If you were thinking about ways to have your company grow, you would probably think of marketing as a way to achieve this goal.
However, when your business is marketing itself, who is it trying to reach? Most companies seem to market their businesses to only new customers. It’s not like this strategy isn’t beneficial, what company wouldn’t want more new customers?
As it turns out, your company’s most valuable customers might be right under the nose of your business. They’re the ones who are buying your company’s products and services right now. And you can reach them with advocacy advertising.
With the power of advocate marketing, these people can help your business grow in ways you’ve never imagined.
We’re going to look at an advocacy marketing definition, how to create company advocates, and advocacy advertising examples you can start using for your business.
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What is advocacy marketing?
It might seem confusing to understand a long-winded advocacy marketing definition. Instead of doing that, here’s a simple way to explain what it is to promote advocacy.
Advocacy marketing is a strategy companies use that involves their existing customers. The goal of advocate marketing is to turn these customers into passionate fans of a business. And, as research shows, it’s an incredibly effective way for a company to market itself.
Research shows that 92% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations. When your company creates advocates, you’re gaining an ever-growing group of people willing and ready to recommend your business to other people.
What are the benefits of advocacy marketing in 2023?
So, you now know about advocacy marketing. Now, it’s time to learn why so many companies use brand advocacy programs to their advantage. Here are several major benefits of utilizing advocacy marketing.
1. Advocacy marketing creates loyal customers
Something most business owners fear is the dreaded churn. This churn can come in the form of employees coming on board and then quitting or getting fired from your business.
Another problem is customer churn, which is the amount of paying customers that stopped making purchases from your business.
Let’s say that you had 320 paying customers in January of 2020. The next month, only 100 customers made a purchase from your company. This drop off in paying customers is known as customer churn.
Through brand advocacy programs, you can reduce people leaving your business for another company. A good customer advocacy strategy can also keep your customers loyal.
When your business has employee and customer loyalty, it doesn’t get much better than that.
2. It’s effective
Companies cost time and money to run. Considering that, why waste time on ineffective marketing methods?
There’s no need to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to marketing your company with a brand advocacy strategy.
Consider sticking to what works by choosing advocacy advertising. One study found that customer advocates are
two to three times more effective than non-advocates when it comes to effectively persuading someone to make a purchase.
With that said, not all marketing efforts will drive great results for every business. Considering that, try out an advocacy marketing strategy and see what it does for your company.
3. It’s sometimes a free form of marketing
As most people can attest to, it’s not easy to find something that’s truly free in life. Many types of free marketing efforts never seem to get your business to gain the traction it needs.
So, this would make it seem that gaining new customers for free would be impossible, right? Not with the help of advocacy marketing.
You might think that excellent customer service only helps ensure that this person or business will remain loyal. This is true, but creating advocates does so much more.
When someone has a good enough experience with your business, they might start referring your company out for free.
No need for payment.
No need for incentives.
When you provide a great customer experience through advocacy marketing, you basically gain free business because you’re creating advocates.
Can a campaign be both social advocacy and marketing?
Yes, campaigns for social advocacy can be used to market a company. But you shouldn’t get behind a cause solely for the purpose of marketing your business. More often than not, it’s easy for consumers to see when your advocacy ideas are thinly veiled marketing strategies.
Instead, choose a cause that your company fully stands behind. If it brings in new company advocates, that’s great. But don’t push your company’s agenda too hard to the point that it seems fake or inauthentic.
It’s understandable if you’re still unsure of how to start promoting advocacy. Sometimes, advocate advertising isn’t easy to pull off. Fortunately, I have some advocacy campaign ideas that will help you out. Keep reading to see these media advocacy campaign examples.
How Do I Drive Awareness to the Importance of Advocacy Marketing?
Learning about advocacy marketing is great. However, you might now be facing a new challenge. How do you get your business leaders to try out advocacy marketing?
Get Your Company’s Leaders on Board
Before any official advocacy marketing campaign can begin, you or your team will need to get your company’s leaders on board.
Depending on who your leaders are, this goal might be easier said than done. If your leaders are open to do anything to provide a great customer service experience, convincing them to try this type of marketing shouldn’t be too difficult.
Speak to the benefits of an advocacy marketing strategy
However, you could receive some objections while presenting your case as to why advocacy marketing is something your company needs to try.
For instance, your leaders might not want to try an advocacy program because they’re unsure if it will drive actual results.
If this is the case, show them case studies about companies that pulled off this marketing strategy and created brand advocates in the process. In fact, there’s a few great examples in this article!
You can also mention that advocacy marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to create loyal customers. And there’s almost nothing better than that.
Find the right advocates
Before you get far with this type of marketing, you need to find the right brand advocates. While finding loyal advocates might seem tricky, it’s easier than you think.
The best way to find your customer advocates is to track Net Promoter Scores (NPS). People with high NPS are the ones you should consider as your brand advocates.
Now that you have happy customers that want to become advocates, it’s time to engage with them. You can start finding a brand advocate by checking out social media.
If your company has social media accounts, start looking for accounts that regularly engage with your company’s content. If you don’t have social media accounts created, now’s the perfect time to start!
What’s great about using social media to find advocates is that it’s easy to message or otherwise engage with these followers.
Since the average social media user regularly checks their accounts, you shouldn’t have to wait long to get a response.
Measure the success of your advocacy marketing campaign
The last step in this journey is to measure how well your company is creating customer advocates.
Whether you used social media, contact pages, or another source to find loyal customers, it’s now time to find out how well your advocacy efforts are going.
To do this, you need to know what the goals of your customer advocacy campaign are. Here’s a look at how to measure the most common ways to measure brand awareness.
Brand Exposure: If your company wants more brand exposure, you’ll want to look at your audience’s total reach. Next, take the number of impressions your company earned. Now, you’ll need to find the cost-per thousand impressions.
Take your total impressions and divide this total by 1,000.
Take this total and divide it by the cost of your advocacy marketing program.
Sales: Another way to determine the success of an advocacy campaign is how many sales it leads to. You can find out the worth of customer advocacy by using this simple equation:
Cost of marketing efforts / number of sales = cost per acquisition (CPA).
Website Traffic: Sometimes, companies base the success of their campaigns based on how many website visits they receive.
Determine the marketing effectiveness of this method by using this equation:
Cost of your marketing program / number of clicks your website received = cost-per click (CPC).
Advocacy Marketing Examples You Can Start Using
It’s also helpful to see examples of advocacy marketing strategies. I’m here to provide some help by showing you a few of the best advocacy campaign examples.
By looking at these advocacy advertising examples, it should help show you how easy and effective this strategy is. You don’t have to implement these advocacy ideas verbatim. Instead, adapt them to make these ideas your own.
Starbucks – Create brand advocates with effective giveaways
Image Source: Starbucks
Can you imagine anything better than free Starbucks for life? For all of my caffeine junkies out there, Starbucks is currently giving you the chance to win this prize in its Starbucks for Life campaign.
Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a prime example of how Starbucks is building brand advocates.
To enter this contest, you need to be a Starbucks Rewards member. Once you’re a member, it’s easier for this company to let you know about new products and promotions. Plus, Starbucks also offers exclusive rewards to its members.
The point of this example is that you can create brand advocates by offering something that’s worthwhile for customers to enjoy, earn, or even win. This contest is one of Starbuck’s best advocacy examples and one your company might consider trying out.
Southwest Airlines – Treating people right creates the best influencers
Image Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter
If you start reading about one of the most effective ways to market your company, you’re bound to come across something that mentions influencer marketing.
And what most people will tell you is that an influencer has to be someone with a huge following and a net worth of over $1 million.
Instead, start treating all of your customers like influencers because they are.
Your customer might not care what Kylie Jenner thinks about a business. However, they’re going to take a recommendation from Julie, a local school teacher and friend, much more seriously.
Follow this advocate example of treating your customers right from Southwest Airlines and it will be hard to go wrong.
Chobani – Show customers you believe what they believe
Image Source: Chobani
Another great example of advocacy comes from Chobani.
What’s another way that your business can start gaining advocates? By creating and developing connections. This isn’t a connection buyers experience when they buy something from you. Instead, you’ll want to aim to create connections based on shared values and beliefs.
This doesn’t mean using politics or religion to get your point across. Please don’t be a business that does that. You’ll end up alienating more people than you want to win over.
Instead, I’m talking about tapping into causes that your customers support. For an example of this, look no further than Chobani. You might recognize Chobani as a yogurt company. But, if you know about this business then you’ll realize they do much more than sell foods.
One of the things this company focuses on is sustainability. Because most of their customers are looking for natural foods and beverages, they also value sustainable solutions. To provide something sustainable to customers, Chobani recently launched a product that comes packed in a 100% recyclable carton. This company also prides itself on its inclusive company policies and initiatives.
Pizza Hut – Don’t be afraid to have fun
When you think of customer advocacy marketing, Pizza Hut might not be the first company that pops into your head. However, this large pizza chain shows off a great example of how to run a business with a customer-first mentality.
In 2012, a Reddit user posted what happened after this person requested that a Pizza Hut employee draw a dinosaur on their delivery box. Many companies might have avoided this request because they were too afraid to look unprofessional.
Pizza Hut (or at least one of its employees) went the extra mile to encourage positive feedback. Someone actually drew a dinosaur inside of the pizza box. If customers follow the example of the picture above, they create user-generated content for Pizza Hut by posting their drawings on social media.
When you get a chance to have fun and boost customer satisfaction at the same time, take it!
Content Marketing Life creates loyal advocates
Turning potential customers into enthusiastic customers isn’t easy. The average faces many competitors in a fast-changing, online-first world. Content Marketing Life cuts through the competition to create an effective advocacy marketing strategy for your business.
There you have it, an explanation of how advocacy marketing (when done right) is an amazing marketing strategy. When you’re ready to start increasing advocates, utilize the previously mentioned brand advocacy examples.
If you would like to know more about content marketing and other tips for promoting advocacy, consider checking out the home page of Content Marketing Life. This is where you’ll find my latest content.
Alex Eagleton is a copywriter and digital marketer passionate about helping companies connect with customers. Throughout the past decade, he’s worked with companies including Referral Rock, Connecteam, and Ramsey Solutions. He’s a versatile writer who understands how to align with companies, truly matching their voices and tones.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his dogs, reading, and playing guitar.
You can reach him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.