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How to turn customers into brand advocates

Brand advocates are happy customers who like telling others about your products and services – and they can significantly boost your bottom line. Here’s how.

Is there anything better than a happy customer who loves your product or service so much they return time and time again? Actually, there is.

They’re the customers who love your business so much they recommend it to friends, family, colleagues and on social media, generating new leads.

They’re called brand advocates and they can significantly boost sales and elevate your brand.

How significantly? Research shows that up to 92 per cent of consumers make buying decisions based on recommendations. In fact, according to American Express, happy customers recommend to an average of eleven people.

Now, just imagine your business had thousands of brand advocates…

What is a brand advocate?

Brand advocates, put simply, are happy customers who like telling others about your products and great customer service. Think of brand advocates as free, walking advertisements – but with some important extras.

Brand advocates do your marketing for free, or they receive some sort of loyalty or recommendation reward. They also have what blogs or paid posts can lack: trust. We believe our friends when they recommend a product; we know they’re not singing its praises because they are paid to do so.

The marketing potential of brand advocates, unlike other forms of marketing, is limitless and regenerative. One happy customer recommends your business. If they are happy, they may recommend your business to another person, who then goes on to recommend it to others, and so on.

Importantly, brand advocacy builds on all the other marketing your business undertakes.

Brand advocates are created from brand awareness – the more customers who know and trust your brand, the greater the chance of recommending it.

Brand advocates vs brand ambassadors: what’s the difference?

Brand advocates are not the same as brand ambassadors.

Brand ambassadors are officially recognised by the businesses they represent. While, like brand advocates, they spread positive messages about your brand, they are paid to do so, and as a result, lack the degree of authenticity and trust that brand advocates have.

Brand advocates may be rewarded in some way, usually a discount or points program, but they genuinely love the product and are happy to share their experiences. They are not officially recognised by the company.

How to turn customers into brand advocates

There are marketing steps businesses can take right now to start creating brand advocates.

Be authentic

Personal recommendations are generated when customers feel a genuine connection with the brand, and this connection can only grow from authentic interactions.

In fact, in a recent Stackla survey, 86 per cent of respondents said authenticity is important in deciding which brands they like and support.

Deliver exceptional service

Customers recommend products they genuinely believe in. No matter what loyalty program or referral reward you offer, it’s not enough to generate significant referrals unless your integration with the customer is genuine and impressive.

Offer a loyalty program

Brand advocates are created when customers are recognised and rewarded, and offering a loyalty program with discounts, upgrades, or free products is a great way to show your appreciation. Just make sure the rewards are actually good and useful to the customer.

Implement a referral program

Similarly, rewarding your brand advocates for the customers they recommend is another great way to show your appreciation and encourage them to continue to recommend. Referral rewards, such as discounts or free offers, are a great way to incentivise.

Engage with customers on social media

Social media is a breeding ground for brand advocates, and every positive comment is an opportunity to build that relationship. The same applies to negative comments. Addressing issues or resolving problems can quickly turn around a customer’s perception of your brand, and make them feel heard and valued.

Create marketing offers customers actually want

Happy customers turn into ecstatic customers if they are rewarded – even more so when that reward is something they actually want or demonstrates that you know and understand them.

A great marketing strategy rewards customers with offers based on their purchase history and preferences.

Speak to the branding experts

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, with the knowledge and experience to help you build your brand – and your stock of brand advocates.

To find out how we can help grow your brand awareness and increase your business’ bottom line give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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