The best marketing for your business should be done by your customers. This is what customer advocacy is, they serve as your brand ambassadors. There is power in others telling your story from their first hand experience.
It can also be scary, Google Reviews can be a terrifying read at times, especially if you suck at what you do. Angry people really like to share.
Customer advocacy is so powerful, many companies create formal programs to harness it. According to Gartner, customer advocacy programs are essentially a marketing strategy; they encourage your most satisfied customers to recommend your company and its services to other potential customers. The statistics speak for themselves, more than 75% of B2B buyers consult three or more sources of advocacy before they make a purchase decision. These sources are not your cousin Rob on Facebook, they’re actual clients or consumers of the product or service.
HubSpot does a great deep dive into the types of customer advocates, we highly encourage you to read the linked article. This blog, however, is dedicated to the extreme power your customers hold. Let’s dive into the types of advocacy.
Hello digital world 👋🏼
Karen buys your product and she loves it, which is rare for Karen…cause she is a Karen, so she wants to tell the world something positive for once and she takes to social media. Karen then shares links to the product page on your website, or shares your latest blog on the features of the product she purchased. Anytime a customer shares your content – blogs, emails, social posts, to their own networks they are advocating for you.
She said what?
Customer testimonials are powerful, like really powerful. If you are regularly gathering customer feedback via surveys, take the time to share the positive (and address the negative) on your website, email newsletters and social. Showcasing what real customers are saying about your company is much more effective than you tooting your own horn. Take it further and reach out to the customer and ask if you can share their photo and perhaps a bit more of their experience. They’re now going to share their 15 minutes of fame and you gained an advocate.
The dreaded review
They’re gonna be out there whether you like it or not, Google is our world, and we’re just living in it. We like to think reviews keep us honest. It’s a great indicator of how well you are doing. Pull reviews into your website, create a scrolling block to rotate through all of them. Make it a point to also solicit reviews, after a customer has purchased your product, follow-up within a few weeks and ask them to post a review. People read reviews religiously before making buying decisions.
You’ll really like this
If you’re feeling extra awesome, launch a customer referral program. Kim’s sister-in-law is basically a salesperson for the Purple mattress and is willing to share her 15% off code if you ask real nice. Pretty smart on Purple’s end to ask new customers to refer a friend, and not only does the friend benefit, but so does the customer.
All of these avenues for advocacy should become part of your customer advocacy strategy. There is a lot more detail we can go into, such as utilizing marketing automation to take it to the next level, but you’ll just have to buy us a drink to find out more.