In a digital world where marketers have an abundance of tools available to reach their audiences instantly, it can be easy to overlook one of the greatest and most effective marketing tools out there – your customers!
What is Customer Advocacy?
Customer advocacy is a two-sided coin. On one side, there is customer advocacy from an internal perspective, which is when the organization focuses on what’s best for customers by creating great customer experiences, advocating for them, gathering feedback in order to improve services, etc. The flip-side of this is customer advocacy from an external perspective, which is customers who advocate for your brand and spreading the word about products and services.
Bottom line: Customer advocacy consists of the actions the organization takes to focus on doing what is best for customers, which in turn rewards you with loyal customers who advocate for your products and brands.
How does Customer Advocacy work?
Did you know people are 4X more likely to buy when referred by someone they know? (Referral SaaSquatch) Customers are much more likely to trust their peers over a well-oiled marketing campaign. They want social proof like stories, referrals, reviews and recommendations in order to make a buying decision.
Influitive – an advocate marketing company based out of Toronto – has built a platform designed specifically for customer advocacy. These communities are environments where companies can grow and nurture customer advocacy by having customers complete challenges and earn points for rewards. Challenges range from “Share a Testimonial” to “Leave a Review” and “Refer a Friend”, each challenge completion results in a certain amount of points earned. The customer advocate can then bank these points in for rewards – like an e-gift card powered by Tango Card.
The surplus of information and feedback community managers receive back from customer advocates is beyond valuable. From important product and service feedback to tidbits of testimonials and other “content gold”, customer advocacy is the gift the keeps on giving.
How do I get my customers to advocate?
Easy – ask them! Send out a survey asking for feedback on your product or service making sure you ask open-ended questions to leave room for thoughtful responses. Ask customers to leave reviews on popular review sites like G2Crowd or TrustPilot. Then, use those reviews and feedback for testimonials, social content, blog post topics, etc.
If you’re looking for a more full-circle experience, a customer advocacy platform like Influitive is great for engaging with a group of customer advocates by providing a community for them to interact with. Influitive’s platform allows for seamless social engagement via Twitter and LinkedIn, discussion forums, plus many more call-to-action-based challenges all packaged in a fun, gamification style.
Not sure if your customers are engaged enough to be advocates of your brand? Incentivize them to complete certain actions and drive results with e-gift cards! Learn more about the power of e-gift cards at www.tangocard.com.