Who is advocating for your business?


No one is a bigger product advocate than Cookie Monster.

As a marketer seeking to grow your business, how do you ensure that your messaging is both relevant and attracting the right audience? Full-page print ads and static banner graphics are no longer compelling enough to guide your target audience effectively through the sales funnel.

Consider this: When searching for a tried-and-true product to include in your home remodel or needing a suggestion for a great interior designer, who do you ask? You likely reach out to a friend, family member or other trusted resource for recommendations. Now, think about how you can apply that level of authenticity to your business.

In today’s digital age, it is essential to pinpoint a strategy that truly reaches your audience and amplifies your message. And who better to reach your audience than an advocate who already knows and genuinely loves your product? Third-party recommendations from brand advocates play an undeniable role in driving consumer purchasing decisions.

An astounding 92% of consumers trust brand advocates, yet only 35% of brands have a mature advocate program in place to sway purchasing decisions through the use of social media.

Let that fact really sink in: An astounding 92% of consumers trust brand advocates, yet only 35% of brands have a mature advocate program in place to sway purchasing decisions through the use of social media. As relationships develop between brand advocates and potential customers, your brand gains credibility and becomes top of mind, leading to more sales.

TWEET THIS: 92% of consumers trust brand advocates. Learn more about the
importance of influencer marketing via @MerlotMarketing http://bit.ly/28Jyy7g

This type of influencer marketing is powerful—it grows brand awareness and reach, and has a profound effect on your bottom line. Digital influence impacts in-store sales and consumer behavior. Shoppers who use social media to help make a purchasing decision are 29% more likely to make a purchase the very same day. Consumers who use social media when making a buying decision are four times more likely to spend more on purchases than those who do not.

Here are three ways to foster long-term brand advocacy for your business:

  • Be selective about who you choose. Just like Cookie Monster advocates for cookies, the right candidate will build relationships with top influencers of your brand, position your company as a leader in the industry and drive sales within your key demographic. It is imperative that they are a good fit.
  • Monitor important keywords and engage in social listening. Social listening, the process of monitoring digital media channels to devise a strategy that will better influence consumers, can help to determine the best brand advocate for your business and contribute to conversations relevant to your industry.
  • Reward brand advocates. A small token of appreciation goes a long way. By expressing your gratitude for their support, you encourage ongoing collaboration and a healthy partnership for the future. Whether this be a monetary reward or product donation, ensure your brand advocate understands that your brand appreciates the value of their contributions and influence.

Having an advocate program in place combats negative opinions, sentiment and reviews, and builds long-term meaningful relationships and customer loyalty to your brand for years to come.

If you would like help getting started with a brand advocate program for your business, or need any other marketing advice, please feel free to send us an email at hello@merlotmarketing.com.

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