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Engaging Stakeholders as Brand Advocates
What is a brand advocate? Simply put, brand advocates are people who love your organization and help promote it to help expand your network and increase brand awareness. Your organization is doing great work and engaging your stakeholders with marketing and communication activities ensures that great work is noticed. Your stakeholders are a powerful asset to amplify your organization’s voice, share your Unique Selling Proposition, and expand the reach of your marketing campaigns. Thinking of these key groups as brand advocates is a simple and effective strategy to incorporate. Let’s get started!
1. Identify your brand advocates.
2. Educate and inform.
Audit your communication channels to ensure all information is consistently and clearly representing your brand to ensure that when people share your story, it is correct.
Pro tip: Create a video to communicate your mission. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in video compared to 10% when reading it in text.
Share information on upcoming marketing and outreach initiatives with internal brand advocates for review before they launch. People will be more engaged and likely to share if they are informed and prepared.
Pro tip: A platform like Slack can be a great way to manage internal communications and share information across different teams.
3. Make it easy.
Make content easily shareable so that your brand advocates can share with their networks.
Pro tip: Gamification is a fun and effective way to increase engagement. And who does not love a little friendly competition?
Have a big campaign or fundraiser approaching? Make sure to create and provide marketing assets like social media graphics, PDF fact sheets, and email copy to equip your stakeholders with the tools to be brand advocates.
Pro tip: Organize assets in a shared storage space like Dropbox or Google Drive so that they are always easily accessible.
4. Set Expectations.
Provide a Q&A or guidelines to help people understand how they can support your organization as brand advocates.
Pro tip: Build this into your organizational culture by creating a brand advocacy team of diverse stakeholders to lead and own the initiative.
5. Ask, ask, and ask again.
A brand advocacy program provides strong ROI for your organization, on average, a 650% ROI for every dollar invested, with minimal time required for individual stakeholder participation so asking for support is well worth the investment.
Pro tip: Set aside dedicated time in meetings for social sharing to maximize participation, make it a collaborative activity, and provide guidance if needed.
Go beyond the social share. Ask for reviews, testimonials, and referrals to allow your biggest fans to share their experiences with your organization.
Pro tip: People love to share their stories! Offering an opportunity to share and connect their story with yours will make the experience more meaningful and compelling.
6. Respond, engage, and evaluate.
With an increase in brand advocacy support, comes the responsibility to be responsive and follow up. Respond to comments, reshare posts, and show your brand advocates some love for being so amazing.
Pro tip: Implement a system like Google alerts to monitor social mentions.
Monitoring, evaluating, and getting feedback are important components to developing a positive community of brand advocates.
Pro tip: Negative reviewers or critics may emerge. Be prepared to respond, address concerns, and focus on turning a negative situation into a positive interaction. Say hello to your next brand advocate!