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What is advocacy marketing?

Advocacy marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting your current customers to advocate for your business, products, and/or services online. 

Advocates can express their support for your business in many ways, such as:

  • YouTube review videos.

  • Facebook statuses.

  • Instagram posts.

  • Tweets.

  • Following you and then sharing your content.

Why is Advocacy Marketing Important?

Advocacy marketing is more likely to get you new customers than advertising is. That’s a no-brainer. In a world where people are bombarded with advertisements, it’s easy to be skeptical of them. A study found that over 80% of customers research the product or service online before committing to buying. 

People trust people. If they see others taking time out of their day to tell their social media followers how good this product or service they have used is, they will be wowed.  

And also, this marketing strategy is essentially free. Below we explain how to garner advocates.

How to Get Advocates

That’s easy. Please the customer. 

From your customer service agents to your website chatbots, everybody and everything in your business must put the customer first.

If a customer feels they have been treated exceptionally well by the customer service operations of a business, they will likely tell their friends about this without even being encouraged to. 

But you can do more than that as a business. Ask your customer service agents to pinpoint any particular customers they feel could share their good experience. Did somebody have an issue that was quickly resolved? Encourage them to share that great story! 

Here is how:

1. Use incentives. 

Motivate current customers to share their good experience with your company by introducing special offers for those who spread the word online. A very successful incentive is offering customers 20% off their next product if a friend they refer joins. 

Pinging an email to previous customers, including a promo code and some recommendations is also ideal. It is an easy way to reel a customer back in and a sure step in mastering an omnichannel strategy.

2. Create a brand narrative. 

For customers to talk about your business, there has to be something special for them to say. What do you offer that those other companies don’t? A good place to start is to set up a loyalty scheme so people want to visit in the first place, and then to keep coming back.

3. Combine brand narrative and incentives.

...and you get #Hashtags. Social media users love hashtags, they feed off being able to add to a chain of posts that they know like-minded people will be perusing. Hashtags not only boost your brand but they boost that customer’s personal brand, so they will love taking part. 

Various brands and companies have successfully used hashtags to promote a new product or pull in new customers, from Pets at Home to Starbucks. Seeing loyal customers enjoy showing off a product they have received will lure people in a lot quicker than a flashy ad they see at the bus stop. 

4. Be personal. 

If something went a bit wrong at first with a customer’s experience, make note of that and let them know that you have remembered. Once a product has been delivered, send an email saying you hope it turned out okay. 

If an order got lost in the post, send them another for free or upgrade the order. Do something to show you actually cared about their experience, and they will definitely talk about it. 

5. Have good shipping options. 

If your online business includes posting products to your customers, you should definitely find a shipping partner. This lets you offer cheaper postage prices to your customers. 

Shipping costs are the make-or-break for many online shoppers, with 63% of customers admitting they abandon their shopping cart when shipping costs get too expensive. Free delivery or discounted delivery is certainly something to sing and shout about online - so try your absolute best to offer it! 

Get All Your Team Onboard

For an advocacy marketing campaign to work, your whole team needs to advocate for advocacy! 

What we mean is, make sure all the team is on the same wave-length and kept in the loop, from the marketing department to the customer service staff. 

Especially in the new world of remote-working, it is crucial that your business invests in the right online software for keeping in touch with one another and sharing information.

It is worth looking at Skype compared to Glip and doing a Glip vs. Microsoft Teams comparison to see if you are really using the right communication software to keep your business moving forward. Many assume you will need to pay for the right tools, but there are free options out there.

After all, once your social media advocates start reeling in new customers, you want to have an organized cyber-office!

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