Call it a colossal Orwellian back fire! Just when everyone is talking about consumers being the products in social media. The game is being played elsewhere. In their personal networks.
Why should I talk to you on your terms on your brand presence only? I never walked into a store with the purpose of saying good things about you. I only took that as an opportunity to give you a dressing down!
As with all good things in marketing, being insight based and strategic in “where” you look for the nuggets, decides what game you play.
And in that, come the new change agents in marketing. The folks who want to help real people express and make the good word about your brand reach out. These are the folks who can help your organisation and brand deliver better business metrics in a fast changing competitive marketplace.
This fluid landscape has thrown up the modern consumer personas who rely deeply on their own listening posts, before coming to any decisions. So as a business owner, you are not the only one doing social listening. Your consumer is probably one up on you.
Enter the brand advocate. A marketer’s secret weapon. Someone who can help him navigate and build the business effectively.
aka micro-influencers. What is it that makes your micro-influencers stand out in a virtual realm that is constantly bombarded with content and conversations every minute of the day? And how does a markter use them in the real and virtual world? Does Brand Advocacy really work?
While the questions are many. We would like to first examine some common attributes of a great Advocacy Marketer:
# 1 They Are Strategic Thinkers:
Strategy is not short term. It’s a mix of tactics and a long term view to reach your objectives. Persuasive advocacy marketers always keep strategic plans as their compass to guide their actions. This ensures that their core advocacy activities are consistent, engaging, emotionally involving.
All this while keeping a keen eye and feet on the ground. This is what magnifies their social presence dramatically!
Being objective based in your marketing initiatives? Hell yea. But are you being objective based on your Advocacy marketing? A strategic advocacy marketer will be constantly connecting all his actions back to his objectives. And without doubt, would be measuring and tracking results
They make sure to communicate to their micro-influencers that different social media platforms cater to varying demographic groups; hence they help them adapt, modify and resonate with their content accordingly.
#2 They are Technically Proficient:
Technology has revolutionized the way brands engage with their existing and potential customers – it breaks geographical barriers to weave invisible threads that bond an organization to its stakeholders!
The modern advocacy marketer is digital-savvy and uses technology to form a connection with target audiences.
Marketing automation has revolutionised the very fundamentals of the discipline itself. Right from insights to content, campaigns and results, everything can be organised using tools. What’s more, its adding adding efficiencies at scale to help marketers deliver bigger and better results over time.
So which ever way one looks at it. Any advocacy marketer worth his salt is also understands and uses mar-tech. Because, brand advocacy has been tried in many ways, but this is the only way it can be coherent, effective and efficient. Else, we can all keeping thinking, about building the next top 10 brands. And actually do nothing about it.
#3 They help Nurture Advocate Relationships:
Brand Advocacy is driven by genuine relationship building – if you wish to influence your target communities you have to make them believe that your brand cares deeply about delighting them through consistent consumer experience and content.
Effective social media advocacy marketers are highly skilled at fostering personal relationships and engaging with customers through two-way communication.
Bond with followers, personalisation, rewards recognition is what brand advocates seek at the end of it. And its the programs job to offer interventions that allow them to get what they seek. So its not just about rewards and gifts, it’s about bonding emotionally and structurally with the program.
Relationships are long term. And the best of them know that they are in the process of making friends for their brands. Engaging in a two way conversation instead of trying to push content only. Factoring in advocate feedback and suggestions to constantly evolve the program to deliver what’s best for the brand.
#4 They Focus on Value Driven Content:
Good content is the bedrock for social media. And the same applies for a great advocacy program as well. It keeps your engagement and shares growing and propels brand recognition to the next level.
The best in business make sure their approach is content-centric and shape public perception through interesting posts that keep followers hooked on.
Narrating the brand’s story through both innovative content and newer media vehicles helps them keep the core messaging fresh and relevant.
Highly successful advocate marketers have the ability to curate brand specific content and drive return on investment for any business venture. They engage with their crew of advocates to keep the buzz alive while the content remains the pivotal foundation of their brand advocacy policy.
Great content is after all what we as consumers seek. But contextually relevant and personalised engagement is what advocates seek.
You can also CONTACT SOCXO to get customized solutions for advocacy marketing.