How to Use Brand Advocacy to Increase Organic Reach in 2018

 

2017 is drawing to a close. Soon, new calendars will need to be hung, new Q1 projections will need to be met, and new marketing strategies will need to be put into action. Welcome to 2018. What worked in 2017, isn’t guaranteed to work in the coming year. The digital landscape is ever-shifting, and your organization needs to stay on top of these changes.

In social media, the chief concern faced by marketers and brands continues to be the decline of organic reach. Between January and July 2016, publishers saw a 52% decline in organic reach on Facebook. Unless you love spending thousands promoting your content, your business needs to be actively engaged in finding a solution to increase the visibility of your content without increasing paid support. Enter advocacy marketing.

If you don’t already have an advocacy marketing program, 2018 is the perfect time to start one up. Here’s how advocacy marketing can help take your 2018 reach to new heights.

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What Makes Advocacy Marketing So Powerful Anyway?

Before we share how advocacy marketing can help increase your organic reach, let’s take a second to set the stage. We live in a world where a 1% engagement rate on your posts is considered to be great!

1%. That’s it.

The good news is that posts shared by your advocates are likely to get far higher engagement rates. In fact, people pay more than 2x more attention to posts and recommendations from their friends.

Why? Because 92% of consumers say they trust those recommendations more than any other form of advertising. When your advocates share your content, those posts are earning more engagement because they’re backed by the advocate’s reputation as a trusted source!

“If Jaime is sharing this content, it must be good.”

That additional engagement has a huge impact on the bottom line. Small and medium online businesses get 60% of their sales thanks to referrals from advocates and brand Superfans.

 

The Many Ways An Advocate Marketing Program Can Increase Organic Reach

We’ve convinced you that advocacy marketing can be powerful. Now we’ll show you how an advocacy program works to increase your organic reach.

Your Average Advocate Has More Connections Than You Think
In an advocacy marketing program, your Superfans share your content to their social media feeds - meaning that their reach is tied to the number of connections they have that can potentially see that content. The average Facebook user now has over 338 friends that they’re connected to, but that’s just one network. If you include their Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts, we’ve found that the potential reach climbs to an average of 600 fans each.

Each of your Superfans has the potential to get your content in front of 600 of their friends, colleagues, and family.

Sure, 600 by itself doesn’t sound like a large number, but your advocacy marketing program isn’t built around 1 person. It’s built around an ever-growing community of your brand’s biggest fans. The more fans you have in your program, the greater the combined potential reach.

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Your Advocates Are On Multiple Social Networks
Declining organic reach isn’t just a Facebook issue. On Instagram users are only seeing about 30% of the content the profiles they interact with are posting. Therefore, your solution to growing organic reach needs to work across multiple networks as well.

The average internet user has a presence on 7 social media networks. When your advocates share your content, they aren’t just sharing your content on Facebook. They’re sharing across the various social media networks they’re using every day, even on networks your brand may not have have a specific presence on (Tumblr, for example), exposing your content to an audience that would be left completely in the dark if it wasn’t for your advocate sharing it.

Pro Tip: When selecting the platform you’re going to use to manage your advocacy marketing program, be sure to go with an option that allows each advocate to connect multiple social accounts to their profile. SocialToaster lets your advocates connect Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare, and Tumblr.

 

The More Your Advocates Publish, The More Your Reach Increases
There’s always a bit of guesswork when it comes to content marketing. What brands think will be a runaway success may only be met with a handful of likes and shares. At the same time, we’ve all been surprised when a post we foresaw not getting a lot of engagement suddenly turns viral.

When you share content through an advocate marketing campaign, your content reach is determined by two factors:

  1. The size of your advocate’s social audience (covered above)
  2. The engagement that post receives on your advocates wall

If a post your advocate shares gets commented on or even shared, then guess what, your reach for that post now includes the social audience of the individual that shared your content! You’re not only hitting the friends of your advocates, you’re also hitting their friend’s friends.

The more content you publish through your advocates, the more chances you give your advocates’ friends to interact and grow the reach of that content piece. Increase your organic reach by increasing your publishing frequency.

 

Advocate Growth Is Exponential Growth
Every new member in your advocacy program is another potential 600+ people you can reach. Not just one time either, but with every single content post. The rule is simple: you can increase your organic reach simply by getting more people into your advocacy program!

Here are some tips for growing your advocacy program:

  • Ask your paying customers to join
  • Have a strong program CTA and presence on your website
  • Clearly articulate the benefits of joining the program(answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”)
  • Run targeted advertisements promoting your program to your top fans/customers/demographic

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Bonus Tip: Retargeting to Content Engagers
While this leans more towards increasing paid reach, there is an element of organic reach with this advanced tactic. Put in place remarketing programs that capitalize on showing your content to the friends of advocates that have engaged with your content. Use this advocate-driven traffic to support a number of initiatives including:

  • Supporting your program recruitment efforts
  • Ensuring that if you are promoting a post, you’re showing the post to an audience of heavy hitters
  • Targeting high-interest potential customers with sales and discounts

If you’re tired of wasting countless dollars creating content that never gets seen, it’s only going to get harder in 2018. Start the year off strong with a custom-built advocacy marketing program and get the reach your brand deserves.

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Want to learn more about the SocialToaster advocacy marketing platform and how it can help you reach your 2018 revenue goals? Schedule a demo today!