Harness the power of word of mouth to reach more consumers just by engaging with your most influential customers.
Have you ever loved a brand so much that you felt compelled to talk about it with your friends and colleagues? You even shared their updates about newly launched products, collaborations, events or anything tied to the brand out of pure passion and love. Then you were by far the best PR for the brand amongst your peers and what we call a ‘Brand Advocate’.
Advocates are customers who love a brand or product so much they will write about it for free! They may even be talking about it at this very moment. Peer to peer marketing has proven to be far more effective with the rise of blogging and social media over the past ten years, and brands now understand the importance of engaging with bloggers just as much as with media.
Advocacy is an organic experience where customers become natural sellers based on their own involvements with a particular brand, unlike ambassadors who are talent (like celebrities) who are paid to endorse them. Even top bloggers are paid to push our most favourite items – from food to fashion, beauty products to home wares – influencers can come with a hefty price tag.
For advocates, passion is developed overtime by a holistic brand experience as a result of an effective publicity strategy, from initial awareness to the loyalty stage. PR continues to play a significant role in how the customer determines their initial view and how they continue to feel about the brand. As they move up the pyramid to the advocacy stage an effective strategy is just as important with this customer base, as they are in fact the most powerful and influential of all.
Whilst you don’t need to pay hard dollars for these advocates to promote products through their channels, rewards, incentives and consideration of them being the brand’s most trusted agents could easily go a long way and ultimately boost sales and lead to long lasting customer loyalty.
Brand advocates have already consumed the brand’s PR, and at this stage they are helping to create it. They know how to use social media effectively and have massive reach. It’s not a source of income for them so they tend be extremely loyal to brands which they build a relationship with.
If you don’t have a brand advocacy program in place, a good PR agency can certainly assist with this. Either way, my advice would be to start looking to your employees, as they know the brand better than anyone else and are already talking about it a positive way. Encourage them to share news, products and updates through their social channels and amongst their personal network. So what are you waiting for? Go get people talking!