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.

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 2021?

advocacy marketing

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 reduces customer churn

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.

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.

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. 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.

Nothing.

Nada.

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.

Advocacy advertising 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

starbucks websiteImage 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

southwest airlines twitter

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.

Not true.

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 and it will be hard to go wrong.

Chobani – Show customers you believe what they believe

chobani product

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.

There you have it, an explanation of how advocacy marketing (when done right) is an amazing marketing strategy. When you’re ready to start increase 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.