Advocacy Marketing 101: A Crash Course
Marketing expenses can add up fast. For small businesses, it is important to remember that every dollar counts. Between ad campaigns, engagements, and events, the cost adds up quickly. Sometimes, what you need is something that’s low cost and high return. What you are looking for is advocacy marketing!
What is Advocacy Marketing?
While it sounds fancy, advocacy marketing is, in essence, just a name for something that has existed since the beginning of trade: word-of-mouth advertising.
People recommend what they love. In the past, ancient Greeks may have recommended the best amphoras; today, a fellow small business owner may point you in the direction of a top-notch graphic designer.
Whatever the service is that you offer, you can take advantage of advocacy marketing. The only true prerequisites are a quality product, social media presence, excellent customer service, and passionate customers!
How Do You Make It Work?
With the advent of social media, it is now easier than ever to get your brand recognized. The internet has created a deeply interconnected world, one where someone from California can easily browse the website of a business located in New York and request a service from that business in the matter of a day or two.
When it comes to advocacy marketing, this new facet of modern life is your greatest asset. Happy customers make passionate brand representatives. The only thing you need to do is create and cultivate an audience.
Clients like it when they know their voices are heard, even if they are presently happy with the service. There are always areas in which you can improve to make your service more efficient, more convenient, and more competitive. This is where surveys come into play.
When devising a survey, you should come up with questions that will yield answers from which you can gain actionable insights. For example, simply asking your clients what they don’t like about the service may be illuminating, but it might not be particularly helpful if you do not know how to address the issue. Instead, you can focus on the areas in which you can improve and even allow clients to specify exactly how they would improve these areas if they were given the opportunity to participate.
Get People Talking
You should always aim to keep users engaged. How you do this varies, and it’s up to you! For example, you might consider starting a Facebook group for your clients to discuss common concerns they have with others. This not only shows that you care about giving them a platform but also that you want them to keep a dialogue going.
Additionally, it is common for companies to host competitions on their page. If you are a dietician, for example, you might have your clients share their favorite healthy recipes and offer some sort of incentive (a discount, a favorite informative book, etc.) to the best one.
Keep People Loyal
As great as your product may be, it’s not very good for you if people don’t come back for more. You want loyalty with your advocacy. Offer customers perks for buying from you, such as return customer discounts.
Other ideas include branded content, special sneak peeks, and special edition items.
Does it Really Work?
While the concept of getting so much with such little investment is strange, advocacy marketing is extremely effective. It absolutely does work, and beneficiaries of it range from some of the biggest companies on the planet to independent craftsmen.
If you still do not believe it, then perhaps Apple and Tesla can convince you otherwise. Despite their high prices, advocates for both companies are passionate and enthusiastic. People are more likely to purchase an item that a friend recommends to them, and both companies know and capitalize on this fact.
But what about smaller companies? There are plenty of examples of small companies, even individual people, utilizing advocacy marketing!
An Etsy seller, BooJuice Pins, has made a splash with their fun frog-themed enamel pins. Many people first saw these products on Facebook groups geared towards frog-lovers. As more and more people posted their delighted reactions to their fun purchases, the shop managed to rack up thousands of sales. Now, their top-seller is very rarely in stock due to demand!
Blushsprout, an Ohio-based designer of adorable pastel pins and baubles, has garnered a following of 120,000 (and growing!) fans who eagerly promote their lovable accessories. Just check their social media feeds to see oodles of delighted customers.
What Do You Do Now?
The great thing about advocacy marketing is that it is accessible. After all, encouraging loyal clients to vouch for you does not usually require an expensive marketing strategy. Even so, it is always best to approach every campaign with an eye toward the future. Think about how you can make your clients’ experience and aim to do just that. Delight them, and you will see more than your fair share of people willing to rave about your items for a long time to come!
If you want to find out how else you can keep your clients happy and raving about you, we always have plenty of insights to share. Sign up for our Exclusive Blog Insights to get tips sent right to your email inbox.