How To Really Transform Loyal Customers Into Brand Advocates

Motivating brand advocates is as simple--or as complex--as knowing what they need. Here are five tips for motivating consumers to to help you out.

It takes a lot to motivate people to do something for your brand that, to be honest, they don’t really have to do.

If consumers like your brand, they probably feel as though your brand fills a need they have, and they have developed an affinity for what your brand gives them. Here's how to motivate these people who already love your brand to help you out and become advocates to other people.

1. Give them a reason to feel grateful for you in the first place.

Provide a solid product or service that you believe in--one that answers consumers’ demand for something they need to make life easier, more fun, prettier, more exciting, etc.

Put a face on your brand that conveys the degree to which you are willing to make consumers happy or satisfied. Show them that your company will eliminate some kind of pain or challenge they have in their lives. For many established brands, you’re still around because you’ve already done this stuff well.

2. Help them through the buying process.

Make it easy for your consumers and brand advocates to buy things from you. The more we know about our brand advocates, the more your sales teams can effectively answer their needs without wasting their time or yours.

Do your consumers like to buy your products online? Do they need the help of your call center agents? Would they rather connect with you offline or in your retail location? Know where to be when they are ready to buy from you and make it clear that you want to make that process simple and even fun.

3. Don’t assume your brand advocates are going to stick by your brand with bland messages from your marketing department.

Today, people become brand advocates because words can travel fast and be shared with staggering numbers of people. Consumers buy something and within moments, can tell the world what they think of it. Develop a brand advocacy program that allows consumers to talk to your brand advocates about you. This requires some planning and systems you must put in place to make that happen.

Brand advocates who have already identified themselves by referring a friend, or writing a testimonial about your products or services? Give them the tools they need to talk to your prospects and answer these prospects’ questions. These days, if you’re not motivating your brand advocates to talk to your prospects honestly and openly, you’re not viewed as transparent.

4. Say thank you.

You can have a top-notch brand advocacy program that is generating sales and getting consumers to share your content and offers but your program is going to have a brief life unless you’ve got a way to thank your brand advocates for what they’re doing for you.

Thank your advocates every time you ask them to help you out and they do. And if you’re a big brand? Don’t try to say thank you on your own – put the technology in place to track and manage every brand advocate’s activity on your behalf so the moment they do something for you, you can say thank you and, if you are really appreciative, reward them for their help.

5. Listen.

Listening ties into saying thanks. As your brand advocacy grows make sure you’re getting insightful data from everything your brand advocates do, and you’re listening to it.

Here’s an example: at our company, many of our enterprise clients have brand advocates who will help you out by referring more than one friend to you who will become your customer. But, if we didn’t analyze our client’s data and figure out that sometimes it takes the current brand advocate several months to make that subsequent referral, we would not have figured out that this brand needed to communicate with their advocates more than once every couple of months to ask them to refer.

Once we listened to what our client’s brand advocates were telling them, we were able to significantly boost their program performance and keep those brand advocates engaged and loyal to the brand. It was win-win.

You must know your brand advocates and what motivates them--even if your brand advocates are mostly similar or vastly different. Once you tune into their actions and motivations, you not only create more loyal and productive advocates, you can create a more esteemed and successful brand.

--Theresa Trevor is a Marketing Director at Amplifinity.

[Image: Flickr user Library and Archives]

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