Messaging & Differentiators
With an effective brand advocacy program, you can motivate your customers to talk publicly about what’s different about your organization. Happy customers will willingly recommend you and validate your value messaging with powerful customer proof points that make your collateral more trustworthy and more effective at selling your products/services. A customer advocacy program also helps you support your growth objectives by using the customer voice to strengthen your messaging around specific industry sectors, geographies and product categories.
It is often difficult to source the right customer references to talk to a sales prospect. This problem is compounded by the real-time speed of conversations happening on social media platforms – which B2B purchasers are increasingly using to research their purchases. CustomerAdvocacy.com’s brand advocacy and customer reference management features allow you to quickly select and activate specific customer contacts to meet real-time demand for information from prospects – whether online (via social media) or offline (like a customer reference call).
A customer advocacy program will help you grow your customer community, improve loyalty, drive up-selling and maximize revenue-per-customer. Effective advocate marketing programs revolve around a customer community – an asset which is shared between your advocate marketing function, customer marketing, R&D and sales.
Customer Recommendations & Demand Generation
Happy customers will refer prospects directly to your website. Research shows that each customer can refer an average of 4 prospects to you every year. If you convert just 25% of these word of mouth (WoM) referrals, you can effectively double your customer base and revenue.
25-40% of website traffic comes from “earned media” such as brand advocates, as opposed to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid media advertising (Google Ads, web advertising, industry magazines, etc). By validating your website content with social proof (customer quotes, case studies and testimonial videos) you can quickly establish a high level of trust in the eyes of the prospect and drive a higher rate of conversion from website visitor to customer.
Social Media Marketing
A brand advocacy/advocate marketing program provides a practical, low cost way to leverage the customer voice on social media platforms. By motivating customers to share content and recommend your products you can extend your reach into social media and develop a bigger, louder, more authentic share-of-voice online. You can drive and measure increases in Twitter followers, tweets and retweets, Facebook fans, LinkedIn followers, online reviews and other social web recommendations made by your customers. An advocate marketing program is easily scalable – whether you have 100 advocates or 10,000, you can easily drive measurable increases in followers, retweets and online recommendations. Do you want to get your content in front of more people? Prospects are more likely to read articles, watch videos and take part in webinars that are sent to them by their own network than if they are sent by a vendor. Make brand advocates part of your social media crisis plan. When a disgruntled customer posts a negative comment, you can quickly activate happy customers to respond with their own positive experiences.
Search Engine Optimization
Positive customer reviews linking back to your website not only drive prospects to your website, they create more “in-bound links” that search engines use to rank your website content. More in-bound links means higher rankings, more web traffic coming from search engines, and more leads, sales and revenue.
Brand advocates create and share twice as much online content as the average web user. By finding and activating your advocates, you can create much more authentic customer-generated content that sells your products more effectively than you can. Approximately 1/3 of your customers will write a product review when prompted by a challenge issued as part of a brand advocacy program. This translates into a large volume of content to support your marketing objectives. In addition, content created by or underpinned by customers is 50% more likely to influence a purchase than pure vendor collateral. The proof-of-value that a customer recommendation adds to your content gives it authenticity and trustability. By activating your advocates, you can harness customers as content creators and curators to support your marketing objectives. That means more case studies, guest blog posts, video testimonials, webcast speakers and quotes – a solution to a major challenge for the marketing department – establishing authentic social proof.
Connect journalists with happy customers to drive positive PR. With a brand advocacy platform, you can pick out the right customers to connect with journalists. When you have the power to put the right customer in front of a journalist every time, you make their job easier and can forge closer relationships. In turn, journalists will come back to you again and again – gaining you valuable, low-cost “earned media” exposure in the international press.
Develop brand awareness at low cost by activating your customers to share your content and produce their own user-generated content that talks about the value that you deliver. In what Forrester Research calls the “Age of the Customer”, your brand is no longer what you say it is; it’s what your customers say it is. In a world where communications are dominated by social media, empowered customers freely share information about your products and services. Companies no longer hold control over the information that customers and prospects see. This “information symmetry” means that the voice of your customers has a power and reach that even the largest advertising budget can’t compete with.
Talking to your customers is paramount to analysts. By connecting analysts with reference customers, you can easily prove the value of your products and services. Analysts are naturally skeptical about your marketing claims. By putting happy customers in front of them, you can satisfy them of the value that your business creates – translating into more recommendations to their clients. In particular, being able to quickly put happy customers that fit the desired profile in front of analysts will help you move up and left in key B2B reports like the Gartner Magic Quadrant.
Get more customers to speak and network at industry events, espousing the value of your products to ready-to-buy prospects. Easily find the right customer(s) for each event, and incentivize them to participate.
Sales & Marketing Integration
Sharing customer advocates between your sales and marketing teams brings them closer together. Customer advocacy management programs usually start in the marketing department, but there are major benefits to sales teams. By making more effective use of customers, your sales people will appreciate the marketing department even more, fostering a more collaborative culture and improving the effectiveness of your business. Integrating your brand advocacy solution with CRM is critical to achieving high ROI in this area. Sales people want access to information about advocates without leaving their native system (CRM). They don’t want to have “yet another system to log in to” which takes time away from revenue-generating sales activities.