Online Advocate communities are hot.
Thousands of B2C and B2B brands are creating and launching customer communities, with many of these focused on brand's most passionate customers -- Advocates.
Here are the top five marketing benefits your brand can get from an online community of your Advocates:
1. Increase sales
Advocate communities can turbo-charge your sales.
Many brands have doubled or even tripled the number of referrals they're getting within only weeks after starting an Advocate community. While this result won't occur every time, Advocate communities should boost referral results by making it easy and rewarding to refer friends.
Advocate communities also can help you boost sales by encouraging and enabling Advocates to share your promotional offers and discounts with their social and peer networks.
We've seen conversion rates 50% higher or more for offers shared by trusted Advocates with friends compared to offers sent by brands to prospects.
2. Drive advocacy
Nine out of ten buyers say product reviews influence their purchase decisions. And after only three negative reviews, 59% prospects won't buy. (source: Google consumer study.)
Advocate communities help you increase advocacy by getting more positive product reviews plus other valuable content like Advocate-generated stories, testimonials, case studies, success stories, and more. (This content can be used to drive organic search traffic, improve email conversions, increase web sales, and more.)
In addition, Advocate communities help you cost-effectively reach more prospects by getting Advocates to share your content like videos, white papers, and product announcements on their social channels.
3. Reduce attrition
Customer churn can cost your company millions of dollars in lost revenues. In some industries, customer churn is as high as 50 percent. Reducing customer churn has a major positive impact on the bottom line.
Advocate communities help cut churn by building deeper relationships with Advocates. A key to this is the dialogue that communities enable between you and your Advocates and with each other.
4. Boost engagement
Smart marketers today know that effective marketing doesn't end once you acquire a customer. It's about keeping your customers involved with your brand. At the highest level, this means building an emotional connection between your brand and your customers.
Advocate communities boost engagement by providing multiple opportunities for Advocates to engage with your brand through things like content creation, referrals, sharing, surveys, polls, and more.
5. Get valuable ideas and feedback
Advocate communities will help you get valuable ideas and feedback for how to improve your products, services, and customer experiences. Focus groups are expensive and time-consuming. Advocate communities are like a real-time, online focus group of your most passionate customers.
In short, Advocate communities help you strengthen customer relationships -- the key to building a stronger brand.