Clients often ask us how to double or even triple their advocacy marketing campaign results. Our response? “Recruit more advocates!”
If you want to double the number of shares your content is getting or exponentially increase your available reach or impressions, you need to focus on driving more people into your advocacy marketing program. That means having a plan in place to promote the program on an ongoing basis across all available marketing channels.
Like Grandpappy used to say, “If you want a ton of apples, plant a ton of trees.”
Start By Understanding The Type of Fan that Joins An Advocacy Marketing Program
If you want a potential advocate to respond to your recruitment message (and your program), you need to be sure that you’re saying the right things to them. By understanding an advocate’s motivation to join, you can be sure you’re giving them a compelling reason to become an advocate.
Typically, most people that join advocacy marketing programs:
- Are more socially active (both online and offline)
- Love to share content to their social channels
- Cultivate an online presence that supports their desire to achieve a certain level of status with their followers
- Have social networks with over 400+ connections
- Like to feel they are part of an exclusive network
What Your Recruitment Messaging Should Include
Your recruitment messages are going to look and sound different depending on the channel they’re going on; however, in our experience, you need to be sure that each recruitment message includes:
- Clear messaging that explains what exactly the program is
- A preemptive answer to the advocate’s question, “What’s in it for me if I join your program?”
- A call-to-action to sign up and join the program
That last point is especially important. Including a call-to-action on your ads or messaging with the simple phrase, “Sign Up Now” can sometimes double or even triple your conversion rate.
Where To Recruit Advocates
1) Activate Your Existing Audience(s)
It seems simple, but the first place to turn when advertising your program is your existing audience. People can’t join an advocacy campaign they aren’t aware exists.
How to start?
- Make sure your program has a space on your website
- Include calls-to-action within your homepage
- If you’re an Ecommerce brand, include messaging about the program during the post-checkout experience
- Retail stores can include store signage, counter cards, and on-site posters to build awareness of the program
- Heading to a conference or convention? Bring a tablet or laptop and encourage people to join the program straight from your booth
2) Send Email Blasts and Promote Through Social Media
With your primary audience targeted, you’ll next want to focus on your secondary audiences. This includes individuals that like your brand enough to subscribe to your newsletters and follow you on social media. Many brands will send a launch announcement or two to their email lists when an advocacy marketing program goes live, which is fantastic. However, if you really want to up your recruitment efforts, you need to be emailing your marketing lists on the regular about the program.
Same goes for your social media promotions – one or two posts all year long about the program alone aren’t going to double your program size. Be sure to include recruitment as a regular part of your content publishing mix.
Most people need multiple touch points or communications before they take a digital action, so frequency is key. Just be sure to mix up the messaging so it doesn’t get stale. For example, one month promote a new program prize, the next month talk about how much fun your Superfans are having as part of the program.
The key here? Keep it fresh.
3) Ambassador Friend-to-Friend Recruitment
As your network grows, so too does the opportunity to leverage your Superfans to push recruitment for you! Every brand should be encouraging their advocates to recruit their friends and family into the program. The easiest way to do this is to simply ask them to get a friend or two to join the program when they sign up. Like we said before, people aren’t mind-readers.
Want some advanced techniques? How about:
- Including recruitment content as part of your advocacy content mix
- Incentivizing referral recruitment by offering a unique gift or kickback for Superfans that recruit people
- Increasing the ongoing point value of friend recruitment within your advocacy marketing platform
4) Advertise Your Advocacy Marketing Campaign Through Paid Media
If you want to see your program truly grow, consider making an investment in it. Put some dollars behind advertising your program. After all, the more people that learn about your program, the more opportunity you have to grow your membership count.
We’ve supported the paid advertising recruitment efforts of scores of our clients, and after $2 million plus spent on paid advocacy ad campaigns, we’ve learned a thing or two. Namely:
- Start by advertising your program on social media sites (specifically Facebook)
- Split-test your ads and your audiences, focusing on getting the lowest Cost per Recruit
- When you advertise, be sure to target your own followers, as well as individuals that you think would be interested in the content being shared by the program
- Include a strong call-to-action in the ad (noticing a theme?)
- Mention any monthly incentive or prizes, but also be sure to focus on the type of content being shared through the advocacy marketing program
- Leverage any email lists you have to create custom audiences to help better target your ads
Pro Tip: The SocialToaster advocacy marketing platform allows you to create an unlimited number of recruitment links. Be sure to create a unique link for every ad you build. This will help you identify which specific ads and audiences are working for you. Don’t have time to manage all of that link building? Let SocialToaster help!
5) Partner With Bloggers and Influencers
On top of paid digital advertising, many of our clients have seen recruitment success by partnering with bloggers and industry influencers to help promote their program. The opinion of influencers and bloggers can carry a ton of weight within their audiences. Having them give your program their stamp of approval can be just what it takes to bolster your advocate count.
Better yet, get the Influencer or blogger themselves to join your program. Not only will their large network help bolster your earned media and branded impression numbers, but their inclusion in the program will help the influencer promote your program on an ongoing basis.
The more advocates you have, the stronger your advocacy marketing campaign. It’s that easy. Strong recruitment doesn’t happen by accident. You need to constantly and consistently promote your program to keep your advocacy marketing campaign growing.
Want to jumpstart your advocacy marketing program recruitment efforts? Reach out to SocialToaster today!