What Is Advocacy Marketing? (With Importance And Advantages)
Updated 20 September 2022
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As a marketing professional, you may use several marketing strategies to enhance a brand's success, increase sales and improve customer relationships. One way you can do this is by encouraging advocacy among consumers to share the brand and its offerings. Learning about how to incorporate this marketing strategy into a company's plans may help them improve its trustworthiness and brand awareness. In this article, we discuss advocacy marketing, including defining it, sharing its importance, reviewing some of its advantages and listing some steps on how to implement it into a marketing plan.
What Is Advocacy Marketing?
Advocacy marketing is advertising a brand by having customers, employees and other business affiliates talk about the business and promote its products and services. You can implement this marketing technique through online posts, reviews or in-person conversations. This marketing strategy can encourage others to express their positive perspective about a brand and inspire them to recommend the products to their friends and family members. This marketing strategy allows individuals to share their viewpoints on reasons to purchase a product, so potential customers may feel more trusting of their opinions and consider purchasing the brand's products or services.
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Why Is Advocacy Marketing Important?
This marketing strategy is important because it provides businesses with an authentic way to connect with target audiences and prepares them with evidence of a high-quality product. Often, customers prefer to serve an active role in their buying decisions and seek advice from other consumers before making a purchase. They may look for reviews or posts about a product before deciding what to buy instead of reading promotional materials from the company. By using this marketing strategy, you can provide the audience with personal experiences and opinions from trusted individuals, removing perceived bias consumers may have from other marketing methods.
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What Are The Advantages?
There are many advantages to using this marketing strategy to advertise a brand's products or services, including:
Having dedicated customers: This marketing strategy encourages clients to promote a brand, which means it can generate a strong base of dedicated, loyal customers who are passionate about the product. They may appeal to other loyal customers who also develop a trusting relationship with the business.
Experiencing an increased reach: This marketing strategy has a high potential for gaining extended audiences from the combined social network of its consumers. As customers refer the brand to friends and family members, they may spread awareness of a company's products beyond its initial reach.
Having increased visibility: Successfully using this type of marketing strategy involves promoting discussion about a company and its products. As more individuals talk about a brand, they can make its products more visible and memorable to others.
Experiencing decreased marketing expenses: By convincing customers to advocate for a brand, you may spend less money on traditional advertisements and marketing campaigns. This can allow you to use the extra funds to improve the existing products and services or expand the brand's product lines to meet customer needs.
Having enhanced brand value: Getting more customers to talk positively about a brand can increase its trustworthiness and value. When a brand has a loyal client base that enjoys discussing the products, you may attract attention from investors and business partners.
Experiencing strengthened reputation: By using this marketing strategy to generate many organic positive reviews for a company, you can improve its reputation and public image. Investing in this marketing strategy can create a reputation that grows.
Having improved products: This marketing strategy emphasises positive testimonials from users and customers, so it may motivate you to improve product quality and find ways to meet consumer needs more effectively. Increasing value for consumers can encourage more individuals to advocate for the brand.
Related: A Comprehensive Guide To The Importance Of Marketing
How To Create An Effective Strategy
Here are six steps you can follow to create an effective strategy with this marketing strategy:
1. Ensure the brand offers high-quality products or services
Start by confirming that you have products and services that provide value to the consumer. Customers typically advocate for excellent products and services, so you can encourage positive feedback by providing a top-tier product compared to competitors. Analyse the quality of your merchandise and conduct focus groups to learn about what you could improve and what makes your products unique. By learning about market demand and what product features promote conversation among customers, you can enhance their experience and make it more appealing to them to advocate for your products to others.
Related: Quality Assurance Vs. Quality Control (With Differences)
2. Focus on making the brand experience memorable
Build dedicated fans by providing a memorable, enjoyable shopping experience. Customers form opinions about companies based on their interactions with the brand and purchasing experience. Create attractive product displays and ensure that employees provide an attentive and welcoming atmosphere to all visitors. Think about how you can make their experience significant by sharing free samples, engaging them in conversations or providing expert opinions.
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3. Adopt a customer-first approach
A customer-first approach means working to create a positive and favourable reputation among consumers. This can include ensuring they have pleasant experiences with the brand consistently. When creating processes and strategies for a brand, a customer-first approach allows you to keep the consumer in mind to determine which strategies and processes may serve them better. Consider creating anonymous surveys to collect feedback about the brand's products or services. You can use the feedback to make improvements and meet the consumers' needs.
Additionally, you can also do this by ensuring the brand's employees feel satisfied in their role and asking them if there are any changes or improvements the brand can make to improve their productivity.
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4. Make it easy for consumers to promote the business
It is essential to make it easy for consumers to promote the business because it encourages them to share their experiences with others. One way you can do this is by including social media sharing buttons on the brand's web pages to make it easier for customers to advocate for the brand. You may also offer consumers affiliate programmes where they can make money from the brand links they share if their followers make a purchase. This allows the consumer to earn additional income and provides more brand awareness and sales for the company.
For example, if a consumer purchased a brand's jacket and they are excited about the product's quality and the customer service they experienced, they may wish to express it. This means they may go to the company's site and share the jacket's link on their social media pages, conveying to their followers how much they enjoy it. Additionally, you may create a brand loyalty rewards programme for customers, which encourages them to shop with the brand more and raises brand loyalty. This may happen because you are offering various discounts and incentives for them.
Related: How To Promote Products Online (Tips For Product Promotion)
5. Know your active customer advocates
Knowing your active customer advocates can help you determine the brand's exact target audience. You can learn from your advocate customers what they enjoy from the brand and the types of consumers they are encouraging to the company. Additionally, when you know the active consumers advocating for the brand, you may offer them incentives as appreciation, such as discount codes or free samples.
Related: What Is A Target Market? (Definition, Importance And Tips)
6. Take advantage of trends
Taking advantage of trends is essential because it can help with maintaining production efficiency for the brand. Staying up-to-date with industry trends can help the company keep up with competitors or gain an advantage over them by employing new trends, including new tools and strategies. Trends can also help keep consumers engaged with the brand because it is staying current and in tune with their wants and needs. Here are a few ways to remain up-to-date with trends and use them to your advantage:
Complete webinars and training courses
Sign up for informative industry email lists
Study the brand's competitors
Network with industry professionals
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