Conquering the Marketing Funnel: Advocacy
Advocacy is like hiring a bunch of telemarketers to talk about how great your brand is, but you don’t have to pay them! Jokes aside, existing customers can turn into advocates who promote your business by sharing their experiences. With 88% of consumers saying they trusted recommendations from friends more than other marketing messaging, promoting advocacy is essential.
What is Advocacy Marketing?
With the proper marketing strategy, you can encourage people to share their (hopefully positive) experiences with your company. The goal: more customers advocating for your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing can lead to 5x more sales than paid media impressions. Like loyalty marketing, this stage maximizes customers’ impact on future conversions. You can generate advocacy with proper strategy during this marketing funnel stage.
Ways to Promote Advocacy
There are multiple ways you can help promote brand advocacy. Here are our top three ideas:
1. Reward Referrals
Give your customers the chance to get rewarded for their advocacy. You can incentivize this by offering existing customers a gift card, reward points (if applicable), or exclusive offers in exchange for referrals. For example, an online thrift store called ThredUP offers referral credits. Customers are given a custom URL after making a purchase and receive credits when others make an account through their URL. This encourages word of mouth and helps create a community around your brand.
2. Start an Ambassador Program
Similar to referral programs, ambassadors can receive compensation for the sales they generate. In today’s day and age, this often comes in the form of Influencer Marketing. A well-known example is Gymshark. As an early adaptor of influencer sponsorship, Gymshark provides a group of fitness content creators with free gym wear and the opportunity to make a commission from sales generated through their personal coupon code or link, which they share with followers. Although this requires more resources, the benefits outweigh the long-term costs as consumers are likely to trust the recommendations of content creators they follow.
3. Reward Reviews
Reviews are another way to leverage word-of-mouth marketing. Nine out of ten consumers say online reviews influence their buying decisions and will consider the experiences of others before engaging with your brand. You can encourage this type of advocacy by offering a discount or small gift for those who write a review. This is just one way you can get more online reviews. You may also want to share reviews on your social media pages and website to make positive reviews more visible to new customers.