Quick intro to this topic:

A few years back, rock-star business author Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee, gave a famous talk entitled, “What’s the ROI of Your Mother?

As usual, Gary Vee is funny and provocative. And as usual, he drops several F-bombs. So if his salty language is a bit too much for you, skip down to the rest of this post.

Gary’s point was that asking about the ROI of social media was silly and pointless.

There are some things, like motherhood, that you just instinctively know have value. Not everything that has value can or even needs to be measured, Gary argued.

Another way of putting this: If your company couldn’t prove an ROI for social media, would you ignore doing social?

What’s the ROI of Advocate marketing?

By now, most everyone knows that having an army of thousands of authentic Advocates and Ambassadors spreading the word about your brand and products is valuable.

The good news is that the ROI of Advocate marketing isn’t like the ROI of your mother.

We can actually measure the ROI. Here’s how:

1. Content Value

Each piece of UGC created by Advocates (five-star reviews, glowing stories, videos, photos, etc.) has enormous value.

Studies show that UGC is up to 3X more trusted and credible than brand-generated content like brand-generated blog posts, case studies, videos.

It’s also more trusted and credible that content created by paid social influencers, including celebrity endorses.

So assign a value to each piece of UGC. You may want this to be $100 or $500, whatever seems reasonable. OK, this is arbitrary. But you need to peg the value of UGC.

2. Media (Reach) Value

Each time an Advocate or Ambassador shares and/or publishes this UGC — or shares content you provide Advocates — there’s more media value.

An army of 1,000 Advocates or Ambassadors can reach approximately 1 million people each time they share. We can assign monetary value to that reach.

3. Sales Value

Enable your Advocates and Ambassadors to distribute your promotional offers and refer friends. We can track the in-bound traffic, leads, downloads, sign-ups, and sales you get from this out-bound sharing.

SUMMARY: Calculating Advocacy ROI

Here’s the formula:

Content (UGC) Value + Media (Reach) Value + Sales Value = Advocacy Value.

Advocacy Value - Advocacy Investment = Advocacy ROI

Other Values to Add into Your ROI Model

By the way, there are other things that should and can go into an Advocacy ROI model, like:

  • Loyalty value

  • Engagement value

  • Relationship value

We’d be glad to share more.