There are many ways to build brand awareness through early adopters and others we might target to achieve positive product reviews and referrals as well as more frequent sharing of your product story. Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Videos and Influencer Marketing are some of the techniques considered to be effective in getting the conversations started. Within that spectrum of person-to-person initiatives, Advocacy Marketing is a tool specifically intended to harness the power of consumers who are already sold on your brand.
Brand advocates generally support their favorite brands through word-of-mouth recommendations to family, friends and piers. They are loyal, enthusiastic users of your products. And their promotion can be more organic and believable. Connecting with advocates to build excitement for your brand can be very rewarding for both the brand and the advocate, can also lead to great audience exposure in digital, social & print outlets and ultimately drive increased sales.
Developing a successful strategy is not complex, but prior planning will go a long way toward ensuring your efforts bear fruit. Before you start looking for your brand advocates, you need to answer several basic questions: Who is your Target Audience? Why is your brand relevant to them? Where they do they look for information about your types of products? (Facebook, Trade Journals, Consumer Print magazines, Forums)
For example, one of our clients sells finishing tools into the hobby market. Technique tutorials are an excellent way to get the products in front of key hobby segments and provide inspiration and instruction for how the products can be used. One of the primary audiences the client targets is scale modelers. This particular audience learns about how to use finishing products by reading print and digital magazines, watching videos and referencing relevant blogs and forums.
A successful advocacy campaign targeting the scale modeler audience would include:
- Identifying the print and digital outlets that scale modelers use.
- Reading through the outlets to find modelers who currently advocate for the client’s brands.
- Reaching out to the advocates whose skill set, tone and writing style convey the message that the client would like to express. Discuss form of compensation and project expectations. Let the advocate lead the creative process, as the story they tell will be more authentic.
- Submitting completed tutorials, videos and/or editorials to editors at key print and digital outlets. Uploading to and leveraging tutorials and videos on client’s website, blogs and social outlets.
Using brand advocates to “beat the drum” for your brand provides a more meaningful, engaging experience for your target audience. Advocates are more invested in your product, proud of their partnership with your brand and more compelled to promote their work and your products. For more details on how Heinzeroth can help you develop an Advocacy Marketing program, give us a call. My direct number is 815-847-7538.
Also encourage sharing of your product story through Influencer Marketing, a close cousin of Brand Advocacy Marketing, but utilizing tactics that are focused particularly on key bloggers and other influencers with an established following.