Word of mouth has always been something important in marketing. People who say good things about your brand can influence others to become loyal consumers.
It is essential to invest in building brand advocates to get new supporters. Spontaneous manifestations about a company draw attention. We are in the age of influencers, after all.
It turns out that as much as they have a great impact on the audience, influencers are paid.
However, customer loyalty is stronger when someone supports a brand without incentives.
Brands are always looking to create a good perception of themselves, and nothing better than people who know them well reinforcing that.
In this article, you will see:
Keep on reading and check it out!
What is a brand advocate?
Brand advocates are people who know your brand and spread the word about it.
Unlike the relationship with influencers, with advocates, there is an organic process. That generates a much more positive reception among the public.
People usually look for positive reviews about a company and what it sells. Price and quality are still important, but it is also necessary to know what consumers and people close to the brand are saying.
That’s why brand advocates know the company well. Most of the time, they are loyal consumers, employees, and business partners.
Social media can help
Promoting brand advocates became even easier since most of them are on social media.
Reviews are one of the main content types consumed today. According to a survey, 93% of consumers read an online review before making a purchase.
Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, for example, allow you to publish a review and reach many people. Blogs are frequently used as well.
Content published on social media is essential for companies. In fact, it is easier to track mentions about brands and products on these platforms.
This way, it is possible to measure with precision. Thus, brands can find out how many people are talking about them and check if those comments are positive or negative.
From this social media monitoring, companies can spot potential brand advocates and start boosting and giving visibility to their opinion.
What are the benefits of brand advocates?
Brand advocates can be very beneficial for a company. This strategy ensures greater visibility, brand awareness, new customers, among others.
Get to know the main advantages below!
Organic feedbacks are more reliable
Brands receive feedback about their products and services all the time. The difference is that when an opinion comes from influencers, there is no organic relationship.
Despite having a good relationship with these personalities, consumers feel greater confidence when opinions come from ordinary people.
Traditional advertising is still powerful, but it is based on what a company intends to transmit. That doesn’t always represent users’ opinions about something that is being sold.
Among all advertising possibilities, people’s opinion is certainly worth much more than paid campaigns.
A survey showed that 76% of people admit they trust more in content generated by regular people.
That’s why brand advocates are highly reliable, as long as their feedback is organic, even if brands leverage them.
Word of mouth is still important
People are influenced by the opinion of others about a product. So, if a brand doesn’t have a positive reputation, its image can be damaged before the public.
Word of mouth is important, and a brand advocates strategy is entirely based on this concept.
As more consumers speak good things about a product or service, more people will show interest.
The greatest differential is that there are many ways to highlight those opinions, mainly with social media and other digital channels.
Reviews on product pages on virtual stores are excellent sources of content. You could, for example, share consumers’ comments on social networks.
Some companies encourage user-generated content (UGC) production. This strategy aims to take advantage of people’s engagement so that you can use content they produce spontaneously.
This way, the brand gives greater visibility to ordinary people’s opinions and promotes its products and services.
Advocates know your brand well
Brand advocates are not just consumers. Employees and business partners also know the company and might talk about it well.
Employees, for example, know the brand in detail. So, when they are engaged, they can be great advocates.
Therefore, invest in communication strategies to improve the relationship between your company and employees.
As for business partners, these companies are linked to yours, which impacts their image. So, the more they help strengthen your brand, the more beneficial the relationship will be for both.
Everyone who knows a brand well and is part of its growth can be an advocate.
That depends on the company’s relationship with them and how these people’s opinion impacts the public.
Brand advocates help you increase brand awareness
When a brand advocate talks about a company, other people get to know it.
This person conveys their company’s perception to other people, who can be friends, family, and followers. That is positive, as that generates brand awareness after all.
But there is an even greater advantage in this promotion: advocates are true fans of the brand. That helps others to get to know it and offers a positive opinion about it.
When that happens, the brand advocate strategy’s main objective is achieved. A regular user says good things about the company, and this organic and spontaneous interaction generates interest in the public.
How to build brand advocates?
First, it is necessary to find brand advocates. In some cases, companies must encourage people to become their representatives.
When you find those people, keep a close relationship with them to ensure they see an advantage in playing this role.
Engagement and visibility are two key factors in having brand advocates committed to your company.
Following, see how to build them!
Every brand advocate program should offer rewards. As much as people are fans of your brand, they expect something in return, which is part of the relationship.
Several types of incentives could help you keep these consumers engaged. Discount coupons are a good example once they are attractive and make brand advocates keep buying.
You could also send some products to your brand advocates so that they can test them and offer feedback to the public.
Negotiate with business partners
Business partners have a lot to win if your company has visibility and a good reputation.
To accomplish this, negotiate actions in which both brands commit to promoting each other. You could do that through a social media strategy, for example.
Brands must mention each other, reinforcing that their products and services are high quality and making it clear that they have a successful partnership.
Actions such as these allow companies to take advantage of each other’s credibility, reaching a broader audience and reinforcing their brand awareness.
Plan an employee advocacy program
Employees are the ones who know the company better. So, they can be great brand advocates if they are encouraged through a program.
A factor that justifies investing in employee preparation is that consumers are interested in those people’s opinions.
A report showed that 52% of consumers believe that employees are a reliable source of information about companies.
Employee advocacy programs aim to engage those people. Also, they should be encouraged with benefits and rewards.
Track and engage potential advocates
Brands need to track potential brand advocates. Those people usually post feedback about companies on the web, giving positive opinions that generate a good brand image.
Tracking company mentions allows you to find out who these people are. Next, you can contact them to make the relationship with the brand official.
All this process of negotiating and giving incentives should be clear to avoid them to believe that they will be influencers. Transparency is essential to the brand advocate strategy.
Close and continuous contact helps you keep those people engaged with the brand, always ready to give their opinions and feedback about products and services.
Brand advocates usually post UGC on social networks. That is a great opportunity to share a moment with people who are showing up to support your brand.
Encouraging UGC is a great way to create brand advocates. Thus, more consumers will create content related to your company, increasing their engagement with it. That helps you reach a broader audience.
You might encourage consumers to post selfies with new products they bought on your virtual store.
Create an Instagram hashtag, ask them to use it when posting their photos, and, at last, repost that content on your company’s stories.
Brand advocates can help you reach more people, generate engagement, and build a positive reputation for your company.
Therefore, track potential new representatives and maintain a good relationship with those who could play this role.
Even though brand advocates don’t work directly for your brand, they need to follow the same guidelines that your company has.
This can be done with consistent communication. Understand how to do it in our guide!