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Turning your most loyal customers into brand advocates? Yes, please! However, brand advocacy strategies can be complex to set up. Indeed, customers are keen to share a positive experience they’ve had with a brand. Yet, while delivering excellent customer service can boost your chances of retaining customers, it doesn’t necessarily make them into advocates. 

The most important lesson that a business must learn is about creating value. Why would a customer become a brand advocate? The answer is simple: Because they can gain something through the process. Customers tend to be reluctant to go out of their way just to promote a brand. Many will prefer leaving a positive review rather than starting an advocate campaign. That’s why businesses must be creative, smart, and thoughtful when it comes to their advocacy strategies. Here are some ideas to make it as pain-free as possible for your customers to spread the word about the brand. 

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Give them something fun and branded

Everybody loves a freebie! Unpacking an order and discovering an unexpected present can be the quickest and safest way to ensure your brand gains visibility. Yet, if you are thinking about branded customer gifts, you need to be realistic about them. Ask yourself first if you would use the gift. Too many branded items are tacky and over-the-top promotional, which means they risk landing immediately in the garbage bag! Instead, focus on tasteful and subtle gifts, such as fun holographic stickers that can be added to their everyday apparel or work equipment. 

Other excellent branded gift ideas include:

  • Tote bags
  • Coffee beans or tea bags with a branded sleeve
  • Notebooks with a positive affirmation cover
  • Coasters

It’s best to avoid clothing and toiletry items as taste, and individual requirements may differ greatly between people. 

Create brand ambassadors online/offline

Bloggers and other digital influencers may be keen to tag the brand name in their social media posts. So why not make the most of it and let them create valuable content that can be repurposed for the brand? Fashion brand HM uses the hashtag HMxme to connect to its community online. HMxme ambassadors are fashion bloggers, lifestyle influencers, and other social media users who leverage their presence by tagging the brand. 

It’s a two-way partnership:

On the one hand, the brand can benefit from a growing content base that shares inspiration and tips with the customers. 

On the other hand, bloggers can increase their reach and gain more followers through the process. 

Other ways in which you can encourage customers to share their experiences may include the promise of:

  • Exposure to a broader audience group
  • Discount on future purchases
  • Customizing some features, especially for software solutions and tech gadgets
  • Being named in a PR, on a website, or as part of a white paper with a link to their website — this is effective for B2B clients
  • Becoming a beta client testing the next release or product for free

The bottom line: Brand ambassadors can serve multiple purposes, from supporting content generation to providing valuable insights into your services and products. 

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Advocacy should always be mutually beneficial for both customers and brands. As a result, brands must be creative when it comes to convincing their customers to promote. Subtle promotional methods, such as sending a branded gift that boosts brand awareness, and active advocate recruitment for B2B and B2C activities, can prove highly effective.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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