Turn Your Customers Into Brand Advocates

How to Turn Your Customers Into Brand Advocates

Even the most successful marketing campaigns rarely measure up to the potential influence of your tried-and-true customers.

Given the ideal product, the best customer service and the right tools, your customers can easily become your most valuable sales team and most persuasive champions.

Thankfully, social media platforms offer a practically unlimited way to interact with your consumers and encourage them to share and engage with your content. You will quickly find that their online activity with your brand is the quickest way to bringing on new clients. That’s because individuals are much more likely to trust the opinion of a real person — like a friend or a verified consumer rating — than any paid advertisement or influencer message.

Here is how to harness the power of your customers in your digital marketing strategy by turning them into your most active online advocates.

Define Objectives

Before adopting any type of brand ambassador or customer marketing campaign, be sure to set clear and measurable objectives.

Are you trying to increase brand awareness, promote an upcoming project or initiative or change the narrative around your brand? Whatever your marketing goal, you will want it clearly outlined before you begin identifying the appropriate advocates for the job.

Don’t be afraid to attach numbers to your goals either. Objectives like gaining 5,000 new Facebook followers, reaching $10,000 in new product sales or increasing e-mail subscriptions by 1,000 individuals are worthwhile targets. By outlining your precise ambitions, you can better gauge the success of your efforts along the way.

Prepare Your Product

You cannot have a successful customer-led digital marketing strategy without having a solid, reliable product and quality customer service.

Customers are more likely to sing your brand’s praises if they love the products you provide as well as their overall buying experience.

To adequately prepare your product and perfect your customer service, look no further than personalization and optimization.

Personalization is key to developing a truly superior customer service experience. The vast majority of customers are more likely to invest in a brand that makes them feel like a VIP. This includes using their name in all communications, remembering and celebrating their birthdays and customizing product recommendations based on their interests and browsing history. It is also important to communicate with them on their preferred communication channel, be it telephone, text message, social media or e-mail.

After perfecting your personalization efforts, next you will need to optimize your online shopping experience. It is imperative to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find exactly what they want and to purchase it quickly and seamlessly, no matter the platform. This applies to both your website storefront as well as your smartphone application.

Remember: every interaction a customer has with your product impacts their opinion and likelihood of conversion. Proactive, customer-centric communication across all marketing channels not only earns customer loyalty; it also leads to organic word-of-mouth referrals.

Identify Advocates

A great way to identify potential advocates from your pool of customers is via a simple customer feedback survey. When preparing and executing such a survey, do not forget to ask your customers about their overall opinion of your brand and their likelihood to recommend it to their friends and family.

Those who state that they are very likely to recommend your services should be further vetted for their social capital and digital influence.

The advocates with the most digital marketing potential are ones with a large reach, consistent online brand engagement and quite a bit of influence among their followers of peers. Someone who boasts a large group of local friends will not necessarily help your digital marketing efforts if they do not have a strong online presence and a network of trusted followers.

The individuals who can create the biggest and loudest impact are those who are willing to champion your brand frequently and to a wide net of people.

Engage Customers

Once you identify the ideal customer advocates, start getting them involved in your digital marketing strategy as soon as possible.

This could be as general as asking them to consistently share and engage with your brand on their social media pages or as specific as giving them exclusive access to a limited time offer which they can then promote to their followers.

You will also want to obtain their personal product testimonials and feedback. User-generated content is a free and fruitful way to drive engagement and build trust between you and your clients.

Ask each of your advocates if they would be willing to share their product testimonials on your company’s website and social media pages or even their own. These Le-Vel Thrive reviews are a great example of how much of an impact an advocate can have on behalf of a product they love.

By requesting advocate feedback, you demonstrate that you care about their opinions and that they have a say in the future of your brand. Furthermore, according to some studies, 61% of people are more likely to trust something with positive user reviews as opposed to a traditional purchased advertisement.

Reward Loyalty

Finally, don’t forget to reward your advocates for their marketing value and brand loyalty.

A formal loyalty program can include anything from competitive discounts and branded merchandise to exclusive advocate events and early bird access to new products. This form of appreciation goes a long way in guaranteeing their allegiance in the long run.

Referral programs also have the potential to satisfy current customers while also attracting new ones. For every referral an advocate sends to your company, repay your them with additional discounts and prizes. This is a great way to encourage successful and strategic performances out of each of your customer advocates.

In the end, your most loyal customers have the power to become your most influential advocates.

The commitment you put in to define your clear digital marketing goals, perfect and personalize your product, identify potential advocates, encourage user-generated content and reward the work conducted on your behalf will not only grow your brand visibility; it will also secure your business a wealth of clients, new and old, for the long haul.