5 Ways Brand Advocacy Can Benefit You
No matter what type of brand you’re building, there’s plenty of ways brand advocacy can benefit you. Brand advocacy refers to any behaviour that involves a customer supporting or recommending the brand that they love. If you’re not sure about how brand advocacy programs work, discover our guide, How to Build a Brand Advocacy Program.
Having brand advocacy programs at the heart of your marketing efforts can help amplify your brand and in turn, boost your sales and enhance your reputation.
These are just some of the many benefits of brand advocacy:
1. Build trust
In a world of ads and influencers, and having the ability to access information in seconds, it’s harder than ever to gain the trust of consumers when there are so many ways to do so. No matter how incredible your brand is, using your own words to convey how great you are just isn’t going to cut it.
According to research commissioned by the Trinity Mirror, almost 70% of UK adults say they distrust advertising and more than 40% distrust the brands behind the advertising. These figures emphasise that standard advertising methods aren’t enough to relay the message that your brand is one consumers can trust.
To build trust, your brand needs to be supported by real people with real voices. Brand advocates can be the authentic voices you need to boost your brand and garner trust.
Some of the ways that brand advocates can help build brand trust include:
- Making personal recommendations and referrals
- Creating unique content
- Creating ambassador storefronts
Ambassador storefronts can be created using brand advocacy platforms like Duel. Brand advocates use these storefronts to publish content they identify with in a meaningful way to their audience. When you, as a brand, give your advocates the freedom to talk about you, there is an exchange of trust. Advocates will trust you because you trust them, and in turn, your advocates’ followers will begin to trust your brand.
Once you gain trust with your consumers, your brand will reap the benefits. For example, in a study conducted by Adobe in 2021, 71% of UK consumers show they trust a brand by making more purchases, 61% show brand trust by recommending to friends while 41% show brand trust by joining a loyalty program.
These figures emphasise that building trust is a major part of enhancing your brand, boosting sales and increasing your reach, therefore, having brand advocates to help you build brand trust is essential.
2. Enhance reputation
Brand advocacy can have a great impact on your company’s reputation. Brand advocates have the ability to enhance your brand’s reputation by promoting it via word of mouth - whether that’s by posting positive reviews about your brand online, or sharing user-generated content on their social accounts.
According to BrightLocal’s Consumer Review Survey, 87% of consumers read reviews online for local businesses in 2020. This was a 6% increase from 2019, and a 20% increase from 2010. These stats help us understand the power of reviews and how influential they can be in regards to affecting a brand’s reputation.
Having too many negative reviews for example, can be detrimental to your brand’s reputation and consumers will also be less likely to trust you. Having loyal brand advocates who are able to write authentic, genuine reviews of a positive nature can really help boost your brand's reputation and support in customer acquisition.
Approximately nine in ten UK consumers check online reviews before buying from a particular business. That’s why having brand advocates is so important - they help spread good word about your brand and act as trusted voices to boost your brand’s reputation and sales.
3. Increase loyalty
While acquiring new customers is often great for business, customer churn can be a problem. In fact, recruiting new customers costs 5x more than retaining existing ones which is why having brand advocates to nurture your current customers and keep them engaged is of high importance.
Studies have also shown that engaged customers are more loyal to brands and are less likely to leave. For example, engaged consumers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction, and are 5x more likely to buy from the same brand in the future.
Brand advocacy allows you to engage with your customers in unique ways to help increase brand loyalty. One great example is user-generated content (UGC). UGC refers to any brand-related content that has been created by a customer. This could include anything from videos and images to written posts on social media. Brand advocates can connect with customers on a natural and genuine level by creating authentic content that can be shared with their connections.
With a brand advocate program, you’ll receive plenty of high-quality UGC which you can repurpose on your socials, website and beyond.
UGC can also be used by the brand as:
- paid social collateral to reduce costs spent on production
- organic social collateral to reduce time spent on creating posts
- galleries on product pages to show the brand in use by real, happy customers
- email marketing, particularly with your community, to showcase other members (eg. competitions, members of the month)
4. Receive valuable insights
Having a brand advocate program allows you to tap into a network of people outside of your brand, yet close enough to offer truly valuable insights.
Here’s some ways you can engage with your advocates to gain valuable insights from them:
- Turn to them for market research purposes such as testing new products or services
- Get them involved in new product or service ideas to gain honest feedback
- Gain feedback on new products before they launch, such as running surveys to gauge what might be popular (eg. colour, size, material, features etc…)
- Ask for data around interests and passion points that could help with identifying what your customers value and how that's reflected in the brand
- Ask for some of their personal details in order to gather more accurate demographic data about your audience (which is also valuable for retargeting)
- Gather feedback on your products or services as well as any other areas of your business that require genuine insights
You’ll also gain insights naturally, just by having brand advocates. You’ll have to ability to:
- See exactly which members advocate the more for you, such as on social media (for reach) or in terms of referring sales to your brand (through referrals and affiliates)
- Determine what advocacy actions are revenue driving for the business, whether that be calculating your reach, your referral revenue, affiliate revenue, UGC gallery revenue, loyalty revenue, etc…
- Locate where your biggest advocates are in terms of market
5. Increase sales
All the above benefits, from building brand trust and, enhancing your reputation, to increasing loyalty and gaining valuable insights, will naturally lead to an increase in sales.
According to Harvard Business Review, for example, referred customers can increase your profits by at least 16%, emphasising the impact advocate activity can have on your brand.
Why is Brand Advocacy Important?
If you like the sound of the benefits above and you’re looking to enhance and grow your brand, we’re here to help. Duel’s platform is designed to automate and manage much of the brand advocacy process, from program creation to implementation and moderation.
But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at some excellent examples of brand advocacy programs and discover how we helped a London-based luxury jewellery company identify, engage with and motivate their ‘social customer’.