We get it; it’s pretty annoying to publish a post on Facebook promoting your latest piece of branded content only to see it barely reach any of your followers. No comments. No shares. Not even a single like. You already know that an Advocacy Marketing Program can help amplify your content by empowering your social fans to share the content with their friends, families and colleagues. You’ve even done the research and identified what goes into a successful program. You’re ready to pull the trigger and launch your brand’s first Advocacy Marketing Program.
But how do you actually launch it?
We sat down with our clients and asked them how they prepared to launch their own branded AMP – specifically, what the major points of discovery and analysis they used to determine that an AMP was right for them. From this insight, we’ve pulled together a simple checklist to help guide your decision-making process.
One note, this checklist is centered on what due diligence and evaluation you need to do as an organization. Once you’re committed to launching a program, you’ll work with your chosen vendor to finalize creative, legal, incentives, etc.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Content
Are you regularly producing blog posts, videos, and other pieces of content? If your content is the odd Instagram picture here and there (hey, who doesn’t love that Claredon filter), then investing in an amplification tool might not be the best use of your marketing funds. However, for brands that are posting weekly or bi-weekly pieces of content, an Advocacy Marketing Program can ensure that content gets seen!
Step 2: Take Stock of Your Social Audience
Whether you’re an old dog on Facebook with millions of followers or a new pup on Instagram with just a single follower (thanks mom!), an Advocacy Marketing Program will work for you. Sure, starting with a larger audience can provide an early lift, but we’ve worked with clients that have just launched who have seen a 10x return on their earned media with an AMP. The key isn’t the size of the audience; it’s how passionate they are about your space. The more passion, the better the success of your program.
All right, now it’s on to the nitty gritty.
Step 3: Identify Internal Resources
Who on your team is going to run the day-to-day of the program? Do you have an individual that can curate and post content? What about handling incentive fulfillment? If you don’t, consider utilizing an advocacy marketing platform that offers managed services that can handle the day-to-day work for you (*cough* SocialToaster *cough*).
Step 4: Determine Your Goals
Repeat after us, “Goals come first!” Take the time to define your goals BEFORE you pick the platform you’re going to use. Do you want to ultimately drive sales? Increase content absorption? Grow your audience? Figure out what success is, then evaluate potential advocacy platform partners based on the goal. Not all platforms are created equal, and knowing what your non-negotiable is before heading into discovery can save you a lot of time.
Step 5: Get The Right Partner
With needs identified, the next step is to identify a platform that will help you manage your Advocacy Marketing Program. You want to choose a platform that makes it easy for new fans to join, current fans to receive and share your content and for your team to send out blasts. It also helps if the platform has options to support incentive fulfillment, legal and even management of the program if that’s needed.
In addition to the above, here are a couple of other considerations to keep in mind:
Consideration 1: Determine if the program is a brand initiative or if it’s going to be for a single product/vertical. If it’s product-centric, do you need to launch multiple programs?
Consideration 2: Define who is going to “own’ the program. Is it going to be the social media team? Content team? Both? By understanding what department is going to be responsible for managing the program, you can better evaluate your internal resource gaps.
Consideration 3: Determine if you need a stakeholder or internal champion to get the funding for the program
Consideration 4: Do you have partners (content producers, agencies) that will have a hand in supporting the program?
Consideration 5: Consider launching with a pilot program to evaluate early successes and areas of improvement before launching the program to a wider audience. Build a couple of key champions to help build momentum for a more public launch.
A little bit of planning and foresight can go a long way towards launching a successful Advocacy Marketing Program. Have some questions? Feel free to give us a call and we can help you determine if an Advocacy Marketing Program is right for you.