Brand advocacy is the ultimate goal for small businesses that helps strengthen your competitive advantages.
Marketing has generated the lead. Sales has closed the deal and Operations has delivered a great service/product. You have a very happy client; a brand advocate. What can you do from this point to maximise the benefit your small business gets from this? Here are 5 ways you can use the brand advocacy to your advantage…
This is the final blog post in ‘activate fierce brand loyalty’ series.
“What about you and me?”
This is what a client would ask when they consider active advocacy towards your brand.
The answers to the questions below that relates to why a client would think of choosing you can be found in the previous blog posts:
Through a combination of brand awareness, understanding of performance levels, strength of imagery, forming positive judgements and experiencing positive feelings, a potential B2B client feels inclined to work with you.
They are in-sync with you and your brand.
Your client feels a deep psychological bond with your brand and everything it represents.
To maximise this intensely positive relationship, there are five key areas that can increase your advantages.
Ask for a testimonial
A happy client will say great things about you and your business, but sometimes you need to nudge them just a little.
When you talk to them, for example as a project is finished, ask for a testimonial. They can either say something during the conversation, or email something to you. Use that testimonial across your online and print marketing collateral.
If you add the testimonial to LinkedIn or Twitter, make sure you mention them in the text (@insert name) so they get notified and either Like or comment – a further endorsement.
If they could do their testimonial as a video, that would be even better!
Their words, and feelings, can be tremendously powerful.
Ask for a referral
Who do they know who could also use your services/products? When doing this, try not to use the word anyone – it makes things surprisingly difficult.
- Perhaps they are connected to someone you’ve been trying to get hold off. Could they do an introduction?
- Be specific if you cannot identify a person. Who do they know in this role in this industry sector? Of course, this will have followed on from you researching their clients and their network.
- Ask for three. That way you may get one.
Prospects who have been referred by a brand advocate become clients at a far greater rate than any other lead source.
Invite them to Events
Nobody likes someone that talks too much about themselves! That is just what you have to do as a
small business when marketing yourself. Sincerity is something highly valued when building business relationships.
However, it is much more powerful to have a client who has built a strong relationship to represent your brand. Conversations ensue in the hustle and bustle of a lively event your hosting.
In and amongst you speaking for and representing yourself, you would want advocates in the crowd to support your claims. Their intensely positive experience with you carries a weight you cannot replicate yourself. The marketing happens organically and likely to be received better.
Develop a case study
A well-built case-study goes a long way for a small business. It helps communicate a story that relates directly to an advocate’s experience with your brand.
This is a fantastic tool to utilise an existing advocate to generate further leads. Prospects will search for answers as they require services for their business. It is second nature to Google and research. Especially when a large sum of money is in the equation relative to the size of the business.
A case study narrative helps a prospect discern:
- The advocate’s original challenge
- How your business presented a solution
- How the solution was implemented practically
- The results, a prospect always wants to know what the end results are
Go to networking events they go to
Make the most out of that intensely positive relationship by frequenting network events they attend.
The relationship will sell itself. Remember, however, this is a networking event so don’t monopolise their time.
Both parties mutually benefit. Through prompting and suggesting one another if a conversation occurs where anything that connects to your brand or service is mentioned.
There is an underlying trust and loyalty fostered over time between you and your advocate and your presence reminds them of the pleasant experience they have had with you.
Looking to strengthen your brand advocacy?
Do you need advice on how to strengthen your brand advocacy through your marketing efforts? SME Needs is ready with expert advice, planning and implementation of your specialised marketing plan.