Stop us if this sounds familiar: you’re riding high after a strong holiday sales period, only to crash back to earth in January. Sadly, many brands can tell this tale. Good news though! January is the perfect time to launch an advocacy marketing program to drive sales all 2018 long!
With a new year comes the renewed opportunity to implement sales-driving initiatives. After the holiday season, your brand has more customers using your product, receiving your product, or giving your product as a gift. When you launch an advocacy marketing program in Q1, you’re striking while the iron is hot, taking this new interest and forging it into a program that will carry you through 2018.
Why An Advocacy Marketing Program Is Sales-Driving Rocket Fuel
Did you know that social customers are four-times as likely to spend MORE than other customers? Even more impressive, most brands achieve a 129% customer conversion rate when that first visit from a new customer comes from a social channel.
The lift in conversion comes down to a single factor: trust.
Ninety-two percent of your current and potential customers are going to trust their friends and family recommendations more than any of the other marketing channels your brand utilizes. When your advocates are posting and sharing your content on their social media channels through an advocacy marketing program, they are adding their stamp of approval to that content, and by extension your brand.
Using Advocacy Marketing To Drive Sales
Increase the Visibility of your Brand and Content
As social organic reach continues to decline, getting targeted eyeballs on your content becomes a bidding war between who can pay the most money to promote their content. With an advocacy marketing program, you rise above these bid-battles, driving visibility of your content without having to hit that Boost button.
With an advocacy marketing program, your advocates can easily share your content to their social channels – and not just a single channel either! The average person has 7 social media profiles, so your advocates can link as many channels as they want to your program. Your advocates then share your content to their network of followers, reaching an average of over 600 people. If you have 100 advocates sharing your content, your potential reach is more than 60,000!
Why is advocate sharing important? Well, while brand organic reach is hovering around 1%, your fans see much higher reach with their personal posts. Even better, people pay twice as much attention to posts from their family and friends than than they do other social media posts.
At the end of the day, the greater your brand visibility and more space you take up online, the more opportunities you get to place your brand in front of new customers.
Have A Strong Mix of Content
The start of the year is the perfect time to inspect your content mix. Decision, informative, and entertainment. Video, image, blog posts, and podcast. Your content mix needs to include multiple formats and multiple messages to be deemed effective.
Every one one of your potential customers (and repeat customers) are in a different stage of their buying journey. Each of these individuals also has their own preference for a form of media or content type. If you’re only using your advocates to share sales-oriented blog posts, you’re missing out on the greater opportunity to reach people that prefer a different medium or are still too early in the buying cycle for the hard-sale.
Likewise, you can’t just produce entertaining content and expect to see a lift in sales. Memes alone don’t create sales.
Get to “Really” Know Your Advocates
Your customers are more than just a profile in a spreadsheet or CRM system: they are real people with real lives and real interests. While you might know the average age and gender makeup of your customer base, there’s so much more information that you can gather from your customers. As your Superfans, your advocates represent a perfect focus group to start to build your knowledge of your super buyers.
Pro Tip: When choosing the platform you’ll use to manage your advocacy marketing campaign, opt for an advocacy marketing platform that includes built-in survey functionality. SocialToaster makes it easy for brands to understand their advocates by including survey and quiz building tools as part of our advocacy marketing platform.
Use These New Insights to Tier Your Product Offering
It’s not rocket science: the more money you can get your customers to spend at each transaction, the greater the overall revenue lift. Do you have an opportunity to raise prices or add a different product mix? Sure, if you’re a larger company, it might be harder to add new prices or products to your store, but mid-sized and smaller e-commerce and retail shops can use the information gathered through their advocate surveys to inform pricing and new product offering decisions.
How can you use your advocates to raise the average cart value of each transaction?
- Add more expensive items to your store that relate to what buyers want to purchase
- Cross-sell and upsell to your advocates
- Create and share content through your advocates that showcases the benefits of a more expensive product or service tier
Lean on your Advocates to Create User Generated Content
User-Generated Content (UGC) gained popularity in 2017 as a content marketing strategy for a number of reasons, none more attractive than the simple fact that the cost of producing UGC falls on the user. They’re the ones that are taking the time, energy, and finances to put together that Instagram picture or video post.
The low-cost isn’t the only attractive quality of UGC for a brand: combining UGC with advocacy marketing is a no-brainer. Fifty-one percent of consumers say they trust UGC over brand-produced content being shared on the brand’s social platform. Engagement goes hand-in-hand with trust. Brands see an increase of 28% in engagement when they use UGC. UGC is also twice as likely be shared by friends and family.
Lean on your advocates to build a strong UGC-generating foundation that can then be extended to more casual brand fans or new customers. Then use that generated content to support your other marketing initiatives:
- Content Creation
- Paid Advertising
- Email Marketing
Capture Q1 With SocialToaster
Q1 doesn’t have to be the slowest part of the year. Build off your 2017 holiday sales momentum and launch an advocacy marketing program that can carry you to 2019 and beyond!
Ready to get started with your advocacy marketing program. Send us an email or call us at 855.62.TOAST to connect with one of our program managers today, who can walk you through a free demo on how our award-winning advocacy marketing platform can support your advocacy needs!