Ten Helpful Hints for Using Advocate Stories in your Content Marketing Strategy
1. Make it Easy
Give Advocates attractive, simple, and easy-to use landing pages for creating their stories. Make sure the user experience is smooth and effortless. Help Advocates by showing them samples of other Advocates' stories.
2. Showcase Advocate Stories
Put them on your Facebook and website. Get more marketing value by showcasing them in ads, email marketing campaigns, and in other marketing vehicles. Encourage Advocates to share their stories on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Use Video
Video stories can be very powerful, especially when you'd like Advocates to demonstrate your product.
4. Encourage Sharing
Make it easy for Advocates and their friends to share stories on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social and digital channels by using sharing buttons in the story experience.
5. Promote Stories
Fat Tire, the beer brand, ran full-page ads in print magazines and elsewhere to boost awareness of the Fat Tire stories contest. Other ways to encourage stories including putting well-placed banners on your website; sending emails to Advocates; and creating special URLs and putting them into your paid media.
6. Turn Stories into Sales
Provide coupons that Advocates can send out with their stories when they share them with their friends and colleagues.
7. Ask a Leading Question
Prompt the type of stories you want. For example, if you want to highlight your customer service, ask your Advocates to share a memorable story about that topic. Norton, the security software brand, asked its Advocates "How has Norton saved your bacon?" The company's agency created a web banner that features the sizzling sound of bacon. See photo above from tip 1.
8. Encourage Creativity
Enable Advocates to include photos, videos, and other visual elements to theirs tories. This makes stories more interesting and compelling.
9. Empower Story Readers
Make it easy for people who read stories to like it, vote on it, share it, comment on the story, or create their own.
10. Organize Stories
Make it easy for audiences to view stories using drop-down menus and tabs that organize stories by things like customer segment, author's job title, responsibility vertical, industry, newest story, oldest, favorites, stories with photos, video stories, stories by solution, product or other factors.
How do you use content created by your Advocates?
Top 10 list originally published in Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force by Rob Fuggetta, Published by Wiley