Business & Finance Advertising & sales & Marketing

EQUIPPING YOUR BRAND ADVOCATES

Word of mouth marketing continues to be the most popular tool in promoting your brand and effectively getting your sales up. The Internet and social media have simply amplified the effect of it €" rather than just delivering the information to one or a group of people at a time, a person can now spread the word about a product or service to hundreds of other people with just a click of a button. The result is that one individual can easily and quickly influence many others just by sharing their opinion.

This is the reason why discovering and equipping your brand advocates has never been so important. These are the key influencers of your brand, the ones who are more likely to share information about the products and services they use, and influence other people in their opinions and purchase decisions.

Even just one brand advocate can effectively influence the opinion of more than a hundred people€¦ so what more if you have dozens of brand advocates at your disposal, ready and willing to spread the word and go the extra mile for your brand? The average number of friends a Facebook user has is 130, so if you effectively equip that one user, you can potentially reach 130 people through that person's influence.

Here are some tips to help you find and equip your brand advocates and effectively promote your brand:

1. Your customers are your best brand advocates

This may sound obvious to you, but I'd just like to reiterate that your customers are your best brand advocates. Look specifically at your loyal customers, the ones who continuously use your products and services. These are the people who basically represent your brand, since they are the ones who are most likely to influence others through word of mouth marketing about your products and services.

How exactly do you find these people? If you already have a brand community, you can easily see who the key influencers are, the ones who are defending your brand, and even answering questions regarding your products and services. You can also do a keyword search on the most popular keywords related to your brand and find out who's mentioning you €" the people you find are the ones who are likely to either be huge fans of your products or are complaining about it.

Once you find your best fans, you can encourage them to promote you by engaging with them, thanking them, as well as publicly rewarding them for helping you spread the word about your brand. You can give them a gift or a discount so they feel a lot more special and become even more willing to advocate your brand.

2. You shouldn't ignore your team members

Did you know that your team members can also become some of your best brand advocates? Yes, if your team members love your brand, then they can effectively influence their friends and families to use your products or services as well. This is why more and more companies are taking a more relaxed view of social media usage during work since it can actually help them reach more consumers. Also, putting your team members at the forefront of your brand campaign is a way of personalizing your brand, and honestly, most people enjoy interacting with a real person much more than a faceless, nameless entity.

So make sure to treat your team members right so they feel motivated and passionate about your brand. Always deal with them honestly and guide them so they can effectively promote your brand in the best way possible.

3. Listen to your brand advocates

Now that you've found your brand advocates, the key to really equipping them to spread your message is to listen to them first. Listen to what they want, and then give them the best information about your products and services. You want to make them feel that their voice is heard, that they are effectively participating in helping you create better products and services for your consumers. It's all about making them feel special so they return the favor by sharing and promoting your brand.

The Internet has truly made it a lot easier for people to engage and build relationships. There are so many tools available to businesses nowadays to ensure that their consumers are heard and so they can discover their brand advocates. So make sure that you equip your brand advocates with the best information possible so they can really help you promote your brand through word of mouth marketing and ultimately increase your sales.

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