The Smart Lab: 7 Steps for Building a Brand Advocacy Program
They include identifying people who genuinely like what you’re selling and creating easy-to-share content, Emmanuel Raheb writes.
Similar to word-of-mouth, brand advocacy is a much higher level of promotion.
When you have a brand advocate, you create an evangelist for your jewelry store. They go above and beyond to share their experiences with you and actively tell others. Brand advocates can be your customers, suppliers, and even your own employees.
A simple example of brand advocacy is a jewelry company ready to launch a new summer collection.
They find Instagram influencers who are fashion experts and fit their demographic, establishing a relationship with them and providing free jewelry to style with their wardrobe. The influencer posts about it and now the new collection is in front of 300,000 potential buyers.
Brand advocacy can happen organically when you have an influencer who is already a fan, or it can happen over time through relationship building.
Here are some recent statistics that prove the value of brand advocacy.
• Word-of-mouth marketing drives 20-50 percent of all purchasing decisions, according to McKinsey & Company.
• Nielsen, a consumer tracking agency, stated that 83 percent of consumers completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of family and friends.
• A recent study by Bazaar Voice found that earned media (including press, referrals and word-of-mouth) drove four times the amount of brand lift when compared with paid media.
• Adweek magazine found that 91 percent of millennials would consider buying a product if a friend recommended it.
• Media Venue states that 48 percent of millennials say word-of-mouth marketing is so powerful it influences them more than television.
• According to Forbes, only 16 percent of millennials trust traditional advertising.
The numbers don’t lie; however you measure it, brand advocacy is a powerful way to influence consumers and grow jewelry sales.
Here’s a simple seven-step plan to build your own custom brand advocacy program for your jewelry business.
1. Uncover who your brand advocates are.
Brand advocacy can’t be left to chance. You have to uncover who your brand advocates are. Who’s posting about your jewelry store online? Who’s loyal to the styles you sell? Who engages on your social media posts? These are all clues as to who can become a brand advocate for your jewelry business.
2. Set measurable and attainable goals.
Having a clear and concise goal is key to succeeding with brand advocates. Do you want more likes, comments, or shares on your posts? More website or foot traffic? How will you measure the success of your brand advocates? Decide what’s most important to you.
3. Make it easy to share your content.
To succeed, you need to make it as simple as possible for brand advocates to share your content. Always include share buttons on your website and place them prominently at the top and bottom of every page. You’ll also want to email content to your best brand advocates so they can easily share it with others.
4. Create sales promotions.
Special offers and discounts should be part of your brand advocacy strategy. You’ll want to include contests, reward points, or a referral program to incentivize brand advocates to support you and tell others. It helps get them excited.
5. Be authentic.
It’s important to always be real and approachable. Jewelry can be an expensive item, so no one wants to buy from someone they can’t trust. By remaining authentic to your true self, your real personality can shine through. Your brand advocates should share your same values.
It’s important to listen to everyone you interact with, be it consumers, employees, or even jewelry suppliers. Everyone wants to be heard and know that their opinion matters. The best ideas can come from anywhere and anyone can grow into a brand advocate for your store.
7. Stay the course and be consistent.
When building a brand advocacy program for your jewelry store, it’s important to not give up. This is not something that happens overnight. The more time you invest in building relationships and growing your program, the more success you’ll see. Consistency over the long term will yield better results than a scatter-shot approach.
In summary, brand advocacy is one of the most powerful ways to grow your jewelry business. Word-of-mouth marketing builds your reputation and pays dividends over time.
Remember, the more advocates you have telling others about you, the easier it will be for you to sell your customers. Your best fans can become your greatest marketing asset.
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