Building a Strong Brand Through Authentic Advocacy
Authenticity builds real loyalty from advocates when it makes a noticeable impact on businesses.
By GUEST AUTHOR
In today’s online marketplace, it can be a struggle to stand out from the crowd. Your would-be customers are deluged with marketing messages from the moment they wake up until their heads hit the pillow at night.
However, there are ways you can cut through all of that — by creating a strong, authentic messaging strategy, based on input from actual customers, that will resonate and create more customers, in turn.
So how do you get started?
“You’re going to need to find your advocates and start building a relationship with them.”
Find Your Advocates
First off, you’re going to need to find your advocates and start building a relationship with them. It’s likely you think you’re already doing a good enough job here, but your customers almost certainly feel differently: aMarketo surveyshowed that 84% of marketers say they actively listen to customer feedback (and then act on the feedback and close the loop), but only 69% of buyers surveyed feel this is true of the vendors they interact with.
You can close this gap by reaching out to a large and diverse group of customers to solicit feedback from. If you have a customer email list, that’s the best place to start. You can also reach out to users who have recently logged in (or taken a specific action in your app that indicates engagement — if you’re a project management tool, maybe it’s setting up a new project or inviting team members). The idea is to reach out to as many potential advocates, so that you’re getting a wide range of experiences and input. You’re likely to have some amount of success here. In fact, a studyby TrustRadiusconfirmed that 84% of buyers would be willing to do more customer advocacy.
Take Action On Advocate Insights
Once you’ve actively started to collect insight from your advocates, you can start incorporating that insight into your marketing strategies — and using it to improve your customer experience. Here are a few ways to get started on use advocacy insights:
Review your marketing strategies
Look at your current marketing strategy to see how well it reflects the viewpoints of your actual customers. For example, if you have a larger percentage of users in a specific industry or role than you had previously estimated, how can you change your marketing strategy to meet new potential customers where they’re at?
Review your in-app user experience
Take a look at the way your app is set up and see if there’s any feedback from customers that you can pass along to your internal UX and UI teams. In particular, look at things like your onboarding flow or post-sign-up email sequence, and see how well it matches up (or doesn’t) with the feedback you received from advocates. If your customers say that Feature B is their favorite part of using your product, it should come early on in user onboarding, unless there’s an important reason that it can’t (for example, customers need to learn Feature A to use Feature B.)
Share customer input on your marketing channels
After you tweak your current marketing strategy to match your customer insight, you can start incorporating language from your customers into your marketing collateral (web copy, social media posts, etc.). Using language that’s as close as possible to the way your customers naturally speak will help you cut through the marketing noise that your potential customers deal with every day, and convey that your company understands them and wants to solve their problems.
Don’t Make This A One-Off Effort
After you conduct a push to get advocate inputs, it can be tempting to rely on the results and coast for a while. However, it’s better to make feedback a consistent part of your company culture — distribute feedback widely throughout the company, across departments (including not just departments like UX design as we’ve mentioned, but also marketing, customer service, product management, etc.). There is no role at your company that won’t be improved by having a stronger grasp on what’s important to your customers.If you’re looking for ways to ensure that you’ll have a well of customer insights to refer back to, setting up a review program is a great choice. Review programs are typically less time-intensive than other options customer interviews or case studies, andTrustRadius’ dataindicates that they’re more influential in the buying process than either of those strategies.
Michelle Nickolaisen is a content marketer based in Austin, Texas. When she’s not writing B2B trends and tips forTrustRadius,she’s usually listening to podcasts.