Brand Advocates play a huge roll in brands' content marketing strategy. Through reviews, recommendations and shared stories, Advocates are creating content brands dream of. Advocates' stories are powerful because they're real. They help brands build credibility, generate referral leads, and accelerate sales. We often talk about how to get more positive online reviews, but are focusing on Advocates' stories today.
Advocates' stories differ from reviews in three ways:
- Advocate stories are typically about Advocates' experiences with your company or brand versus with a particular product.
- Since Advocate stories focus on company or brand rather than specific products or services, they typically do not include star ratings as reviews do.
- Advocates stories are often more personal and emotional than reviews. They often focus on Advocates' feelings rather than product features and benefits.
(as highlighted in Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force by Rob Fuggetta, published by Wiley 2012)
Advocates Write the Content Brands Dream of
Marketers are always looking for the next great way or wording to promote their product or service. Content marketing strategy thrives when brands make it easy for Advocates to tell their stories.
"My Dream" story by Brian, an Advocate of Qatar Airlines
In my dream I am flying to Qatar to visit the parents of a young man who has become one of our 'adopted' sons. He's from Qatar and is studying to earn a degree from a university in the United States. He is such a fine young mans and in my dream we are greeted at the airport in Doha by his parents. We excitedly embrace and then over coffee, sweets, and much food we share our affection and our love for this young man we both call our son. I know from mid ream as well as from my adopted own that to fly on Qatar Airline is greater than any dream because of the quality of the service and the tremendous friendliness of all who work for the airline.
Sure, you could write a scenario like that or preach how great your brand is, but nothing says authentic advocacy and marketing than hearing it from the Advocate's mouth (or fingers).
Advocates are honest, and funny
Cured My Grandma's Worms!
I installed Norton 360 on my Grandma's computer, and her worms went away! Now if only they could do something about the toast smell in her house.
Advocate stories can be used in social media, print advertising, and in meetings to think of the next great marketing campaign.
Rubio's, known for their Original Fish Taco®, is no stranger to Advocates talking about them. Before their partnership with Zuberance, they knew Advocates were talking about them and the first time they had an Original Fish Taco® (it's a thing).
When Rubio's partnered with Zuberance to identify and energize their Brand Advocates, they received a lot awesome stories about people reminiscing about their first fish taco. From first dates to newborn babies, Rubio's holds a special place in a lot of peoples' hearts.
Rubio's highlights an Original Fish Taco® story every Tuesday on their Facebook page. This makes for great social media content.
3 Strategic Uses for Advocates' Stories
Support Brand Messages
Advocates' stories can help communicate and add credibility to your brand message. CDW, the online retailer's brand message is that CDW "gets IT" (IT, as in Information Technology). CDW can get its Advocates to create stories about who their experiences show that CDW deeply understand the needs IT managers.
Rebranding and Repositioning
Advocates' stories can add credibility to your claims if you're trying to change perceptions about what your brand or company stands for. Jamba Juice wants to transform its brand from a made-to-order smoothie company to a healthy, active, lifestyle brand. Zuberance recommended that Jamba get its Advocates to create stories that support its new positioning.
Advocates' stories can help reinvigorate your brand's image. Ball Corporation, makers of iconic glass jars used for canning vegetables, needs to find a way to be relevant to today's women. So they're inviting Advocates who are a younger demographic than Ball's traditional customers to create stories about how easy it is to make delicious, healthy food at home.
Now that your wheels are turning about how the power of Brand Advocates' stories can fuel your brand's content strategy, share with us how you think your could benefit from Advocates' stories.
Subscribe & tweet with us @Zuberance, we'll be back tomorrow with 10 Helpful Hints for Advocate Stories, as seen in Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force.