What is Brand Advocacy, and Why is it Important?
Building a strong brand takes time, communication, and effective marketing strategies. For a company to reach its target audience and spread awareness about its products and services, they need to craft a relatable, trustworthy, and memorable brand.
Building brand advocacy is a crucial part of growing business and engaging consumers. If you’re wondering, “What is brand advocacy?” let’s break it down into simple terms.
Brand advocacy describes actions taken by customers or employees who love your brand and want to promote it. This can be done through positive reviews, word-of-mouth marketing, in-person engagements, and more. A brand advocate is passionate about your business and wants to help grow your brand by educating others about your products and services.
Why You Should Care About Brand Advocacy
As a business leader, it is critical to recognize the importance of brand advocacy. Connecting with and supporting brand advocates can increase brand visibility, enhance customer loyalty, and ultimately boost sales.
One of the most critical aspects of brand advocacy is that it comes from an individual who can speak directly to customers. Unlike other marketing efforts, such as paid advertising or product discounts, brand advocacy allows you to promote the human side of your business. Brand advocates can use proven tactics like word-of-mouth marketing and product demonstrations to reach new customers. This type of marketing is often more memorable and personable than other methods.
In addition to the human side of brand advocacy, businesses should also invest in this practice to spread brand awareness. Now more than ever, social media and Internet tools give companies the ability to potentially reach millions of consumers. Brand advocacy is a great way to seize this opportunity and establish yourself as a dependable, reputable, and quality company in the marketplace.
Who is a Brand Advocate?
A brand advocate is anyone dedicated to helping grow your business and spread the word about your brand. Types of brand advocates include:
- Marketing Professionals
Expert brand advocates are a smart investment for your business. These professionals are trained to work with companies and help them grow awareness and their reach. For example, a trained brand advocate may visit retail stores and help set up merchandising displays of your products. Or, they may work with salespeople to educate them about your company so they can talk to consumers.
Some organizations turn to their employees when seeking brand advocates. Employee advocacy is an excellent strategy because these individuals have a deep knowledge of the company culture, products, and services.
- Business Partners
Companies that partner with other businesses may seek out advocates through this connection. This strategy helps companies reach new audiences to share their brand message.
- Social Media Influencers
An influencer is loosely defined as someone with 10,000 or more followers on their social media channels. Many companies will work with influencers to promote their brand and get paid to share it with their followers.
The Importance of a Brand Advocacy Program
If you want to grow your brand, you can begin by investing in a brand advocacy program. Some marketing experts may also use the term “brand ambassador program” to describe brand advocacy. Brand ambassadorships and advocacy programs are very similar and may be interchangeable, depending on your business model. A brand ambassador serves as the face of a company and promotes products via social media campaigns, public events, advertisements, and so on.
Some companies may start their own brand advocacy program, while others may work with an external agency such as T-ROC. At T-ROC, we train thousands of brand ambassadors each year, who then go on to work with top brands to promote their products. We understand that finding the right brand advocate takes time, as these are unique individuals who have excellent marketing skills, communication skills, and personalities. Our program uses innovative software to place advocates at companies based on the brand’s nuances. Our program is the perfect first step for companies looking to invest in brand advocates but are not sure where to start.
How to Build an Effective Brand Advocacy Program
T-ROC has perfected our brand ambassador program over two decades. We know what it takes to effectively recruit and train advocates so they can help businesses grow and flourish. Here is what we believe makes an effective brand advocacy program:
- Effective Recruiting
Finding qualified brand ambassadors takes time and effort. That’s why we source from our own pool of professionals stationed around the United States and North, Central, and South America. We manage our ambassador program end-to-end using the latest HR software and platforms.
- Thorough Training
The brand advocate role is demanding. Advocates must be highly effective communicators and marketing experts who understand how to educate others on a brand, market products, and grow a company’s reach. That’s why our program uses a proprietary Learning Management System (LMS) that includes classroom training, hands-on teaching, and tech-enabled learning. We set our advocates up for success so they understand the nuances of the brands they represent and how to meet and exceed your expectations.
- Proper Placement
One of the biggest challenges of setting up a brand advocacy program is finding the perfect personalities. That’s why T-ROC uses software that understands the details and nuances of a brand and connects that brand with the best candidates.
- Taking Ownership
Brand advocates should feel empowered to take ownership of their role and push for success. T-ROC’s advocates are rewarded when they generate results to push themselves further to seek success and growth for your business.
How Do You Measure Brand Advocacy?
If you’re ready to invest in brand advocates, remember that it’s important to keep close track of your KPIs and results. That way, you can assess your advocates’ work and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Here are a few tips for measuring brand advocacy results:
Review Your Goals
Review your goals to ensure they are realistic, given your advocate program, target audience, and budget. If you set goals that don’t make sense for your brand, your results won’t mean as much.
Track and Collect Data
Depending on your brand advocates’ responsibilities, there are many ways you can track and measure data. For example, suppose your brand advocates perform in-person product demonstrations at retail locations. In this case, you want to track how many consumers they interact with, the type of feedback they receive, and how many sales they generate. Then, you can measure the level of success they achieve at different retail stores and create new sales opportunities.
Revise Your Approach as Needed
Always remain open to adjustments for your brand advocacy initiatives. Brand advocacy should be a long-term strategy that achieves organic growth and attracts new consumers. This takes time, so patience in the process is important in order to make the most impactful adjustments for even more growth.
Tips to Improve Brand Advocacy
Brand advocacy is a delicate process that requires you to build long-term trust with your audience while continuing to grow your reach. With that in mind, here are some tips for brands that are struggling to build awareness and advocacy:
If you want to invest in brand advocacy, start by outlining how. Set concrete goals for your company and advocate that are achievable, so you have a clear path forward. If you partner with T-ROC, our marketing professionals can help you outline a strategy and give details about how our brand ambassadors can help you meet your goals.
Form Business Partnerships
Business partners can make great brand advocates. Therefore, it’s important to form meaningful partnerships when the opportunity arises. Think about products and services that complement your business. A home remodeling company, for example, may want to partner with a garage flooring company to expand its reach.
Operate with a Customer-Centric Mindset
Remember that your customers always come first. If it feels challenging to build brand loyalty and advocacy, it could be because you’ve lost sight of your customer base and need to redefine your target market. The more you know about your customers, the more authentic your marketing efforts will be.
If your team needs help investing in a brand advocacy or ambassador program, T-ROC can help. T-ROC is a sales and revenue optimization engine for some of the biggest brands in the world. Our entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to our customers mean we bring passion, experience, and creativity to every project. Our brand ambassadors are highly-motivated individuals who will work diligently to understand your company and grow your revenue through retail marketing, merchandising efforts, in-person engagement, and so much more.
Are you ready to grow your reach with qualified brand ambassadors? Contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you build brand advocacy?
You can build brand advocacy by recruiting qualified representatives who publicly speak passionately about your brand. This can be done through connecting with a brand ambassador agency, recruiting from business partners, et cetera.
What are the benefits of brand advocacy?
Brand advocacy is essential for businesses that want to grow their consumer base and nurture loyal customers. Building brand advocacy helps companies grow their revenue and lays a foundation for a brand that customers trust and love.
What does advocacy mean in marketing?
Advocacy in marketing is a strategy focused on getting current customers to promote your services, products, and brand. This can be done through positive product reviews, product demonstrations, user-generated content, and more.