content marketing

Whitepaper: How to Super-Charge Content Marketing via Brand Advocates

Click here to download the whitepaper now.

Everyone agrees that content is vital to marketing. But "feeding the content beast" is expensive and time consuming. According to a recent study from Curata, the top three challenges of content marketing are:

1. Creating original content 2. Having time to create content 3. Finding high-quality content

Well, here's the good news: You have a secret content marketing weapon that will help you overcome all three of these obstacles. That weapon is your highly-satisfied customers, AKA your “Brand Advocates.”

Your Advocates will gladly create compelling content such as:

  • Highly positive reviews
  • Glowing testimonials
  • Answers to prospects' questions
  • Positive tweets, posts, and comments
  • Videos, photos, and other multimedia content

Advocate-generated content provides powerful benefits to your company and brand:

  • Amplify positive Word of Mouth and/or combat negative Word of Mouth
  • Increase online ratings on third party review sites such as Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.
  • Improve search engine rankings by putting fresh, relevant content on your site
  • Increase lead conversion rates and sales (User-generated content boosts lead conversion rates by up to 125%, according to Marketing Sherpa)
  • Boost engagement across social channels

And since Advocates are your most passionate and enthusiastic customers, you don't have to motivate them with perks, coupons, or cash. So what's the secret to getting Advocates to create compelling content for your brand? Download the whitepaper now to find out.

You'll learn how to:

  • Find your Brand Advocates
  • Turn Advocates into content creating machines to support marketing initiatives
  • Leverage the authentic and compelling content your Advocates create
  • Track advocacy results and optimize

Download now: How to Super-Charge Content Marketing via Brand Advocates

[WEBINAR] How to Super-Charge Content Marketing via Brand Advocates

Watch the recording by clicking the orange “Play” button in the player below. You have a secret content marketing weapon: Brand Advocates. As your most loyal, engaged, and enthusiastic customers, they’ll gladly create positive reviews, glowing testimonials, and more. Unlike your high paid agency or in-house copywriter, you don’t have to pay them thousands or hundreds of thousands or dollars to create compelling content. Simply make it easy for Advocates and they will happily create fantastic and authentic content.

Key Takeaways:

  • The top three content marketing challenges are creating original content, having time to create content, and creating high quality content. By turning Advocates into content creators, marketers can overcome all three of these obstacles.
  • Brand Advocates are highly satisfied customers who recommend a brand or product without pay or incentives. They recommend because they've had good experiences with a product or service and they want to help others.
  • Advocates will create various types of content including reviews, testimonials (stories), answers to prospects' questions, positive tweets and posts, plus multimedia content such as pictures and videos.
  • Compared to brand content, Advocate content is more trusted and credible, more influential, and less expensive.
  • Advocate content sells products by boosting conversion rates, increasing time on websites and average order size, and influencing purchase decisions of prospective customers.
  • A critical part of a content marketing strategy that involves Brand Advocates is to leverage the content they create smartly. Brands should post Advocate-generated content on their websites, put it in the consumer purchase path, on social channels, on third party review sites, and more.

Expert Speaker: Rob Fuggetta (@robfuggetta), Founder/CEO, Zuberance and author of Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force (Wiley, 2012)

Rob Fuggetta is the world’s leading expert on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the author of the ground-breaking new book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force.” Published by John H. Wiley & Sons, Inc., a major business publisher, Brand Advocates shows how companies are leveraging Brand Advocates to build their brands and businesses – and how you can too! Fuggetta is the Founder & CEO of Zuberance, a social media marketing company that powers Brand Advocate programs for top consumer and business brands. Prior to founding Zuberance in 2008, Fuggetta was the Chief Marketing Officer at Genuity, a Verizon spin-out. He also was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary high tech marketing and communications firm in Palo Alto, where he co-led the global Apple account.

Content Marketing + Brand Advocates = Black Friday Success

No one wants coal in their stocking from their CEO. That's why marketers spend vast time, money, and effort making Black Friday a great success. Approaching the holidays, brands typically pump up advertising, push promotions, discount products, etc. But if you want to hear a more innovative and cost-effective way to boost Black Friday sales, check out this sweet success story that leverages content marketing and brand advocacy.

After releasing a new version of their product, a software company wanted to get their customers to upgrade. Knowing that their customers are more effective salespeople, they got their Brand Advocates to create stories about the benefits of upgrading. These stories were sent to customers who hadn't yet upgraded, coupled with an exclusive promotional offer. The result? A whopping 68% sales conversion rate – about 50X higher than traditional online marketing conversion rates. (I'll wait for you to pick your jaw up off the floor....)

Here's the icing on the cake: The software company didn’t give Advocates any type of reward, perk, or incentive for creating stories. They simply made it easy for Advocates to create stories and then leveraged the content smartly. (You don’t need to pay or provide incentives to real Advocates. Their “reward” is helping others, studies prove.)

Don't wait until Black Friday rolls around next year to utilize this strategy. Start finding and activating your Brand Advocates today.

To learn more, register for our upcoming webinar "How to Super-Charge Content Marketing via Brand Advocates."

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Top 5 Brand Advocacy Best Practices For B2C AND B2B

According to a recent IBM study, Customer Advcocacy is the #1 priority for CMO's worldwide. As more and more brands begin to create a brand advocacy strategy, it's important to consider these five best practices.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Identify Advocates using multiple touch points. If you want to build your brand army, you should be identifying Advocates every which way. Plot our your customer experience and wherever your customers touch your product, service, or brand, ask “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends?” Place this question on your website, in emails, on social channels, in-product, etc.

2. Give Advocates lots of ways to recommend. Brand Advocates like to spread the love in various ways. Some are active content creators; some are avid sharers. Give  Advocates the opportunity to write reviews, rate products, create testimonials, share offers, whitepapers, and other content, answer prospect’s questions, and more.

3. Leverage Advocate content smartly. Advocate-generated content is pure digital gold. Lauren McCadney, Senior Social Media Manager for CDW, says that this content is better than any copywriter could write. Take advantage of your Advocates’ enthusiasm and place their content on your website and product pages, integrate it with email marketing campaigns, use it in advertising, and more.

4. Create an ongoing advocacy program, not a campaign. Advocacy should not be considered a one-off campaign. It’s an ongoing strategy and that builds over time and strengthens the brand-Advocate relationship. Advocates can support and amplify many of your marketing initiatives such as product launches, company announcements, community membership, etc. They’re even willing to give you feedback on new products, defend you from detractors, and answer prospects’ questions on your behalf.

5. Don’t pay or coach Advocates. Keep recommendations for your brand authentic and genuine. Giving customers incentives taints their recommendations and is just plain lame. If your company makes great products, there’s no need to waste precious marketing dollars on inauthentic advocacy.

To read about brand advocacy success stories, download "Turning Your Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force."

Do you have any best practices to add? Let us know by leaving a comment!

How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment- Your Advocates Have the Answer!

Here’s a scary stat for retail marketers: 7 out of 10 online shopping carts are abandoned before a sale is completed (Source: Forrester). And unfortunately, abandonment rates are rising due to consumers seeking product information (prices, ratings, reviews, etc) from various online sources.

Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer for SeeWhy says that “...rather than being a rejection of the brand’s value proposition, [abandonment] can be a step in the decision process for some buyers and for the majority of purchases. This is visible in the way that some customers will come back multiple times as they consider the purchase, storing items in their shopping carts as ‘wish lists.’”

A greatly effective way to push the cart to checkout is to leverage the authentic enthusiasm of the customers who love you the most: your Brand Advocates.

Facilitate the Prospect-Advocate conversation: Give prospects the option to ask current customers questions about the product they are considering purchasing.

 

 

Here’s how:

  1. Ask your Advocates if they’d be willing to answer questions from people considering buying your products. Those who opt in become your virtual salesforce.
  2. Place a banner on various pages of your website (product page, checkout page, review page, etc.) that gives prospects the option to “Ask Real Brand X Customers” about your products.
  3. Facilitate the conversation between Advocates and prospects. Through our Advocate Answers app, prospects can ask a question and Advocate responses are sent directly to them via email.
  4. Place a call-to-action banner in the email or the webpage where prospects read answers (such as a special offer) to increase conversion rates.

Our customers have seen 13%-33% conversion to sale rates by connecting their prospects and Advocates. Watch the VP of Marketing for Ooma, a VoIP provider, discuss the benefits of energizing their Brand Advocates (including leveraging Advocate Answers) here.

Why it works:

  • Brand Advocates are your biggest fans. They are more than willing to share their enthusiasm and expertise about your products.
  • Brand Advocates, by nature, love creating content. In fact, they are 50% more likely to create content that influences a purchase.
  • Brand Advocates are more trusted and powerful than brands. A recent Nielsen study on consumer trust found that consumers trust their peers above all other forms of advertising.

To learn more, download the whitepaper, "The ROI of Energizing Brand Advocates."

Crack the Facebook Marketing Code: How to Overcome EdgeRank

As a marketer, you may have heard of a small (and by small, I mean gigantic) obstacle to overcome in regards to Facebook marketing: EdgeRank- the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what content will show up in a user’s newsfeed. If you aren’t aware of EdgeRank and it’s implications, let me give you a brief breakdown (a more detailed explanation can be found here): The EdgeRank formula takes into consideration three variables:

  • Affinity (u): how often you interact on Facebook with that particular user (or brand page)
  • Weight (w): how much interaction on that particular post (likes, comments, etc)
  • Time (d): how long ago the post was published

Why EdgeRank is Important

According to Brandglue.com, 88% of Facebook users never return to a fan page once they click the “Like” button, meaning that most users consume branded content in their newsfeed (which EdgeRank determines.)

But here’s the kicker:

Each time a brand posts to their Facebook page, only about 16%-18.5% of fans actually see the post in their newsfeeds (Source: comScore, Facebook.)

Recent Decrease in Engagement

In addition to EdgeRank, another obstacle has sprung up for page owners since Facebook’s recent updates. As outlined in a Simply Zesty post, “Facebook Starting to Seriously Piss Off Business Page Owners,” many brands have seen a dramatic decrease in impressions and engagement on their Facebook pages, particularly for pages that do not invest in Facebook advertising. The new changes to subscribing, timelines, and friend lists mean that brand pages are barely showing up in user’s feeds any more.

How to Overcome Edgerank

EdgeRank + Facebook updates = a big time marketing headache. What’s a social media strategist to do?

SOLUTION: Instead of spending time figuring out how to crack the EdgeRank algorithm, why not focus on a more scalable and valuable approach to Facebook marketing: getting your super fans to spread content for you.

Identify your Brand Advocates not just on Facebook, but across all customer touch points: email, Twitter, newsletter, company website, product pages, etc. by asking them “The Ultimate Question,” How likely are you to recommend [brand/product] to your friends? People that answer a 9 or 10 on a 1-10 scale are your brand’s Advocates and social media marketing machines.

Arm your brand army with content and encourage them to share with their Facebook friends and/or other networks. This could be new product announcements, videos, offers, whitepapers, etc.

Superfans Mean Super Benefits

Energizing your Advocates to share on Facebook has some major benefits over pushing content through your Facebook page:

  • Increase reach and visibility. Posting content to your Facebook page reaches a subset of your fans who are already connected to you. Mobilizing Advocates to share to their networks allows you to expand the reach beyond your fan base and continue to build your brand army.
  • Increase click-through rates. Let’s face it…Consumers don’t trust marketers. They trust their friends. Which are you more likely to click on: a review on the new Kindle Touch posted by your friend or by Kindle's Facebook page?
  • Improve targeting. Instead hoping the right 16-18.5% of your fans see and interact with your posts, go straight to your Advocates who's genuine enthusiasm for your brand will motivate them to share and recommend to their friends.

 

Learn more about leveraging your super fans on Facebook by downloading our latest whitepaper, "Turning Fans and Followers into Brand Advocates."

 

 

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Build a relationship with an Advocate like you would with a friend #NYBAS

For so long brands have operated on this model of selling and showing product, explained Avi Savar, Founder of Big Fuel at the New York Brand Advocacy Series event he co-sponsored with Zuberance at his offices.

Brand Advocates can’t be bullied into liking your product. You need to create a relationship with them. That can often come from just having a great product, great customer service, or both.

If you want Brand Advocates, you need to shift your communications from a “Show me/Sell me” model to a “Help me/Entertain me” model, said Savar. Building a relationship with a customer to turn them into a Brand Advocate is no different than building a relationship with a friend.

The best way to create engagement with customers is through social and digital platforms, Savar suggested. Content drives conversation and advocacy. It is a commodity which can be leveraged on behalf of a brand. Audiences are engaged by content especially when delivered in the right context.

If you do it right, you can build a relationship with the customer for life, said Savar.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions