With considerable time, energy, and money put into executing a successful short-term advocacy marketing campaign, brands are typically left with one burning question when the campaign ends.
“Um, now what?”
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with your advocates after a social sweepstakes or short-term advocacy campaign has run its course, you’re not alone! After all, once you’ve seen success with your advocacy marketing campaign it seems silly to walk away.
Some of our most successful clients dabbled in short-term advocacy campaigns before making the leap to an evergreen advocacy marketing campaign. An “evergreen” campaign simply means that unlike a short-term effort (30 to 90-days), the brand doesn’t have a fixed end date for the program.
The advocacy marketing will go on indefinitely, ad nauseam, in perpetuity, outliving us all until the universe collapses in a fiery ball.
Ready to level up your advocacy campaign from short-term to evergreen? We’ve put together some of our top tips and tactics for ensuring a seamless transition.
First, Identify Your New Evergreen Advocacy Marketing Program Goal
Before you even think about switching over to an evergreen advocacy marketing program, you need to first figure out what you want your evergreen advocacy marketing program to help you accomplish. Your brand is going to be investing resources throughout the life of your program, so make sure you have the goals and direction of your evergreen program set.
As a starting point, many brands use their evergreen advocacy marketing program to:
- Supplement digital advertising spend and help cut back on the dollars spent continually promoting posts (Facebook’s algorithm continues to throttle organic unpaid reach)
- Introduce the brand to new customers using a trusted source as a proxy (92% of consumers trust third-party word-of-mouth recommendations)
- Increase their Earned Media Value (EMV). Some of our top performing advocacy campaigns have an EMV ROI of 8x – 10x!
Now, decide what your evergreen advocacy marketing program goal will be. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Got it? Good – now on to the good stuff!
6 Success Factors for Transitioning to an Evergreen Program
1) Give Some Props to Your Short-Term Campaign Advocates
Whether they took part in your latest sweepstakes or helped you trend on Twitter, start your evergreen transition by saying, “Thank you!” to your short-term campaign advocates. They (digitally) fought tooth and nail to help make your short-term campaign a win! They deserve your respect and acknowledgement for their efforts.
By the way, that note of thanks is the perfect time to tell your short-term advocates about your soon-to-launch evergreen Superfan program. Depending on how your brand structured the short-term advocacy campaign rules, you may be able to tell your advocates that they’ll be rolled directly into the evergreen campaign (letting them know they can opt out of course). Other programs might have to encourage users to physically transition themselves into the new evergreen program.
2) Give the Evergreen Advocacy Marketing Campaign a New Look and Name
Aesthetically, you need to make your evergreen advocacy look and feel different than your short-term campaign. Change the name, slap on a fresh logo, and mix up the sign-up page to help make it clear to advocates that this is something new and exciting.
A new name and program branding helps to avoid any program confusion from current short-term campaign advocates and helps to reduce program abandonment as you make the switch. It also makes it easier for your brand to communicate the specifics of the evergreen program to new recruits.
3) Recruit! Recruit! Recruit!
Seeding your evergreen program with your short-term advocates is a no-brainer! But, if you want your advocacy marketing program to grow into a mighty oak, you need to make sure you are continually driving recruitment into your evergreen program. The larger the program, the more advocates you have sharing your content on their social feeds, the greater the evergreen ROI.
Organic abandonment is a natural phenomenon of any evergreen advocacy effort. Having strong recruitment efforts in place will help to outpace any organic drop off.
4) Continue to Market Your Campaign
There are a variety of ways you can continue to market your evergreen campaign to potential advocates:
- Run social media and digital ads advertising the program
- Use current members to recruit their friends and family
- Work with micro-influencers and third-party blogs to endorse your program (and have them join themselves!)
- Publish and promoting your program on social media and in your email newsletters
- Include your program on your website’s main navigation
- Invite new customers or clients to join your advocacy program by including a program shout out in your order confirmation or customer welcome emails
5) Keep Dropping Content
The number one sure-fire way to kill your evergreen transition is waiting too long to send out your first piece of content. Nothing takes the wind out of an advocate’s sails like going dark on them. Sure, a day or two (or even a week) of dead time as you make the creative switch over to the new program won’t do much harm, but if your advocates go a month without hearing from your brand, they’re going to be mighty cold (and mighty uninterested) when you do end up reaching out to them.
Think about it. For the past 30 to 90 days, your advocates have developed a habit and expectation to share your content. Use that fire to help transition them into your evergreen program by giving them a task they’re already familiar with: sharing your content.
6) Never Stop Saying Thanks
Managing an evergreen advocacy marketing program means never stop telling your amazing advocates how much you appreciate them! After all, they are continually (for years) going to be sharing your branded content with their friends and family.
Keep them engaged by:
- Rotating monthly prizes
- Using interactive leaderboards
- Giving social shouts
- Hosting fun challenges
- Making them feel like part of an exclusive experience
Easily, the biggest hurdle in transitioning a short-term advocacy program into an evergreen campaign is keeping your advocates engaged through the switch. Mitigate the risk of program abandonment by having a solid transition plan in place.
Have a short-term advocacy campaign or social sweepstakes you’d like to turn into an evergreen campaign? Give SocialToaster a call today.