21, Jan 2024


Unlocking the Power of Brand Advocacy

What is Brand Advocacy?

Brand advocacy refers to the actions of individuals who are passionate about your brand and actively promote your products and services to potential customers. By harnessing the support of brand advocates, companies can achieve greater visibility, build stronger brand awareness, increase revenue, and reduce costs associated with traditional marketing campaigns. In short, brand advocacy is a win-win for all parties involved. ### Who Can Be a Brand Advocate?

There are four main groups of brand advocates:

1. Employees:

Employees possess firsthand knowledge of your products and services, making them excellent brand advocates. They can effectively reach a wider audience, especially within large organizations.

2. Business Partners:

Strong partnerships and affiliate programs can help connect organizations with new customers.

3. Influencers:

Many organizations enlist influencers with a significant online following to increase visibility and drive sales.

4. Customers:

Customer advocacy is a powerful marketing tactic, as prospects often rely on existing customer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. While it may be challenging to have all these groups as brand advocates, employees are considered the most valuable when it comes to both employer and corporate branding. By implementing a straightforward employee advocacy program, businesses can reap significant benefits.

Challenges in Brand Advocacy

Despite the recognized advantages of brand advocacy programs, many organizations struggle with implementation. Common hurdles include difficulty motivating employees, lack of buy-in from leadership, inadequate technology, and challenges in measuring program success.

Building a Successful Brand Advocacy Program

Research from LinkedIn indicates that employees tend to have 10 times more followers than the company itself. Moreover, while only 2% of employees regularly share their company's social posts, they generate 20% of overall engagement. This underscores the importance of encouraging employees and stakeholders to participate in brand advocacy programs. To achieve the best results, organizations must establish effective brand advocacy strategies. Here's how:

1. Explain the Benefits:

Effective internal communication is crucial in gaining buy-in for brand advocacy programs. Marketers must articulate the benefits of brand advocacy in strengthening employee brands and benefiting the organization as a whole, fostering trust and a sense of purpose.

2. Define Policies and Provide Training:

Clear advocacy training and guidelines ensure that everyone understands the program's objectives, policies, and expectations. Short training sessions and internal marketing campaigns can align employees and stakeholders.

3. Define Goals, Objectives, and Policies:

Each advocacy initiative should have clear goals and objectives based on the department launching the program, such as increasing LinkedIn followers, boosting website traffic or social media engagement, and attracting qualified job applicants.

4. Create Engaging Internal Content:

Captivating content is essential for driving employee engagement in brand advocacy programs. Departments should develop diverse content strategies, utilizing various formats such as photos, infographics, videos, webinars, and podcasts to pique employees' interest and encourage them to share.

5. Target the Right Audiences:

Tailor your content to different employee groups, including those in different departments, job roles, contractors, or external partners. Segmentation ensures relevant content delivery, driving continuous engagement and scalability.

6. Facilitate Content Sharing:

A successful brand advocacy program should make it effortless for employees and partners to share internal content externally. Streamlined sharing capabilities on social networks, relevant groups, and forums enhance engagement and convenience.

7. Recognize and Reward Advocates:

Spotting and rewarding top advocates motivates participation in brand advocacy programs. Recognizing desired behaviors and actions helps establish advocacy as a core value. However, many companies lack the means to identify their most influential advocates and measure engagement impact. Structured recognition programs are essential.

8. Continuously Optimize:

Regularly measure what works and what needs improvement in your brand advocacy efforts. Identifying your most effective advocates, understanding the content that resonates with target audiences, and identifying active social networks will facilitate positive changes and maximize return on investment.

The Benefits of Brand Advocacy

Brand advocacy offers numerous benefits across different departments within an organization. Word-of-mouth promotion from employees can enhance brand awareness, generate new sales leads, attract job candidates, and strengthen employee brands. Brand advocacy provides a cost-effective strategy to create excitement and interest around your offerings, without extensive marketing expenses. By encouraging and empowering your team to become brand advocates, you can unlock the true potential of your company's growth.

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