A marketer recently asked me: "What's the business value we're getting from our Advocate community?"
Here's the answer:
1. Significant amount of valuable user-generated content (UGC)
Consumer marketers know how valuable content is. They spend a ton of money paying for it.
The most valuable content is authentic user-generated content like five-star reviews, compelling testimonials, success stories, photo's, videos, and more.
Advocate communities are like a content engine. Neato Robotics, for example, has generated hundreds of pieces of UGC created by Advocates who are members of "Neato Nation."
2. Improved brand and product awareness.
Building awareness is challenging and expensive. Plus, most consumers don't trust or ignore what brands say about themselves.
One of the biggest values you get from an Advocate community is the increased awareness from Advocates taking the positive content they create and sharing it on their social networks.
If you can get 1,000 Advocates sharing the content they create -- or content you provide -- on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest accounts, that's powerful. In many cases, you can track how much traffic is going to your website as a result of Advocate sharing.
3. Increased sales.
Advocate communities help directly boost sales in these three ways:
- Referring friends to try and/or buy your products.
- Sharing your promotional offers with their friends.
- Buying more from you via exclusive, Advocate-only offers.
All of these actions are popular, effective challenges for Advocates.
Another way Advocate communities boost sales is by publishing their positive reviews on Amazon and other sites.
Key data: Nine out of ten consumers say reviews influence their purchases. Plus about eight in ten won't buy products with less than four (out of five stars.)
So even if you can't directly measure the positive sales impact from increased ratings and rankings, you know there is business value in boosting your ratings.
4. Increased engagement, enhanced relationships, and loyalty.
With an Advocate community, you transform the customer relationship from a transaction (buy this product, thank you) to a genuine relationship.
Advocate communities do this by providing the platform that enables two-way dialogue between you and Advocates and amongst Advocates.
You can even give rewards to Advocates for additional or follow-on purchases, which has a direct and measurable revenue impact.
Still wondering about the business value of an Advocate community for your brand or products? Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.