5 Signs You Could Benefit from an Advocate Marketing Program | Infographic
Advocate marketing is not the new kid on the block. Most companies do some sort of advocate marketing, even if that’s not what they call it. For years, B2B marketers have been approaching their best customers asking for referrals, case studies, and reference calls. However, as the case may be, most companies either:
- Haven’t developed a strategic advocate marketing program, or
- Have a customer referral program but haven’t updated it since Myspace was the most popular social networking site.
Today, the best-in-class B2B companies have not only recognized their customers are their greatest marketing asset, but they have figured out how to mobilize them – turning them into online brand ambassadors.
Wondering if your B2B company could benefit from an organized advocate marketing program? Below are some signs that you could use a little more customer advocacy in your marketing mix.
5 Ways to Tell You Need an Organized Advocate Marketing Program
1. You’re trying to figure out how to get more customer referrals.
Referred customers have a 16% higher customer lifetime value… Who doesn’t want more of those?! Unfortunately, most existing customer referral programs have failed to keep a steady flow of referrals coming through the door.
How does an advocate marketing platform help companies get more customer referrals?
With an advocate marketing platform, companies are able to build specific challenges in order to help meet sales and marketing goals. For example, if your sales and marketing teams are doing a year-end push for customer referrals, you could create a challenge asking customers to provide referrals. In exchange offer them points which can be redeemed for big rewards like gift cards, donations, and more!
2. Getting customers to follow through with case studies is like pulling teeth.
Anyone else have a love-hate relationship with case studies? While they’re extremely valuable, especially for moving prospect through the middle of the funnel, it’s also extremely difficult (and timely) to: 1.) Get customers to agree to do a case study, 2.) Get customers actually do the interview for the case study, and 3.) Get customers to sign off on the case study.
How does an advocate marketing platform help companies to get more case studies?
Extrinsic motivation is “our tendency to engage in activities in order to gain some type of known, external reward.” And, guess what? It works. When you offer incentives to your customers for participating in a case study, they’re more likely to not only agree to it but to follow through as well. It’s important to let your customers know how participating will benefit them. Not only will they earn rewards, but their company will also benefit from external links and brand coverage.
3. You haven’t updated your customer testimonials in months.
Have the same testimonials been on your website for months? Is it because you don’t have any new customer testimonials? It’s ok – it happens, but it doesn’t have to.
How does an advocate marketing platform help companies get more customer testimonials?
Writing a testimonial doesn’t take a lot of effort, but you need to ask in order to receive. Try sharing a challenge encouraging customers to become thought leaders in their industry by sharing how their company has saved money or improved processes with your company’s solution. Sweeten the deal by boosting their points for completing the testimonial.
4. Your social following makes you look not-so-social.
Your company could be sharing the best content on social media, but if you don’t have the followers to engage with it, it’s pretty much useless. It’s a lot of work building a social following, but your customers are your biggest fans – making them a great target for your social media efforts.
How does an advocate marketing platform increase a company’s social following?
It’s important to have social icons in the footer of your website and in your email signatures, but that doesn’t help convey the value your customers will get by following you on social media. Creating challenges asking for social media followers allows you the chance to tell your customers exactly why they should WANT to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Stack those points on top of it, and watch your social following sore!
5. You want to find a way to reward loyal customers.
Providing an ongoing customer experience that is exceptional is no easy task. Are you looking for more ways to engage with your customers and show you appreciate them? It takes more than addressing customers’ support and billing needs to build meaningful relationships.
How does an advocate marketing platform help reward loyalty and build customer relationships?
The best part about advocate marketing platforms is that it provides a fun, ongoing way to engage with and reward your customers. When building your advocate marketing program, build in fun challenges that help you get to know your customer better. These little challenges will also increase the likelihood that they will complete bigger challenges like writing a product review later on.
One Central Platform For Advocate Programs
You may be thinking, “Why do I need an advocate marketing platform to do this?”
Sure, you may be able to try running a homegrown advocacy program with spreadsheets and email. However, as you invite more customers to your program, you’ll find these manual efforts are not scalable and more importantly, the customer experience is not nearly as good.
With an advocate marketing platform like VIP Crowd, all advocacy efforts are centralized in one location. This leads to more completed advocacy challenges and eliminates the risk of misplaced emails and inaccurate point calculations. Not to mention, VIP Crowd manages all the rewards – so you don’t need to worry about managing an inventory or shipping and handling.