Will Customers Participate in My Advocate Marketing Program?
When speaking with marketing directors at small to mid-size B2B companies about creating a strategic advocate marketing program the number one question we hear is, “Will my customers actually participate?”
The answer: Some.
Let’s face it, not all your customers are going to be advocates. In fact, B2B companies that launch an advocate marketing program can expect about 15-25% of the customers they invite to become actively engaged advocates. While 15-25% might sound like modest engagement, it is more than enough to prove ROI of your advocate marketing efforts (as we’ll share soon in another blog article – subscribe to our blog to receive notifications).
However, there are things you can do to keep your advocates’ participation up.
6 Ways to Actively Engage Advocates
- Keep it fresh – Regularly post new challenges and activities for your advocates to complete.
The easiest way to keep your advocates engaged is to make sure you’re regularly posting new challenges for them to complete. Creating a regular stream of new challenges will keep advocates coming back to your platform.
- Share different types of challenges.
Not all your challenges should be about getting customer referrals or case studies. Mix it up with social activities, surveys, feedback, etc.
- Make sure to include fun challenges.
Similarly, make sure all your challenges aren’t self-fulfilling. It’s important to include fun challenges that help you get to know your customers better and help them get to know you better.
- Let advocates know what they’ll gain by participating in your advocacy program.
Of course advocates will earn points which can be redeemed for rewards, but make sure to communicate the less obvious benefits as well. For example, providing product feedback can help make the products they’re using even better. Sharing content on social media or presenting in a webinar will boost their thought leadership status and bring their company to the spotlight.
- Notify your advocates when new challenges are posted.
Be sure to incorporate advocate marketing into your email marketing. Don’t overload your advocates by emailing them every time you post a new challenge, but consider sending a weekly email featuring new challenges. Or, if you want to drive more activity to one challenge in particular, consider a dedicated email send.
- Use deadlines to create a sense of urgency.
Deadlines work. Whether you’re looking to gather survey responses or product feedback, set a deadline and communicate it to encourage advocates to participate right away.
How VIP Crowd Helps Keep Advocates Active
In small to mid-size companies, it’s rare to have one person whose sole job is managing your advocacy marketing efforts. This is why we, VIP Crowd, also help our clients by keeping their customers engaged.
- We ensure there are fun challenges available for advocates to complete every week.
In addition to your challenges, customers will also see challenges posted by VIP Crowd. We post new challenges every week to ensure there are new activities available to your customers. We keep our challenges light-hearted and fun as a way to keep them coming back to the platform.
- We offer everyone a free vendor management tool.
Another way we drive your customers to the VIP Crowd platform is by offering a free vendor management tool. This tool allows your customers to manage all their vendors in one place (whether the vendors are posting challenges on VIP Crowd or not). Customers can save contact information, notes, and documents in one place. When customers log in to add notes to a vendor or look up contact information, your challenges are the first thing they see – reminding them to take a look for new challenges to complete.
- VIP Crowd can be accessed via web browser or mobile app.
Your customers can easily access VIP Crowd and complete challenges on their computer or via our free mobile app. This makes it easy for your customers to flip through challenges when and where it makes the most sense for them.
Does your company have an advocate marketing program? How do you keep your advocates engaged?