Advocate Marketing 101: How to Turn Customers into Die-Hard Fans

January 19, 2015 Emilie Hamel

Advocate Marketing

Companies today are starting to realize just how important it is to leverage the advocates who are willing to rally behind their brand.

Peer endorsements hold a lot of sway with 97% of B2B buyers trusting peer reviews and user-generated content and 90% of consumers valuing recommendations from peers.

But building a community of advocates takes some time, and before getting started there are some important questions to answer. Customer Success Specialist Adam Gerard from Influitive, an advocate marketing platform that we use here at Uberflip, tells us that there are 5 key elements we should keep in mind when building a community of advocates:

1. Who are your advocates?

“It’s vital to understand exactly who you are bringing into this community,” says Adam. “You need to know WHO they are, what they do on a daily basis at their job, what they find motivating, what are their goals, etc. The more information you can find out, the more you’ll know how to keep them engaged, the better the community will be.”

2. What goals are you trying to achieve?

“Figuring out what you are trying to achieve is key. Are you looking for better engagement? Do you want more reviews posted about your product? The more specific you can get in answering the questions the better your advocates will be engaged and the more likely you are to achieve these goals whether it’s more online reviews, case studies or online presence.”

3. Who on your team should be involved?

“While it may seem obvious that Marketing should be involved in your Marketing Advocacy strategy, think further. In order for the platform to be successful, you’ll need to involve everyone who interacts with your customers.”

4. How are you going to keep your advocates engaged?

“Most importantly, an advocate program is put in place to be fun for your customers. It’s a great way to show how creative and fun your company is. Influitive explains the “best advocate community will have a good mixture of “asks”, “education” and “fun” to ensure the value is bidirectional, keeping everyone engaged over a long period of time.”

“Uberflip A-List” Advocate Marketing Program

Here at Uberflip, our customers are some of our greatest advocates. After all, who else is more qualified to share stories or feedback about our product than the people who use it every day?

Shedding some light on our customers is important to us and we want to give them a safe place where they can communicate with one another, ask questions, and more importantly have some fun.

That’s why we decided to turn to advocate marketing and build our A-List community.

While an advocate program is easy to set up, maintaining a long-term and scalable advocate marketing program is difficult. Tools like Influitive help companies easily organize a community of advocates with exciting ways to offer value and recognition back to advocates. Just as important, advocates can choose how they want to advocate for Uberflip and when they want to advocate.

Here are some examples of our most popular challenges:

Advocate Marketing

The advocates can decide which one they want to complete based on the challenge itself but also based on the number of points each challenge brings. We’ve listed some great prizes that advocates can redeem ranging from Starbucks gift cards to free passes to marketing conferences.

So far, in the few months we’ve been running our “Uberflip A-List” advocate program, we’ve managed to build a community where our customers ask each other questions and share Uberflip best practices. We’ve also seen great engagement around our challenges as well.

Advocate marketing is definitely a tactic worth exploring if you’re interested in creating deeper engagement between customers and your brand, and rewarding your fans for their loyalty.

Learn more about creating a community of advocates. Watch our webinar, "Beyond Customers: Creating Advocates for Your Content Marketing."

About the Author

Emilie Hamel

Emilie is a Customer Success Specialist at Uberflip. Before joining the Uberflip team, she worked at an experiential staffing agency, helping brands provide tailored customer experiences.

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