by Rob Fuggetta, Founder and CEO of of Zuberance, author of “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force.”
Here are the top 10 ways to turn your highly-satisfied customers (AKA “Brand Advocates”) into a powerful marketing force:
1. Invite Advocates to rate and review your products. A whopping 90% of people say positive reviews influence their buying decisions, according to Dimensional Research. Intuit has generated tens of thousands of positive Advocate reviews for QuickBooks, enabling the company to boost ratings and rankings on Amazon.com plus increase sales.
2. Get Advocates to share their stories. Anytime Fitness, the largest fitness company in the US, recently invited Advocates to share their stories about how Anytime Fitness has helped improve their lives – and how they would help others if they won the $20,000 pay-it-forward Grand Prize. Thousands of Anytime Fitness Advocates created stories and videos, boosting awareness,increasing engagement, and generating a valuable content marketing asset.
3. Encourage Advocates to refer friends. A leading consumer electronics company generated over 100,000 referrals in only 30 days. The company offered a compelling prize: $25,000 in holiday cash to the most active Advocate. One Advocate referred over 500 friends.
4. Enable Advocates to answer prospects’ questions. The resort city of Indian Wells, CA (near Palm Springs) is inviting prospective guests to ask Advocates questions about their visits to Indian Wells. This innovative program is boosting engagement and helping bring more tourists to Indian Wells.
5. Get Advocates to help launch new products. Parallels Software, which provides software for running Windows on Macs, recently got thousands of Advocates to recommend a new version of the company’s flagship product. On the day the product launched, there were hundreds of glowing, five-star consumer reviews on Amazon.com plus other eCommerce sites.
6. Enlist Advocates to promote and participate in worthy causes. Rubio’s Restaurants, famous for its Baja-style fish tacos, involves Advocates in promoting its annual beach clean-up in San Diego.
7. Ask for Advocates’ opinions. Outright, an accounting software company recently acquired by GoDaddy, asked Advocates for opinions on the company’s proposed new marketing slogan. Hundreds of Advocates responded, providing Outright’s marketing team with valuable feedback and helping shape the final choice. I bet the Gap wished it had done that.
8. Create a special group of super-Advocates. Tagg, a company that makes a pet GPS device, has created the Tagg Ambassadors Program for its most passionate Advocates. Tagg Ambassadors’ referred friends get special discounts. When referred friends purchase the Tagg device, Ambassadors earn 50 points and one month of Tagg service free.
9. Get Advocates to distribute content. TiVo recently asked Advocates to share positive expert reviews of its highly-acclaimed TiVo Roamio® DVR. Thousands of Advocates shared the reviews with their friends and followers, enabling TiVo to reach millions of Roamio prospects at a fraction of the cost of ads and driving sales.
10. Make it easy for Advocates to share promotional offers. Anytime Fitness recently invited Advocates to tell their friends about the company’s “Join for $1” offer. Each Advocate who spread the word was entered into a random drawing for a trip to Hawaii. Thousands of Advocates share the offers, extending the campaign’s reach. Mahalo Advocates!
Are you leveraging your Advocates? Let us know how.
Rob Fuggetta is the Founder & CEO of Zuberance, and author of “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force,” (John H. Wiley & Sons, Inc.)