Advocacy marketing is a way to harness the power of the people- whether customers or employees- in order to get exposure for your company's brand, product, or content. Using their already established networks, you can amplify the reach of your brand message in a place where your customers and employees are already trusted for their opinions- their own social networks. A recent report by Gartner states that "83% of consumers trust product or service recommendations from people they know, while only 43% trust ads on social networks," making them an indispensable source for sharing about your brand.
The tricky part is actually harnessing the power of these people to turn them from customers and employees, into advocates and influencers. Depending on what you're hoping to achieve, there are tools that can help you get maximum brand exposure, get your content shared, and ultimately, make your company more money.
In this article, I'll cover what employee and customer advocacy programs are all about, and the tools that will help you succeed in achieving your advocacy marketing strategy.
Employee advocacy relies on the social media networks of your employees to get your brand's name out there, especially when it comes to sharing content. Using the LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook networks of your employees, you can get them to share content about your company including updates, product launches, or high quality content produced by your editorial team.
The key is to make sure that the content that you're asking employees to share are things that would naturally fit in among their social media feeds. A boring PR about successfully closing the quarter wouldn't go as far as an update about your cool new office space would.
Employee advocacy also adds benefits for the employees, who are able to feel more engaged and are more likely to stay at their company with a successful employee advocacy plan.
Check out this article I wrote for Scoop.it for an in-depth look at how to successfully start a social media advocacy program.
HootSuite's newest addition to its line of products comes in the form of Amplify, a tool that helps employees become more active on social media via curated content. The mobile app, built specifically for easy access by employees, relies on content curators who push content from HootSuite to Amplify. Employees access the app, where they have a pool of content that they can share out to their connected social networks.
The concept is simple, but because half the battle of getting employees to share content is having content for them to share, getting it hand-delivered takes the hard part out of the process.
SocialChorus is a daily news reader app for companies to gives employees tons of information ripe for the sharing, right at their fingertips. Connecting the app with your CRM, internal social networks, and marketing software provides a pool of information that's fed into SocialChorus from which employees can easily post on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook. Its mobile app is especially useful, pushing this information straight to employees on their phones in an app that can be tailored to your company's brand.
The good thing about SocialChorus is that it centralizes all of the information that a company wants to share, but can distinguish between what's better left off social media by turning the sharing features off for internal-only posts.
To measure its success, analytics features will help you see how your employee's social efforts have engaged more users.
GaggleAMP works by putting a group of people- like employees- into a gaggle, and pushing out content for them to share. In order to get this content, managers can connect the tool with the company's social media accounts and whenever something gets published, it gets sent to the gaggle to share out.
The app gives users a to-do type list of 10 things that they can choose whether or not to share across their connected social media channels. There are features for auto-sharing so that, for example, whenever a new Twitter message is shared, it can automatically be tweeted. There's also an option to schedule messages for posting later, as well as a mobile app and a chrome extension for easier access.
Gamification adds an additional incentive for employees to share more content, while reports help managers get visibility on who's sharing what, and what type of content is getting the most shares.
As one of the leading solutions for employee advocacy, Dynamic Signal is a multi-faceted solution aimed at improving HR and company culture, garnering sales and marketing leads, improving internal communications, increasing brand awareness, and helping with event promotion.
Much like the other apps mentioned above, Dynamic Signal combines a company and industry-related news feed, push and text notifications via mobile, and sharing features, with analytics for shared content and a gamification system to rally employees around sharing.
As one of 5 types of influencers outlined by Gartner, customers are an indispensable resource for marketing your product and promoting your brand. Why? Because they're already doing it. The conversations happening between trusted sources online about your brand can be a goldmine of marketing resources. Think about all of the great comments your company might have via product reviews, recommendations, and testimonials on portals like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, and yes, even GetApp.
Much like employees, customers- especially those coming from third-party review sites- are a much more trusted source than a company's own marketing copy. With customer advocate marketing, you can help build buzz about your brand, increase the number of product reviews you have, and help improve your product.
The trick is finding your loudest advocates and being able to use their positive experiences with your product or service to drive referral traffic and help generate revenue.
This is where software comes in handy.
A combination tool for both customer and influencer advocacy, Influitive AdvocateHub is one of the most powerful tools on the market to help you take advantage of the people positively talking about your brand. Influitive lets you build communities around advocacy and target those people who are most vocal about your brand on social media, review sites, or other outlets.
You can reach out to your users and create these communities, where you can set challenges and give points to advocates that can be cashed in later for rewards. The goal is to get people continuously writing about your product or service in as many outlets as possible.
Software like Influitive gives marketers direct access to their customers so that instead of just leaving a review, the door stays open for two way communication to, for example, help improve the product.
As a B2B referral marketing platform, Ambassador aims to increase revenue from referrals using campaigns. You can create campaigns tailored specifically to certain groups, whether that be your customers, influencers, or affiliates. Campaigns can offer referral incentives and can each have unique URLs so that you can properly track them.
Once you've identified your biggest ambassadors, you can segment them into groups so that you can better target them depending on which bucket of advocate they fall under.
As a gamification and loyalty program, Big Door helps you keep your customers more engaged by rewarding them not just for purchases, but for referrals, engagement, and content consumption practices like watching videos.
With a mobile app for customer access, your customers can complete quizzes, tasks, and quests that allow them to earn rewards once completed. With its Loyalty Campaign solution, you'll be able to drive downloads and engagement, as well as increase social advocacy through various campaigns that encourage social sharing, referral incentives, and improve content discovery.
Through its analytics functions, you'll be able to see just how successful these campaigns have been.
Whether it's your employees, your customers, or other influencers advocating for your brand, being able to use outside opinion to promote your product increases your credibility, gets more awareness for your brand, and lets you make use of resources that, most of the time, are already out there.
If you're interested in learning about the different types of influencers you can use for your marketing efforts, check out this article outlining the 5 types of influencers you can use to amplify your marketing strategy.