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10 Effective Ways to Create Better Brand Advocacy
When you think of companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple what is the first thing that comes to mind? Innovative! Great corporate culture! The one thing all of these brands have in common is exceptional brand advocacy. They have made special connections with their customers and have created a sustainable culture of brand loyalty. Of course, their products and services played a significant role in creating such efficient word of mouth marketing. These brands honor their customers by doing one thing really well, LISTENING.
Brand advocates can be your greatest ally when trying to grow your business. There simply is no better substitute for building a sustainable brand loyalty. Here are 10 ways to create better brand advocacy for your business right now!
1. Innovative (Product and Services)
“Innovation is about making things better” exclaimed Carl Bass CEO of Autodesk at TEDx Berkeley 2012. There is a lot of validity to his point. Your product or service has to add value to your consumer’s lives. If your brand is following trends based on popularity you can get lost in crowd. Forward-thinking is generally rewarded and often-times the genesis of creating the next big trend. Apple’s iPod changed an entire industry back in 2001. The way we consume and purchase music evolved exponentially because Apple’s inclination to innovate. Create a product or service that other brands want to follow and consumers want to talk about.
2. Building a Relationship
Build a natural organic relationship with your consumers/clients. Let your product or service do most of the talking. You don’t have to constantly remind them of what a great product you have. Instead, focus on fostering the relationship in an authentic way. Be open to hear their suggestions. Create an open door policy allowing them to directly voice their opinion and thoughts about your brand, whether good or bad. Give your consumers a voice and they will reward you with loyalty.
3. Customer Service
Customer service is about the little details and building an emotional connection with your consumers. One of the most important aspects of customer service is fostering successful relationships. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling a product or service; how you treat your customer/clients will determine how successful your business will be moving forward. Providing an excellent customer service experience leads to higher retention, more repeat business, and word of mouth marketing. You need to be accessible and cater to customers while remaining on target relative to your brand image. Providing your customers with constant support and showcasing a general concern for their issues is a key component when attempting to build more brand advocacy.
4. Building Trust
If there is no trust, there is no way to achieve sustainable success. For starters your product or service must be reliable. As a consumer your expectations play a huge role when deciding to make a purchase a product, or use a service. It’s all about establishing consistency in your marketplace and being dedicated to delivering top tier results. The track record of your brand is a huge factor when it comes to establishing consumer confidence. A confident consumer will no longer be weary or ask questions about your products or services, and eventually use them with no forethought. Brand advocacy will not take place without establishing and sustaining brand trust.
5. Social Media Engagement
Social media is a great tool for building relationships with your consumer base. It is a 24-hour a day communication link that allows brands to have meaningful interaction with their consumer base. Choosing which platforms to participate on will be entirely based on your specific brand agenda, and where you can have the most engagement with your consumers. The key is to be honest, open, and accessible. Don’t hide when less than favorable comments are made public. If you ignore the bad and only embrace the good your reputation will certainly pay for it. Constant participation in social media can also lead to quantifiable analysis data that can help increase your business over time. The two main ingredients to maintaining and sustaining healthy social media relationships are AUTHENTICITY and PARTICIPATION!
Your consumers should know what you’re all about. They should have a firm grasp of your agenda and what you stand for. This is probably one of the most over-looked components when attempting to build that trust with your consumer base. As discussed earlier trust is a huge factor of brand advocacy. People want to know your true intentions are; being upfront and forthcoming with information and not hiding anything can seriously strengthen your customer relations. Consumers don’t want to play the game of angles, and try to figure out what you are really selling them. More times than not if they become skeptical of your actions it will lead to loss of business. Putting all your cards on the table is an act of good faith, and it establishes sustainable trust with consumers.
7. Creative Marketing
“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” – Edward de Bono
Be unique! How you market and promote your products or services speaks volumes about your brand. Creating an immersive and engaging consumer experience will command higher margins, drive traffic and create favorable brand perception. Be original and think outside of the box with your marketing campaigns. Produce content that consumers will develop an emotional attachment to; produce content that encourages participation, regardless of where they are located or where you do video marketing or marketing in general. Don’t just sell a product or service; instead create a lasting experience that inspires.
8. Branding Analytics
Keeping track of your brand perception is absolutely essential. The numbers will always tell the true story. Are you reaching your target base? Are they receptive to the content you are producing? Are you considered an influencer within your industry? All of these questions will be answered by your performance metrics. Analytics provide the best insight on how to reach and engage your audience. It also aids your business performance in reference to increasing traffic, lead generation and conversions. All of those components are key factors of success within any industry. Ignoring this step is counterproductive to creating sustainable brand advocacy.
Be the go to authority within your industry. When you exhibit expert level knowledge of a subject relatable to your audience it builds trust. There are 6 components of influence:
• Commitment and Consistency
• Social Proof
Becoming an influencer isn’t just about being a skillful communicator amongst your peers, or being an industry authority. It’s also about understanding people’s motivations, and the psychology of how we interact with each other. Effective influencing focuses on providing real solutions that improve your clients/customer’s needs. It’s a key component of strengthening the relationships you have while accomplishing your intended branding goals.
Your brand content deployments should be easy to find and punctually consistent. Provide your audience with new content and opportunities to promote your brand as often as possible. This will regulate their engagement and give them consistent opportunities to advocate your brand. If your content scheduling is erratic you can expect minimal ROI for the efforts your brand is putting forward. Keeping your audience constantly engaged is a vital component of creating advocacy.
What would you add to this list? Do you agree or disagree with the tips mentioned in this post? Let us know what you think. Find us on Google+, Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. The conversation doesn’t stop here! Let’s talk about…