Advocacy Marketing: What It Is and How to Make It Work for Your Business in 2022

In this blog, we focus on defining advocacy marketing and the best ways to make it work for your business.

Advocacy Marketing

While digital marketing still holds a lot of relevance, several other marketing strategies have emerged. For instance, there is influencer marketing – one of the most popular techniques of marketing today. Customers tend to believe the testimonials of an influencer (much more than the visually appealing ads). This makes influencer marketing a huge hit.

On the same lines is ‘Advocacy Marketing.’ This is a relatively new discipline that works much similar to influencer marketing – both of them involve a third-party advocating the products of a business.

However, the approaches have some significant differences, especially in terms of resources. While influencer marketing involves partnering with an influencer to promote products, advocacy marketing is about getting your users to promote it.

Advocacy Marketing brings in a lot of benefits to B2B business. Are you not familiar with Advocacy Marketing? Don’t worry; this write-up will help you understand what it is and how to make it work for your business.

Advocacy Marketing: What is it?

Imagine this scenario: You have just sold a product to a customer, and he is extremely happy with it. They go on their social media and talk about it and also advise others.

Isn’t that the most genuine way for the product to get promoted? That is what Advocacy Marketing is all about. Simply put, it is a marketing strategy in which your enthusiastic customers promote your product via digital mediums, including Facebook and Instagram posts, Tweets, YouTube video reviews, etc.

Advocacy Marketing: Why is it important?

Statistics suggest that “92% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends and family above all other types of advertising”.

Word-of-mouth remains one of the most effective ways to market a product or a brand. And this works in favor of advocacy marketing as the strategy involves existing customers going on different channels and spreading the word about the product or the brand.

This is more effective because these reviews are from genuine customers. Thus, it has more impact on people considering buying the product. 

Simply put, people trust people and their reviews! More than the well-planned advertisements. Hence, advocacy marketing works better to boost sales.

Here are some recent statistics on advocacy marketing

  1. 88% of respondents in a recent survey expressed that they consider online reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations.
  2. 82% of consumers seek references from their peers before making a purchase decision.
  3. In a recent survey, 76% of respondents stated that they could trust content posted by “regular” people more than the content provided by brands.
  4. Online businesses rely on referrals from advocates and brand Superfans for 60% of their sales.
  5. 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions are influenced by peer-to-peer marketing.
  6. Earned media (such as word-of-mouth, press, and peer-to-peer referrals) generates 4X more than the amount of brand lift as sponsored media.

Advocacy Marketing: Benefits

Here are a few benefits of advocacy marketing that you ought to know –

1. Boosts customer acquisition

As we have already discussed above, people trust people! Therefore, when they hear or see reviews and experiences from other people, especially their peers, they are more convinced about the product.

2. Expands reach

Advocacy marketing has the potential to reach out to newer markets and broadens your target segments. For instance, a customer X posts a review video on Instagram, it is viewed by 30 potential customers, and at least 10 of them share it, and the chain goes further.

3. Lowers marketing expense

Convincing existing customers to turn brand/ product advocates can be much cheaper as compared to other methods of marketing.

4. Enhances brand loyalty

As existing customers are duly rewarded for being advocates, there is greater scope for them to turn loyal customers of the brand.

Advocacy Marketing: What are the types?

There are two primary types of advocacy marketing –

1. Employee advocacy

This type of marketing involves an employee sharing content about the product or the brand. An example of this is a how-to video created about a product. This drives organic leads and attracts new prospects to your business.

2. Customer advocacy

This type of advocacy marketing encourages existing customers to share their experience with the product. These reviews are shared on digital platforms to drive more sales.

The approach for advocacy marketing depends entirely on your business goals and the type of business. However, for a B2B business, the best approach would be a combination of both.

Advocacy Marketing: Excellent examples

When talking about advocacy marketing, a few brands/companies have performed excellently.

1. Inception the film

This is not an example of a brand or a business. But the makers used advocacy marketing to accomplish an impressive feat with advocacy marketing. In an interesting attempt, the film’s director went to WonderCon. He handed out swag linked to an email-gated website via a QR code at the event. It further consisted of a user manual of a device used in the film. This way, the crew managed to collect advocates’ details and also encouraged them to become their moveable billboards.

2. Lancôme

This company built a system to reward customers with gifts upon social shares and for ordering online. The gifts for these advocates included beauty accessories, limited-time items, etc. This drove the percentage of activity to increase by 60% per month.

Advocacy Marketing: Strategy

Advocacy Marketing is not a fad! You will have to invest your time and best resources to come up with an efficient strategy for advocacy marketing.

1. Why advocacy marketing?

This is the first question you should be asking before working on the strategy. What is it that you want to achieve through this type of marketing? Once you have answers to the question, think of what you want to incorporate in the campaign. Your next step would be to decide on the type. Would it be employee advocacy, customer advocacy, or both?

2. Make sure that your product or service is great!

Remember that your customers would not be willing to advocate a product or a mediocre service. The offering has to be exceptional for them to come forward to advocate it.

3. Don’t ignore the role of customer service

Remember that a great product may not satisfy the customer if the customer service is not up to the mark! A great product + bad customer service = average customer experience. This may cause customers to hold back from turning into advocates. Therefore, it is important to focus on customer service – both pre and post-purchase!

4. Come up with simple, clear advocacy campaigns

Make sure that you provide your customers with clear and simple instructions about the advocacy campaign. Make sure that the platform is accessible for them and they have fun taking part in it. Research current trends and try to incorporate them into the campaign.

  1. Come up with product-specific, fun campaigns to encourage your customers.
  2. Make sure that the traffic is redirected to your webpage or the product page.
  3. Don’t forget to add social sharing links.
  4. Make sure that you (as a brand) recognize your advocates and their activity.

5. Make sure that you have a customer-first approach

Customer loyalty is key for advocacy marketing – loyal customers are at the forefront of becoming your advocates. Having a customer-first approach indicates that you care for the customers more than sales, which serves as a pillar for customer loyalty. Therefore, adopt the customer-first approach – start with listening to your customers. For this, you can start with building products to address their needs, interacting with them, and taking and implementing customer feedback.

Advocacy Marketing: How to turn customers into advocates

You may have a decent number of loyal customers, but not all of them show the enthusiasm to turn into advocates to promote your brand! What can you do about it? Here are a few ideas to do it –34

  1. Start unique social media campaigns to trigger activity from your customers.
  2. Introduce loyalty, reward, or referral programs.
  3. Interact with your customers, address their concerns and keep them engaged with meaningful content.

Final thoughts

You need to remember that advocacy marketing is not a fad to wrap it up! It is an effective way to attract new customers! Invest time and resources to build an effective advocacy strategy for your business, and it will lead to long-term growth!

You might also like:

  • How Customer Advocacy Drives Customer Success –  Customer advocacy enhances the lifetime value of existing customers. Customer success teams, through careful strategizing, build advocates from the start.
  • To understand how SmartKarrot can helps SaaS companies keep and grow loyal customers, Request a Demo.

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