If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ve heard about brand advocacy and the power it can wield. But what is brand advocacy, and what do brand advocates actually do? Whether you’re new to working with influencers or engaged customers or looking to create an in-house program, understanding how your advocates can positively impact your business is critical. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of what an advocate does.
What are brand advocates?
Brand advocates have a strong connection to and passion for your brand. They may be customers, employees, influencers, or other stakeholders. Brand advocates spread the good word about your product by talking positively on social media and offline conversations with their peers. In addition to spreading awareness of your products or services, they can provide valuable insight into customer feedback and trends in the market.
Advocates often promote discounts and offers you publish to special audiences, including their personal networks.
What do brand advocates do?
Brand advocates showcase their favorite brands’ products and services on social media and through word-of-mouth marketing. To put it simply, brand advocates talk up their favorite brands authentically. So, how exactly are brand advocates doing that? Here’s how:
Brand advocates openly voice their opinions about brands both online and in person. Whether it is through a Reddit thread, in a product review on a retailer’s website, or messaging apps like Facebook’s Messenger, advocates share their experiences. Their opinions are valued by other customers, friends and family, which is why this form of brand advocacy is beneficial and persuasive.
Passionate brand loyalists take their enthusiasm a step further with user-generated content. They post social media content like reviews, tutorials, unboxings or vlogs to share their opinions and experiences using products and services. Their love for a brand shines through their posts and inspires followers to purchase them more so than traditional advertisements do.
Re-sharing brand content
While brand advocates can often create their own content that captures their favorite products, they can sometimes be motivated to reshare a brand’s content. A brand advocacy program with rewards can inspire advocates to do this.
Passionate customers will write reviews about their favorite products and services, which can help boost the brand’s reputation. Their reviews are often more powerful than the brand’s own marketing efforts, as customers trust other customers more than a company. Furthermore, customer reviews provide invaluable feedback for the brand that can guide product or service updates.
When potential customers have questions about a product or service, they often look to online forums or social media for help from more experienced users. Brand advocates are great resources in these situations — answering questions quickly and accurately helps build trust and confidence in the product or service.
Passionate customers will go out of their way to recommend products and services they love to friends, family, and colleagues. Not only does this help spread positive word-of-mouth, but it also encourages more people to make purchases or use the product or service.
Participating in events
Brand advocates tend to be very active in both online and offline events related to the product or service. They may participate in webinars, attend conferences, or speak at meetups — all of which help build a positive reputation for the brand.
Types of brand advocates
Who can be brand advocates?
Most brand advocates are loyal customers. They share their genuine support for a brand’s products and services when they truly believe in them.
Brands and companies often overlook this form of brand advocates, but employees are a great addition to any advocacy program, as they know the brand’s ins and outs. Employees passionate about working for a brand are often excited and more motivated to share with others why the brand and products are so great.
As one of the more obvious choices, influencers complement advocacy programs. Their followers trust their opinions, as shown in IZEA’s Trust in Influencer Marketing report.
What are the main benefits of brand advocates?
While many of the benefits of brand advocates center around boosting a brand’s awareness, they also improve companies’ marketing strategies in other ways.
Improve a brand’s reputation
Through genuine customer reviews on third-party sites, brands can improve their ratings and reputation online.
Expansion of brand reach
Because brand advocates share content throughout their platforms, brands widen their reach across social media platforms.
Brand advocacy programs can be more cost-effective marketing strategies. Brand advocacy is a lower-investment marketing strategy that encourages creators to produce content organically and at a low cost. Brand advocates are often not compensated monetarily but through products, discounts, store credit and reposts of their content.
Including brand advocacy in any marketing strategy is an excellent way for brands to stay current and tap into audiences more authentically. It provides customers with a sense of appreciation.