People talk about the brands they love on a daily basis. Think about it – when was the last time you told a friend about new clothes? Or a great hotel you stayed in? Or your favorite brand of biscuits? The great thing about brand advocacy is that it enables the people who are having such conversations about your brand to do so on a larger scale. Here are some of the main benefits.
Going beyond Brand Content
Brand advocacy can take different forms. For example, in some cases it involves customers sharing company content and explaining how it relates to their experience of the brand. In others, it involves them posting their own photos and/or video testimonials and tagging the brand. This mixture is key; although user-generated content can’t replace branded content, audiences are far more likely to engage with a company that doesn’t just promote its own content, but also involves customers in brand communication.
Making Greater Use of Visual Content
If there’s one thing all recent reports indicate, it’s that the most engaging social media content is visual. And if there’s one thing the vast majority of social media users do, it’s sharing their own photos. This is another reason why brand advocacy is so effective; beyond widening the scope of the content you share, it enables you to focus on user-generated content, which is often visual and therefore has a high engagement potential. What’s more, inviting current customers to share their own photos enables new audiences to obtain insights into your products in everyday use.
Getting Up Close and Personal
People trust other people much more than sponsored ads. So from the endorsement of company content to the promotion of user-generated content, brand advocacy strengthens your online presence by allowing you to communicate through people who already know your company. The best way to attract new customers is to engage existing ones. That way, online audiences can put themselves in the shoes of the latter and really get a feel for your brand, products and services.
Driving Community Engagement
One of the defining features of social media is the fact that users enjoy getting involved with trending topics and campaigns. This is something you can really leverage through brand advocacy. Social media users love the feeling of involvement, meaning that when you launch hashtags, photo competitions and rewards such as discounts and freebies, customers have an extra incentive for engaging. So not only does brand advocacy allow you to drive visibility among prospects, it also enables you to create fun and innovative ways of engaging with existing customers.
Online consumers value user recommendations above all else, which is why engaging customers in brand communication is an incredibly powerful way of attracting new clients. In no way is brand advocacy meant (or able) to replace your existing social media activity. However, the genuine insights that come of engaging customers adds a personal dimension of communication that online ads and brand accounts alone simply can’t achieve.