One of the most important things a brand can do for its marketing is to invest in advocacy level campaigns and sequences.
Creating brand advocates that repeatedly buy, share, and refer is key for long-term success.
Advocacy level campaigns continually add value to your customers and give them opportunities to share.
In total, we have 7 different types of value-building messaging, emails, and content: Product Resources, Reviews, Community, Quiz/Segmentation, Lifecycle, Advocacy, and VIPs.
Every time someone makes a purchase, it’s a great opportunity to provide them with value. Let’s say a brand has created a useful but complex gadget.
When someone buys the gadget, their opinion of the product depends entirely on the value THEY get from it.
The gadget could be amazing. Literally perfect for this person. But if they don’t know how to use it to have that experience, it will not provide any value.
What if this brand sent a series of informative emails about how to get the most out of the gadget.
Then the customer can use that knowledge to get more value from the product, vastly increasing their satisfaction, which is good because the next step is reviews.
Reviews are a vital part of any marketing strategy, especially when talking about advocacy.
Good reviews motivate customers, make you easier to be found, and increase both trust and affinity.
In the example of the gadget, that brand is now much more likely to get great reviews. Not just about the product being great, but the whole experience.
That would be an incredible review.
But, most brands don’t do this next step.
You need to ask for a review.
Some customers will go out of their way to give you a great review because they love the product/service/experience so much.
But most of the time, customers need just a little push.
You can also sweeten the deal a little and provide a reward for shares or referrals. The easier you make that process, the better; it’s easy for people to just… not do it.
Creating a community is so important for a brand. Not every brand NEEDS a community to do well, but a brand with a community is guaranteed to be doing well.
Forcing a community doesn’t work because it won’t reflect what your customers actually want. Instead, it’s what you want them to want.
When they make it, it’s going to continually attract more and more people to it.
What you need to do is empower them so they can create a community. Shareable pieces of content are a classic way to build a community because it allows people to show they’re excited about your brand, which makes it easier for others to follow suit.
Quizzes and other segmentation tools are the perfect blend of engaging and informative. Engaging, so customers want to fill them out. And provides valuable information we can use to give our customers a more personalized experience.
Most brands have a variety of customers buying different products and services or with different reasons for buying.
When a brand knows what each customer wants, and why, and then provides them with specific information and content related to those wants, they’re on the right track to creating brand advocates.
There are a lot of ways to do a lifecycle sequence.
For a brand selling vitamins, it makes sense to have a time-based reminder. After someone purchases vitamins that last 30 days, on day 28, send an email reminding them to check if they’re low. If they are low on stock, you basically have a sale.
That’s not the only way to do a lifecycle sequence. Complementary products and recommendations can not only lead to a sale, but they can also lead to a very happy customer.
Which products or services warrant other recommendations depends on a few factors.
If someone bought a tent, for example, recommending a travel bag (that fits the tent perfectly) makes sense.
Recommending a sleeping bag can make sense.
Recommending an expensive pair of rock climbing shoes is stretching it.
A bookstore had sent out a message that shows perfectly how not every recommendation makes sense.
It was a tweet that basically said, “think about your favorite book! Go buy a copy!”
The problem is that most people already own a copy of their favorite book. If it was a new way to read it, that could work, but just because two things are similar doesn’t mean connecting them via recommendations makes sense.
When a brand sends poor or misguided recommendations, it makes customers feel like the brand doesn’t care or know them.
While the whole campaign builds into an increase in advocacy, this is where we see it in action.
It may feel weird at first, but it’s imperative that brands ask for advocacy.
Don’t worry; as long as you’re providing value to your customers, they will enjoy hearing from you. This isn’t being a pushy salesperson.
If a brand creates a piece of valuable content, they should send it to its current customers and ask them to share it with others.
Brands can also motivate their customers by adding coupons or other incentives based on shares and referrals, but doing this too much can be seen as an affiliate thing, which can alienate some customers.
Making a VIP special is easy when you know them well, their needs, and what they value.
Coupons and discounts are great ways to show them they’re special, but even just giving VIP customers early access to a product or service can show you care.
Brands can really invest in these relationships as they often continually produce more and more value the longer they remain a customer.
An advocacy sequence like this, done right, is a massive step any brand can take in growing its customer base.
If you want to make this for your brand, check out our free Customer Journey Approach masterclass. In it, we go over everything a brand needs to do to create a simple, effective, customer-centric marketing strategy.