Today, there is a multitude of channels for marketing professionals to promote their product or service; the promotion can quickly become white noise. Prospects are bombarded with so many marketing emails, social media messages, and video marketing campaigns that it can be tough to cut through the noise. Even more worrisome is that in recent years, customers’ distrust of advertising has become commonplace. Now, customers look for “social proof,” or customers advocating for your brand. With this rising trend, we have seven tips for building customer advocates to become your brand’s champion.
1. Strive for continuous improvement
Even if you acquire customer advocates, it’s not going to make up for a product that’s not being refined over time. Conducting surveys are a great way to gather customer feedback to continuously improve your product. These surveys will help ensure that as your customer base grows, so does your product’s quality.
2. Respond to customer feedback
There is an unprecedented level of opportunity for businesses to gather customer feedback. Many organizations leave the opportunity for feedback on their websites, social media pages and 3rd-party sites. No matter the input, it is imperative for marketing professionals to engage with their community. However, you should still use real-time media monitoring tools to optimize your response time to feedback.
3. Focus on listening
It’s often tough to find customer advocates. Ideally, all of your feedback would be in one place. But as we know, there are multiple channels for customers to give feedback. For example, customers might review you on your social media channels. This is where social listening comes in handy. By creating automated alerts whenever a customer mentions your product in a comment, you are ready to take action.
4. Establish a personal relationship
Authenticity is vital when you’re establishing a personal relationship with your customers. For example, when you respond to a review on social media or a 3rd-party site, using your name goes a long way. By responding to their review or questions about your product or service promptly, you can also create opportunities for a website testimonial, a video interview about your product or a case study.
5. Offer incentives
Offering incentives is a great way to create customer advocacy. Beyond formal recognition, most customers want tangible benefits for brand loyalty. This includes anything from a referral program to discounts for being a recurring customer.
6. Encourage user-generated content
User-generated content such as videos posted to your company’s social media pages increase and maintain user activity on your page. Providing a CTA in your post for a user-generated video competition or just encouraging your community to engage with your videos is an effective way to keep the conversation going and keep your page robust with content.
7. Build a community
By taking the above steps, you should keep in mind the ultimate goal: to build a strong, continually increasing customer base. As your base expands, consider creating forums on your company website, where customers can freely exchange useful tips, experiences, and ideas which will help you improve your service.