4 Reasons Why Brands Need Customer Advocacy
I recently went through the ordeal of finding a new dentist. I absolutely HATE the dentist, but I understand it’s a necessary evil. Between my phobia of drills and dozens upon dozens of dentists in San Francisco, figuring out where to even start left my head spinning and my teeth aching. After researching online and checking out reviews, I narrowed it down to a few highly rated options. Next step, I asked around the office. My colleague Caitlin shared a raving review about her dentist. In fact, she LOVED her dentist. Her dentist actually made her enjoy her visits. WHAT? I was sold and immediately called to book an appointment with her dentist.
I trusted Caitlin’s opinion and the confirmation of online reviews, and they all ultimately influenced my decision. As a raving fan of her dentist, Caitlin is what we as marketers would call a customer advocate. Although this is a B2C example, it demonstrates the power of customer advocacy and the same principles can easily apply to B2B marketing. When you focus on engaging with and recognizing your existing customer advocate base, you’ll generate more revenue and develop powerful content that can be used to generate new leads and close deals. Not convinced? I’ve outlined four reasons why you need to start leveraging your customer advocates today:
They sell for you and buy more product and services.
Happy customers are more likely to refer you to their peers for new business and deals that are referred by a trusted peer are more likely to sign up with your services. And they sign up FASTER. Have a suite of products? Guess what, happy advocates are more likely to buy more and buy often. Trouble closing a deal? Bring in your advocate to have a quick chat with the prospect to seal the deal. Advocates can be your most successful closers (but don’t tell your sales team that!).
They’ll gladly trial your new release.
Your customer advocates are the first to raise their hands to try out beta releases and provide feedback on new concepts. They are eager to learn more about what they can expect to come down the line from you, believe in your brand, and want to see you succeed. Providing feedback that guides new product and innovations makes your advocates feel special and important too, which reinforces their loyalty to your brand.
They’re a major asset to your content engine.
Too much content a problem for you? I didn’t think so. Your customer advocates keep your content engine humming with great user generated photos, social posts, and quotes. Storytelling makes for powerful content, and who better to share your story than the people who know, love, and use your product every day? Consider capturing their stories in more branded, formal formats such as a video testimonial, case study, blog post, or joint-webinar that you can then incorporate into your demand generation campaigns. By consistently engaging with your advocates, you can create a steady pipeline of content that sets your marketing calendar up for success for the year!
They give you street cred.
You can talk about how awesome your company is until you’re blue in the face, but the majority of today’s modern buyers don’t want anything to do with you until they’ve done their own research. This means they’re asking their peers and consulting online review sites like G2Crowd and TrustRadius before contacting your sales team. Having strong, positive reviews from happy customers helps influence prospective buyers’ opinions about you and ultimately boosts your brand credibility.
Customer advocacy programs are not a new concept, but the modern marketer now has an entirely new arsenal of marketing technologies to help find their happiest advocates and reward them while also aggregating and amplifying the content that their customers create. Successful marketers know that customer loyalty, and in turn, advocacy, is key to getting their brand in the spotlight. Want to see this in action? Take a look at how we’ve done it on our customer testimonials page and share your customer advocacy tips in the comments below.