Brand advocates as ongoing customers

Before we start with tips on how to turn your customers into brand advocates, we need to discuss more about the terms. Firstly, you must know what it means to be a brand advocate and the importance of having brand advocates.  

A brand advocate is a very satisfied customer who shares positive feedback about your products or services. This positive feedback is important because people are more likely to purchase an offering that was recommended to them by their family or friends. Brand advocates can also share that feedback via social media platforms publicly and this way reach a wider audience. Brand advocates are showcased when they make often purchasing decisions or when they leave positive comments about the brand. 

Impact of brand advocacy: 

If we cross check the recent research, brand advocates are responsible for more than 6 trillion dollars of consumer spending. They can also influence 2 to 3 more sales compared to regular customers. 

Brand advocates go way beyond company’s target audience and they do not carry the cost of traditional marketing. These loyal and satisfied customers are worth more than some marketing campaigns. The loss of major marketing campaigns is the main reason why companies are focusing on developing brand advocacy programs. Companies want their customers to freely share their positive feedback and experiences with others. The main reason is because that interaction is costless advertisements for company’s products and services. 

How to convert customers to brand advocates?

1. What drives brand advocacy?

To be successful in creating brand advocates, the first step is to understand how to achieve this objective. Brand advocates represent a small percentage of your regular customer base and you must properly nurture them. Most customers will usually purchase once or twice your products and services. Considering market competition and switching cost if customers are not satisfied with your offer they won’t engage with your brand. So, those customers that do speak publicly about your brand in a good way, keep them close. 

One suggestion is to run on-site surveys where customers can leave honest feedback about your brand. Questions like: “Would you recommend our product to your family and friends?” can provide more details about your customers. Social listening is also one way to find out more information about your customer’s feedback. You can research what are your customers sharing on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tik Tok or Twitter. Also, when your customers repeat their purchases, it is beneficial to ask them why did they buy your product again. These tactics will definitely deliver the insight you need for your company to grow and become an industry leader. 

The main goal is to be aware of what drives the customer’s advocacy. Additionally, the goal is to try to enhance those drivers as much as possible. These mentioned drivers give you the necessary insights for developing a long-term marketing strategy.

2. Develop a memorable recruiting process:

As we know, first impressions are extremely important when we meet someone new. Research concluded that first impressions are made in  first couple of seconds when meeting someone for the first time. Not only does this fact relate to personal experiences but also when we are introduced to new products or services. First impressions are always one of the key objectives to selling products.  

This is the reason why recruiting process is extremely important. Almost 90% of customers say that they will stick to the same product if the onboarding process is superb. Meaning, even if the prices are higher than substitutes, they will still repurchase the product. It is important to offer people explanations and more information about your product. Because if people understand the value you bring to them, they will more likely to spread positive words. 

Instead of just numbering all the features and benefits of the product try something different.  Ask customers why do they think that your product is needed and what do they wish to achieve with it.

3. The customer should be the centre of your attention:

Good customer experience can be your biggest advantage and your customers can be your biggest brand advocates. Research says that more than 55% of customers are willing to pay more to brands that are customer oriented. 

Customer satisfaction should always be your number one priority and the centre of every business decision. The responsibility of customer service shouldn’t just be responsibility of one department, it should be incorporated in your core company values. Customer issues and questions should have the highest priority as offering unforgettable customer experience.                                                                                                 

4. Rewarding customers and growing the number of brand advocates:

Most consumers trust personal recommendations and feedback more than regular marketing or paid advertisements. Therefore, you can try to start an affiliate program for your company. This program can turn passive consumers who are satisfied with your products into active brand advocates. They can be incentivized with the reward system and this way be even more active. For example, some companies have referral programs that provide benefits to the referrer.  

The reward process can also open the doors for working with big influencers who have millions of followers. Most influencers are prepared to promote good quality products if companies pay them well enough. On the other hand, some influencers can promote you with for free. If your product or service is good enough you might get free shout outs and get exposure to millions of consumers. Hence, affiliate marketing is becoming very popular. 

Final thoughts: 

To conclude, it is important to realize on time that customers are your biggest asset and it is crucial to treat them accordingly. Keeping a loyal customer is easier than acquiring a new one. By having good products and services, recruiting and reward programs it should be easy to have many brand advocates. Turn your customers into your allies and become a leader with maximizing your profit.