[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.

To Build Consumer Trust, Brand Advocates Are the Key

These days, the consumer decision journey is more fragmented than ever. Shoppers have an abundant amount of online resources to help them decide which product to purchase and where. With so much information at their fingertips, trust and authenticity are key factors of influencing purchases. recently conducted a study (featured in eMarketer) that found that there are 10 primary trust “elements,” or cues, that brands must establish in order to engender trust, including accuracy, expertise and transparency. 84% of respondents felt that brands needed to prove themselves trustworthy before they would interact with them.

In a social media context, the #1 way (at 41%) that brands can build trust with customers/prospects is allowing them to see reviews from people in their social networks.

Now, I know what you're thinking...How can I get more positive reviews on social networks?

By finding and activating your best customers- your Brand Advocates! Your Advocates won't just write any review. They'll write reviews that are oozing with enthusiasm and excitement. Parallels, a desktop virtualization software company, has energized its Advocates to create and publish reviews on Amazon. The average of star rating was 4.7/5 stars which boosted Parallels' star rating on Amazon from 3.5 to 4.5.

But wait! Advocates' advocacy doesn't stop at just reviews. As Lauren McCadney, head of social media for CDW and a Top 2012 Digital Marketer would say, “A review created by an Advocate is only one manifestation of advocacy. This is just the start of a relationship with Advocates, not the end.”

Brand Advocates are eager to be part of your brand. The question is, how do you want your Advocates to support you? Click here to read 7 ways (beyond reviews) to turn your Advocates into a marketing force.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Parallels' Innovative VP of Marketing Featured in BtoB Magazine

Kim Johnston, VP of Marketing for Parallels, a desktop virtualization software company and also a Zuberance customer, was featured in BtoB Magazine today. In her conversation with CMO Close-Up, she discussed how the company is taking advantage of the trend of more Apple products moving into the enterprise, as well as how her experience at Symantec Corp. influenced her current approach. The interview also highlighted the success Parallels has seen in energizing their Brand Advocates.

"Social for us is very two-way. We learn a lot from them, but it's also a vehicle that we offer back out. In terms of customer advocacy, we turned on an advocacy program a couple of months ago through an agency called Zuberance. That program yielded well over 1,000 reviews, where business customers in their own words are talking about the impact that Parallels Desktop for Mac has had on their businesses. They're not hesitating to share that with one another, too. The dialogue is so rich that the customers are sharing with one another. It's been really nice to see that authentic word-of-mouth marketing is working and doing quite well," says Kim Johnston.

Read the full BtoB "CMO Close-Up" here.

Kim Johnston was a guest speaker in a recent webinar, "How Box, AVG, and Parallels are Leveraging Customer Advocates to Drive Sales." Click here to watch now.

One Negative Review Can Cost You 30 Customers

The following is an excerpt from Rob Fuggetta's forthcoming book about Brand Advocates. One negative review can cost you 30 customers, a study by Convergys found. Using the Convergys research as the baseline, you can see how much one negative review costs a small resort hotel in Orlando, Fla.


If your average revenues per customer are higher, negative reviews cost you more. One negative review costs a high-end fitness club $72,000, as the chart below shows.


Social Media Whup-Ass

This is a conservative estimate of the amount of money you can lose from negative reviews. It only focuses on lost sales. It doesn’t take into consideration the lasting financial impact of negative reviews on your company or brand’s reputation.

Also, it doesn’t take into consideration other ways Detractors spread negative Word of Mouth, like email, social channels, and offline.

In the old days, PR people would tell their clients who wanted to battle newspaper editors, “Don’t pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel.”

Today that man is the social consumer, and he’s got a barrel of social media whup-ass for you.

Read more excerpts from Rob's forthcoming book here.

-Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance

Safelite Turns Enthusiastic Customers into Volunteer Marketing Force

When most people think of brands that have thousands of enthusiastic fans, they typically think of popular "passion" brands like Apple, BMW, or Starbucks. Well, now you can add Safelite AutoGlass to that list. Safelite AutoGlass® is the nation’s leading provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services.

In only a few months, Safelite has created a thriving army of over 50,000 Safelite Advocates. These Advocates are enthusiastically recommending Safelite via positive reviews and glowing testimonials, driving thousands of referral clicks and dramatically boosting Safelite’s Facebook fan base.

Authentic Advocates

Importantly, Safelite is not paying or providing financial incentives to its Advocates in exchange for their recommendations. Instead, Safelite is making it easy for its enthusiastic customers to recommend the Safelite brand and its services, using Zuberance's online advocacy system.

“By energizing Safelite AutoGlass Advocates, we’re amplifying positive Word of Mouth, demonstrating our commitment to customer delight and driving sales in a very cost-effective way,” said Jennifer L. Kielmeyer, strategic marketing manager for Safelite.

“Safelite has always known they have highly-satisfied customers who recommend the company. However, Safelite wasn’t leveraging these customers to increase positive awareness and drive sales. Now, powered by Zuberance, Safelite is transforming its Advocates into a sustainable marketing force,” said Rob Fuggetta, Founder and CEO of Zuberance.

(Read full press release here.)

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

How Much are Negative Reviews Costing Your Business?





Harshly critical comments like these on TripAdvisor, Amazon, Yelp and other shopping or review sites are killing your sales and ruining your brand’s cherished reputation.

Depending on the size of your company, negative reviews like this may be costing your business hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Here’s why:

1.       Online reviews influence what people buy. 83% of online consumers say reviews influence their purchase decisions, according to Opinion Research. In the hotel industry, travelers are 3X more likely to book a room at a hotel with 5 stars vs. a hotel with 3 stars, Morpace has found.

2.       Negative online reviews are a “silent killer.” Prospects don’t call you and say, “Hey, I just decided to eat at a different restaurant because I heard your service sucks.” They just go to a different restaurant.

How to Estimate Impact of Negative Reviews

Here’s a simple formula of how much business is lost by negative Word of Mouth in the form of negative reviews, using a restaurant as an example:

Brand Under Attack? Fight Back!

Identify and energize your Advocates, those highly-satisfied customers who act as champions for your brand and products. Invite them to rate and review your products and services. Make it easy for them to share and publish reviews on shopping and review sites and elsewhere.

Here are a few real-world case studies:

-Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance

Intuit: Advocate Recommendations are game-changing for us

Laura Messerschmitt, Senior Marketing Manager at Intuit, discusses how Intuit is leveraging the Zuberance Advocate Platform to systematically energize Intuit Advocates at scale.

Questions discussed:

  • What was Intuit's marketing problem? (Beginning)
  • How is Intuit identifying its Advocates? (:28)
  • How is Intuit energizing its Advocates? (1:15)
  • What are the benefits for Intuit? (1:49)
  • Why Zuberance? (2:24)
  • How is Zuberance different? (3:01)

Intuit identified Advocates through newsletters, in-product touch points, Facebook, Twitter, and their private community, the "Inner Circle." They mobilized them to write and publish reviews to Amazon (with an estimated revenue impact in the millions), and to share offers like their "Love a Local Business" campaign, a program that gives out $100K in small business grants.

The Results:

  • Intuit has identified 69% of their customer base as Intuit Advocates
  • 30% Intuit Advocates have recommended the company in the form of writing a review or sharing an offer.
  • On average, Intuit is getting approximately 2.3 in-bound clicks from prospects from Advocate shares. That’s a 231% Recommendation Click-Through Rate (CTR), which is hundreds of times higher than typical CTRs.

Click here to learn more about how to turn your customers into a powerful marketing force.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

How to Combat Negative Word of Mouth: A Consumer Electronics Case Study

Download: Consumer Electronics Company Gets 5% Conversions By Energizing Brand Advocates

This case study highlights a leading consumer electronics company that was recently facing a marketing crisis. Negative Word of Mouth for their new flagship product was hurting their reputation and sales. So they turned to their most enthusiastic customers (AKA their Brand Advocates) and energized them to create social recommendations for the brand and product.

In only a few months the company has:

  • Energized thousands of Brand Advocates to create social recommendations
  • Increased its star ratings on a leading shopping site from 2.8 to 4 stars
  • Recorded a 5% sales conversion rate, 10x higher than normal

Download the case study and learn how to:

  • Identify Brand Advocates by name and email address
  • Mobilize Advocates to create social recommendations and drive sales
  • Track results from social recommendation programs in real-time

We want to hear from you!  Feel free to share your thoughts on the whitepaper below.

Peer-to-Peer Advocacy Most Trusted but Advocacy on Social Web has Greatest Reach

When evaluating the effect of advocacy on others, it’s important to note that depending on the audience who is receiving a recommendation, the trust and reach varies. Individuals in your social network can be grouped into three segments:

Immediate social network: These are the people you have a strong relationship with; you know each other’s personality traits, tastes, and preferences. Your family, friends, and close colleagues.

Extended social network: This group consists of people that you know personally (or virtually) but to a lesser extent than your immediate social network. Your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, online community members.

Social web: These are people that you come across online but have no previous relationship with. People who read/write reviews on shopping sites like Amazon and third party review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.

An Advocate recommendation across these three distinct networks varies with the level of trust and the degree of reach associated with that recommendation. In fact, according to Nielsen, 70% of people trust consumer opinions online, while 90% trust their friends.

Take a look at the graph below. (X axis= Trust, Y axis= Reach.) As the reach of the social network increases, the level of trust decreases.

For example, I recently made a recommendation for Tony’s Pizza in San Francisco’s Little Italy district to a few of my friends (which was first recommended to me by Augie Ray.) Their pizza is absolutely delicious and very authentic, similar to pizza you can get in Italy. Though I told only these three people about Tony’s, they are great friends of mine and hence, my recommendation carries more trust.

In addition to making a recommendation to my friends offline, I wrote a review on Yelp. This recommendation can reach many more people (about 150 according to Forrester Research's Peer Influence Analysis) but since readers of the review do not personally know me (my taste, preferences, demographic, etc), they might take my review with a grain of salt.

Energizing Advocates can be a successful marketing strategy in reaching all three segments, both offline and online. When allowing Advocates to share recommendations, offers, and more, it is extremely valuable to include the ability to share to all three segments. Give your Advocates the choice to share via email (Immediate Social Network), Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn (Extended Social Network), or encourage them to post their review to third party review sites (Social Web.)