There are no better advocates for your brand than your customers.
The fans who love your brand the most are always gushing about your products to their friends in person and to their digital followers online.
Messages from customers have the power to greatly influence.
Why? Because messages from brand advocates hold weight: they're genuine and people trust them.
Below are the 6 essential tips to create a stellar and sustainable brand advocacy program--and detail why setting up a formal program like this is so important to your garden brand's reputation.
What is a Brand Advocacy Program?
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In essence, a brand advocacy program takes the message out of the hands of the company and puts it directly into the palms of the consumers.
Companies with brand advocacy programs don't fear social media. They embrace it because there, they can engage their consumers and generate multiple promotional channels by speaking about the garden brand on their own personal pages.
Brand advocates are testimonials amplified. Because these advocates will share their success stories, of course, but they'll also help your garden business refine and continually improve your customer service, product, and branding messages.
Is It Really Worth the Risk?
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Yes. Yes. And, Yes. First of all, only 20% of marketers implement brand advocacy programs, so you'll be an innovator.
Also, brand advocacy programs help your customers not just walk up this pyramid, but literally run full-speed! Because can you really have too many long-term customers who love talking about your product? We think not.
Need a bit more persuading? We'll let the numbers speak for themselves!
2011 46% of US executives said that an increase in brand advocates was one of the most important benefits of social media.
Marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than 2X the sales of paid advertising
Customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate.
Brand advocates spend 2x more than average customers on favorite brands.
Brand advocates are 50% more likely to influence a purchase.
Without further ado, here are the top six steps to take to get customers talking about your garden brand.
1. Goal of Brand Advocacy
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As you may have guessed, in order for any new program to truly be effective, you need to identify the goal long before you start.
With brand advocacy programs, brands are typically looking for one of two things: short-term buzz or a lifetime of love.
2. The Right People on your Side
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Building your network is without a doubt one of the most important pieces of setting up a brand advocacy program. Because, this is truly the foundation for your whole program.
To begin, start with your current every present names on your social pages--meaning the individuals who like everything you post-- as well as your loyal customers in your database. Start here and work outward. Think about developing a recruiting and screening process for brand advocates too.
3. Keep Brand Advocates Interested & Forever In Love
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You need to keep your content and engagement with your brand advocates fresh and interesting.
We like to think of it as surprise and delight. Send them a sample of a product they already love, write handwritten thank you notes, and always release new products and brand messages to them first to get genuine feedback.
Basically, you've got to show your brand advocates that you value what they do for you,and you're dedicated to keeping this relationship alive and fruitful.
4. Feed Your Feedback
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Asking for feedback is awesome! But, if you don't actually implement or respond with a reason for not implementing a suggestion, your brand will become resented.
Giving feedback to a brand is putting yourself on the line. So, be sure to show that you're not only asking the questions, but you're listening and acting on what you've heard.
5. Fans First
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If your brand advocacy program is generating lots of stellar content from Instagram pics to blog posts, be sure you keep spreading the love!
Have a customer Instagram feed on your garden business's homepage, change your Facebook cover photo to one a customer submitted, or repost all brand advocate content like blogs, reviews, or social shares on your website.
Your brand advocates are the ones on the ground talking about your products, so make sure they know just how much you appreciate them by broadcasting their content to the rest of your network.
6. Make Sure it Works
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Measure the impact of your brand's advocacy program by tracking those analytics!
Implement these brand advocacy tips, and before you know it, your garden brand will be the talk of the town--and the web!
Learn Other Tips to Launch a Product People Will Love by Downloading our e-Book below!
Costa Farm's O2 for You image courtesy of Garden Grunt. All reserach and info on brand advocate programs is thanks to Ekaterina Walter.