We’ve often heard the term brand ambassador, but do you know what a brand advocate is? Sounds pretty similar, right? But are they? Come, let’s find out;
A brand advocate is a person who helps in the flourishing of the brand through word of mouth. A brand advocate can be a customer, employee, business partner, or some famous influencer. Brand advocacy plays a vital role in hiring also.
Brand advocates commercialize the product they like through electronic word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). Unlike brand ambassadors, they are not obligated to work under a set pattern of rules and represent the brand informally.
Brand advocates are more informal representatives, but some companies eventually change their brand advocates to brand ambassadors!
Types of brand advocacy
1. Customer brand advocacy
When a person is a customer, their hopes are high from the brand. And if these hopes are fulfilled, then their feedback is also good. Not only this, they give this feedback to others as well through word of mouth. When this happens, the customer becomes the brand advocate. This can be said as an organic method of publicizing a brand because when we like something, we tend to tell others about it.
For example, if a customer wants something in a brand and posts about it on social media, it draws the viewers’ attention towards the brand. This method of social media posting about the brand can improvise sales by a considerable margin. The key is to keep posting, be updated, and keep making new connections.
2. Employee brand advocacy
It is rightly said that behind every successful company is happy employers. And if the employers are happy, they will speak well about the company and the brand outside. Good feedback from the employee about the flexible work hours and perks they get as being your employees will end up with a good note about the brand. That’s where employees become employee brand advocates. Their inside knowledge of the company acts as a cherry on the top of the brand advocacy.
3. Business partners
Having good relations with a company, charity or organization is also essential for maintaining good brand advocacy. Their affiliates can be used for brand advocacy.
With a significant following, comes responsibility! Influencers are the people who are widely acclaimed on different social media platforms. Imagine them promoting your brand. Won’t it help in incessantly increasing the sales of that brand? Yes, indeed. Influencers play a huge role in brand advocacy.
Why is brand advocacy important for your company?
1. It helps in the organic growth of the company. Instead of spending vast amounts on an advertisement, the company can grow organically through brand advocates. It helps in increasing the marketing. Brand advocacy can be very smartly used as a marketing strategy also.
2. It helps in spreading a good word about your brand. People trust people more than auto-generated messages. Therefore good feedback only flocks new customers.
3. When people are talking about your brand in large numbers, the media will take notice. Therefore your brand name will be broadcasted on the news, printed in newspapers and there is n number of possibilities. All this will fetch a good reputation for your brand only and that too without spending a penny.
4. Helps in optimizing brand value. When your brand has a good name in the market and is famous for its quality, then even if it will increase its rates, it’ll not harm its audience. This is because their first preference is quality, and nothing can be compromised with that. So even if they increase rates as compared to their competitors, they won’t suffer any harm. Henceforth brand advocates help in maintaining the brand value.
5. Enhance audience reach. Brand advocates help in increasing the reach of your brand. Brand advocates are more likely to share details about your brand with people they know and as well as people they don’t know.
6. Brand advocates free the company’s time by shifting their primary focus from worrying about the growth of the company to other essential tasks like hiring suitable candidates, marketing executives focusing on new divisions, etc.
7. It also helps in targeting a new audience.
6 ways to build a strong brand advocacy program
1. Recognize your advocates
It is very important to filter out who your genuine brand advocates are. You can do this by checking who engages with your posts. Reasonable care should be taken of them, like giving them incentives or prizes from time to time to keep them Motivated.
2. Define goals and objectives clearly
One should be clear with the aim of the company. This helps in the growth of the brand.
3. Being consistent
Consistency is the key. If you make blog posts daily, then people will know you’re genuine and that you care about their needs. When people invest money, they like feeling secure. And by doing this, you make them feel so.
4. Create promotions
Who doesn’t like promotions? Special discounts and packages can be included in the brand advocacy program.
5. Listen to your customers and employees
Make the brand advocates feel like their opinion counts. Testimonials and feedback can be included in the program.
6. Be honest and friendly
Everyone wants to use a website that seems accessible and easy. Make sure you include the biographies of the managers and team employees so that their colleagues can know more about them.