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Brand Advocates: Building Your Company With Relationships


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The secret to growing a great company? Getting your customers to build your business. Learn how your brand advocates are your best marketing channel, how to identify them, and ways to build a brand advocacy program.
Essential principles of word of mouth marketing
Types of brand advocates
Benefits of advocates to not just marketing but product and culture
How to identify emerging advocates
What to do to nurture happy customers into enthusiastic promoters
Building a formal advocacy program
How to measure the ROI of advocacy

Identify the top benefits of advocates across the organization
Learn how advocates think and leverage advocacy effectively and ethically
Know how to build an advocacy program

Published in: Business

Brand Advocates: Building Your Company With Relationships

  2. 2. LEARN TO TAP INTO YOUR GREATEST SOURCE OF SALES AGENDA ‣ Learn what brand advocates are ‣ Discover ways to work with them Identifying Activating Developing • Explore formal advocacy programs • Discuss the ethics of formal advocacy 2
  3. 3. WHAT IS AN ADVOCATE? BRAND ADVOCATES Customers who sincerely, without your help, begin talking in a positive way about your brand to others. 3
  4. 4. WHAT THEY AREN’T BRAND ADVOCATES They are not paid spokespeople They aren’t “seeded” They are not friends and family Companies that only have those are in big trouble 4
  5. 5. HOW BRAND ADVOCATES GET STARTED BRAND ADVOCATES Develops Authority Experience with Brand Discusses Experience Feedback 5
  6. 6. Let’s Break it Down Brand advocates 6
  7. 7. DEVELOPS AUTHORITY BRAND ADVOCATES Blogging Face-to-face Social media Not a professional reviewer or author (Influencer) Views self as helpful, viewed as helpful 7
  8. 8. EXPERIENCE WITH BRAND BRAND ADVOCATES So positive in some way, they must speak about it: • Product solves a problem for them • Customer service But it has to be more: • Emotional alignment with brand • Perceives brand as “like me” 8
  9. 9. DISCUSSES EXPERIENCE BRAND ADVOCATES • In depth: • Blog post • Online forum • Series of tweets • The size of the audience is less important than their advocacy at this point 9
  10. 10. FEEDBACK BRAND ADVOCATES Others find helpful Encourages further advocacy Connects w/other advocates (not necessarily for your brand) Creates a name for themselves 10
  11. 11. PERSONALITY TRAITS OF AN ADVOCATE BRAND ADVOCATES Vocal & outspoken Strong integrity Pro-social and (usually) extroverted Sense of authority Expert knowledge Considers self amateur 11
  12. 12. Working with Advocates to grow your brand Brand Advocates: Building a Program
  13. 13. CREATING THE FOUNDATION: BE A SOCIAL ORGANIZATION WORKING WITH ADVOCATES Already collaborate with customers Open Have feedback mechanism Structured Communicate internally & externally Transparent
  15. 15. IDENTIFY WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Social listening • Immediate response • Friendly tone 15
  16. 16. INTEGRATE WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • This is the most complex step • The wrong approach can alienate or violate ethics 16
  17. 17. EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Have an internal advocate manager • Ideally be part of advocate community: • Dev if they’re devs, marketer if they’re marketers • Community relationship should pre- date, be independent of company relationship • Don’t have one? Hire one of your advocates 17
  18. 18. THE ADVOCACY MANAGER WORKING WITH ADVOCATES Authentic relationship Advocates feel respected Becomes voice for community within company 18
  19. 19. BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Two-way street • Seeks out feedback before you ask a favor • Get feedback on wide range of company factors: • Product • Messaging • Strategic direction 19
  20. 20. NOW, YOU CAN HAVE ADVOCATES SPEAK FOR YOU WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Offer previews • Build buzz • Verify product • Exclusives • Video, text—show what you’re doing • Honest word of mouth worth dozens of ads 20
  21. 21. BRINGING ADVOCATES IN WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Outstanding source of content • Blogging, video, Vsnaps, webinars, chats, case studies for B2B • Make it clear they are a customer • Offer support in content development 21
  22. 22. USER VOICE WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Give them the platform • Again, back to social organization: user voice is equal to company voice 22
  23. 23. WHAT YOU CANNOT DO WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Control • Be defensive • Pay • Be secretive • Be manipulative 23
  24. 24. EXPANDING ADVOCACY WORKING WITH ADVOCATES • Online communities • Social contests—can turn customers into advocates • User groups • Crowdsourced products • Open sourcing 24
  25. 25. KEY OBJECTIVES Develop concepts to use for your own advocacy program EXERCISE AGENDA 15 min 1. Looking at your own organization, what types of advocates have emerged? 2. What two steps can you take next week to reach out to them? DELIVERABLE Identify your current top types of advocates Create two strategies to leverage them with little cost in an Agile way RESOURCES Class slides Your own: Google Analytics Hubspot, Salesforce, and other data sources25