Marketing requires excellent content. Creating original content, having time to create it, and finding high-quality content are the top three challenges of content marketing, according to Curata’s B2B Marketing Trends Survey 2012 Report. Content marketing is a major challenge for companies which is why 28 to 33 percent of marketing budgets is dedicated to this.
Regardless of the industry, companies can use highly-satisfied customers as a marketing weapon. Customers can create high-quality content for businesses in many ways. According to Rob Fuggetta, author of Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Clients into Powerful Marketing Forces, companies can do this by following and implementing the following steps: find your advocates, turn advocates into content creating machines, amplify advocates, leverage content, track results, and keep advocacy authentic.
Finding your advocates:
Identify your advocates by asking them the ultimate question for customer loyalty. “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues (on a scale of 1 to 10)?” Advocates are the customers who answer 9 or 10. Ask this question through your social media channels, online communities, corporate blogs, email, customer management portals, support channels, and mobile devices.
Turning advocates into content creating machines:
Brand advocates will recommend their favorite products or services because they’ve had a great experience and want to help other people. You should provide online tools to help your advocates generate content that creates the following:
- Profound positive reviews that will increase ratings, help fight negative reviews, and improve search engine optimization;
- Vibrant testimonials to increase awareness and brand recognition;
- Answering prospect’s questions to increase sales conversion rates;
- Tweets, posts on social media platforms, and comments that will ignite positive brand recognition;
- Videos, photos, and other multimedia content to improve engagement.
After advocates create authentic and compelling content, give them tools to share via social sharing widgets for channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email. Allow them to post to third party review sites such as Yelp, Amazon, or TripAdvisor.
Be sure to display the content generated by your advocates on your website, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Another way to leverage content is by placing positive reviews at each step of the purchase process. This will help increase conversion rates and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
You should measure and improve your results by tracking profiles of advocates, activities of advocates, and results of advocate content sharing. Keep information about your advocates such as their names, email addresses, where they work, and there job titles. Track the type of content (reviews, stories, and answers) including when and where your advocates share it. Find out how many people are taking the next step, either by signing up for a webinar or clicking through to learn more about the product, and buying.
Keeping advocacy authentic:
Don’t give perks or rewards for advocate recommendations as this will hurt your brand’s reputation. If a prospect finds out the recommender was given an incentive, they are less likely to buy. If you find that you can’t get a great review without an incentive then ou need to fix your product or service.