Turn your subscribers into advocates for your business by following these tips.
We have recently posted about the importance of establishing a trusting relationship with new subscribers, as well as different strategies and tips to make sure that your initial interactions will encourage your subscribers to stay with you for the long run.
Similarly and although often overlooked, retention of your subscribers is as equally important as attracting them, so setting up a good retention program will really work wonders on your business and it will simultaneously provide long-term results. Want to learn more about how to craft your new retention plan? Feel free to check out our recent post on the importance of customer retention.
By creating attraction and retention plans for subscribers, you will then be able to determine the best strategies to pave the road for brand advocacy. Turning your current customers into brand advocates is one of the best and most reliable ways to grow your business or organization. Word of mouth recommendations, social proof or testimonials found on public platforms that are based on personal experiences is a persuasive avenue for reaching new customers.
What is a brand advocate?
A brand advocate is defined by Webopedia as a person or customer who talks to other people in a positive manner about a product, service or brand. This customer uses word-of-mouth to convey the message and can do this through social media or even by just chatting face-to-face to his/her friends and acquaintances. Likewise, Jay Baer - author of “Convince & Convert” and social media strategist - explains that a customer advocate is someone who proactively uses their time and their social capital to promote a company.
The many faces of brand advocacy
We have mentioned word-of-mouth as a channel for a brand advocate to share their message and opinion, but what does that entail? It means that a customer can use their preferred platform to post, tweet, write or create a video review about your brand for his/her followers displaying the product you sell and saying how good it is, what they like about it and why they are promoting it. Word-of-mouth can also be a review on any website where the brand advocate will talk about the services used. It doesn't really matter what shape it takes, a positive comment about your brand can draw in customers that otherwise may be out of your reach.
Understand your customers
As we have seen, brand advocates are the customers who fall in love with your product to the point where they go out of their way to recommend it to other potential customers through reviews, posts, or comments in social media. So how do you find your potential advocates? Well, allow us to suggest a couple of ways to identify, connect and get your clients to promote your business/services.
One way you might decide to reach out to your current customers is with a survey. In fact, surveys can paint a better picture of what you can do to improve your marketing strategies, and the results of your surveys will tell you where you are standing with your customers - it’s just a matter of asking the right questions. You can use one of many available free tools or find a more advanced product if you need one. If you need some ideas about what you could ask your new subscribers, find out more here.
Another way you can encourage feedback from your customers is with reviews, but are reviews useful? Well, just to give you an idea, 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations when thinking about buying a product/service.
But how do you get your customers to review your business? It is as simple as asking them to. If you have already implemented a survey and you have gotten substantial results from it, then you most likely know now which customers are willing to give positive feedback online about your company.
The key to requesting reviews from clients is not to beg for the feedback, but to explain how valuable the recommendation would be to your business. Surely, not all of the customers asked to review you will collaborate, but if you honestly make them feel that their contributions - like suggestions for improvement of products/processes- are going to be reflected in some way, and you truly act on that feedback, then it will set a precedent about how open and committed your business is to customer’s suggestions.
To sum up, brand advocacy is not only a core element when you are trying to build your business, but it is also an opportunity to learn from your customers and to help you update your marketing strategies. After all, brand advocates have always been there, but social media and email marketing have granted them new voices and ways to engage bigger audiences.