Every day, Americans are bombarded with ads demanding something of them. While these ads at times seem excessive, they are constantly providing choices for the consumer. What meal should I have? What workout gear should I wear? Coke or Pepsi? Snickers or Hershey? The options, as well as the decisions, are endless which leaves the businesses fighting tooth and nail for the prime ad spots whether they be lurching over tourists in Time Square or spending around $4 million to broadcast during the most important football game of the year. To what extent do these ads actually influence the purchase habits of customers? It is becoming quite clear that while these tried and true methods of mass media blitzes are effective, there is an easier and cheaper way of getting your brand to reach the consumers: brand advocacy.
Through brand advocacy, companies get the consumer to promote their brand and message. With the use of social media and review sites, the customer now holds the fate of companies in their hands with 73% of consumers trusting a business more after reading a positive customer review. And, if that recommendation was to come from a family member or friend, 92% of consumers would trust the recommendations opposed to a mere 47% trusting a company after a TV ad. Knowing this information, companies must try to recognize potential advocates and keep them.
1. Find your most dedicated customers:
One important aspect to remember is that not everyone will work as a brand advocate. There is a very clear difference between happy customers and passionate customers that love you and your brand. Once you find the passionate individuals that love your company as much as you do, you are on your way to building a strong base for your fans to stand on.
2. Know your brand:
Be able to talk with fans and followers about your brand and why it is different from all others in the same field. No one else will be able to promote your brand if you cannot do it yourself. Also, your passionate customers may only be in love with one aspect of your business. Use these specifics to further engage passionate customers.
3. Keep brand advocates happy:
Continue to engage with those that connect with you on social networks. Track and comment on feedback be it positive or negative. This contact, in addition to helping you learn what you should change with your brand, lets you reach out to customers and get to know them and build a rapport with the people that like you the most.
4. Don’t lose them!
After building this base, keep customers engaged and don’t forget about those that are there to help.
With this information, you will be on your way to a winning promotional strategy.