managers and team leaders.
On an intranet, this can be a detailed profile that employees complete themselves so colleagues can learn more about them. Being real creates trust, which leads to advocacy.
7. Set Goals
Set measurable and time-specific goals. For example, to increase post shares on the intranet by 50% in the next three months, or to achieve a set amount of mentions on Twitter for a new product launch.
Beyond building brand loyalty and purchasing, marketers want to create customer brand advocacy, by which satisfied customers initiate favorable interactions with others about a brand.
Greater consumer empowerment means that companies can no longer rely on marketing by the intrusion. Instead, they must practice marketing by attraction—creating market offerings and messages that engage consumers rather than interrupt them.
Hence, most marketers now combine their mass-media marketing efforts with a rich mix of online, mobile, and social media marketing that promotes brand-consumer engagement, brand conversations, and brand advocacy among customers.