The Power of Brand Advocacy: How to Measure and Amplify its Impact
Brand advocacy often generates far more brand credibility and authenticity than you would get from a traditional marketing campaign. An effective brand advocate can raise brand awareness, increase consumer trust, and help you convert more customers.
Let’s explore what brand advocacy is and how you can measure the impact of your brand advocacy programs.
What Is Brand Advocacy?
Brand advocacy is a popular marketing strategy that companies and individuals use to target, convince, and convert prospective customers. A brand advocate, also known as a brand ambassador, supports your business through positive word of mouth. This might be in the form of reviews, recommendations, or the sharing of unique content that endorses your brand.
But wait. Isn’t that what an influencer does? What’s the difference between influencer marketing vs. brand ambassadors?
Brand advocacy is similar to influencer marketing to the extent that someone is publicly endorsing and promoting your brand. However, with influencer marketing, you pay someone to share a campaign that promotes your brand, either in the form of a negotiated fee or in exchange for free products or commissions. A brand ambassador, in contrast, is someone who supports your company’s growth because they have first-hand experience with your brand, and they believe in it.
A brand advocate might be one of your customers, a member of your workforce, or a business partner. Because they are a stakeholder in your business in one form or another, they have inside knowledge and first-hand experience. This makes their support far more authentic and believable.
Influencers can also act as brand advocates, provided you have developed a long-term relationship with them, and they have a genuine understanding of your brand and the products or services that you offer.
How To Measure the Impact of Your Brand Advocacy Programs
As with all forms of marketing, it’s important to monitor the progress of your efforts.
Here are a couple of ways that you can measure the impact of your brand advocacy programs.
Measure Your Social Media Engagement Metrics
The best way to see how your brand advocacy program is impacting your marketing efforts is to measure your social media engagement metrics. This will help you determine how much of a buzz your advocates are generating around your brand.
Is your content being shared more? Are people commenting on posts or liking your brand pages? What are people saying about you?
It’s also important to make sure that the influencers who endorse your brand have the right profile. Do their interests align with your brand? Is their audience likely to be interested in what they say about you? This is important because the more an advocate’s followers align with your brand, the more impact their endorsement will have.
A good way to check this is by using Influencity’s influencer marketing platform to search for suitable candidates for your brand advocacy program. For example, you can use the healthy lifestyle interest filter on the platform to search for influencers who are targeting this particular market niche. Or you can use different tools to calculate brand affinity to make sure an influencer hasn’t previously liked or promoted brands that might contradict your own brand’s key message.
With the right demographics and interests, you should be able to generate enough engagement to boost your sales and conversions.
Monitor Customer Feedback
It’s also important to monitor customer reviews and feedback to find out what your customers think of you and how your brand advocacy program is impacting the customer experience.
The best way to do this is to conduct an audit of all the feedback you’ve received so far. What feedback has your customer service team collected? Are there any new reviews on your social media pages? Are reviews positive or negative? Has anything changed since launching your brand advocacy program?
It’s also important to be proactive here. Ask your customers to share a review or testimonial once they’ve made a purchase. Share surveys to collect valuable feedback. You can then use this feedback to identify what people like about your brand and what areas of your business you need to improve. You can also calculate how much of an impact your brand advocacy program has had on customer satisfaction and whether your advocates are helping you build a database of loyal customers.
Tips For Enhancing Your Brand Advocacy Program
Here are a few tips to help you amplify the positive effects of your brand advocacy program:
- Identify people with a strong affinity to your brand and invite them to join your brand advocacy program. Review sites can be a great place to start with this.
- Leverage social media to improve the customer journey, increase customer satisfaction, and boost loyalty.
- Transmit your brand’s values, identity, and culture in all communications. For example, you could share employee spotlights on social media to help customers get to know the human side of your brand and build consumer trust.
- Highlight customer success stories. If a customer leaves you a positive testimonial on a review site, ask them if you can share it on social media or add it to your website.
- Ask your customers for suggestions for your targeted marketing campaigns. This will help them feel valued and heard. It will also make it easier to create content that resonates with your audience so that you can expand the reach of your brand advocacy program. To the same effect, when a customer comments or mentions you online, respond as soon as possible.
- Don’t forget that every customer is a potential advocate. Make sure you connect with them on a personal level and offer them a positive customer journey.
- Develop initiatives that show your workforce that you value and appreciate them. Your employees can be some of your best advocates so make sure you don't neglect them.
- Use an influencer relationship management tool to develop your brand advocacy partnerships.
Above all, don’t forget that brand advocacy is a long-term strategy. It takes time to develop loyal ambassadors. Focus on improving your customer and employee experiences and your brand advocacy program will build on itself.