What is Advocacy Marketing?
Advocacy marketing is a growing form of marketing. It encourages existing customers to talk about your company and/or products and services. You may have heard whisperings of this concept but by a different name like 'referral marketing', 'peer to peer marketing' or even 'social proof'.
You can harness advocacy marketing to boost your marketing and your engagement strategies. This type of marketing is more authentic than any other as its driven by real humans and their connections.
Mini-Versions of Advocacy Marketing
Remember how we said 'social proof' is kind of a synonym for advocacy marketing? Well, you're probably already using this type of marketing without even realizing it. Asking for references, case studies, reviews, feedback, etc. means you're already using a form of advocacy marketing, albeit at a smaller scale.
The 3 Keys to Advocacy Marketing
- Give your customers something they really want or need (it must also have value to them)
- Offer these customers some way to advocate for you (publicly support you by sharing a link to your site, buying a product, signing a petition, etc.?)
- Recognize or thank your advocates for supporting you!
Humans naturally love to advocate for things we like or feel passionate about. We have a psychological urge called reciprocity. This urge makes us feel obliged to help people or to give back when we've been helped. Give your advocates something valuable (your support/help, an amazing product/service, etc.) and they'll happily return the favour.
So tell me, how does Advocacy even work?
If you're running an advocacy marketing program those that you have deemed "advocates" are sharing your content to their own social channels. Think: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or even by word-of-mouth. When they share to their own personal accounts they're personally endorsing your product/service. When someone sees the advocates' content they trust it since it's someone they know/believe/idolize. Then these consumers are more likely to engage with your brand as they trust the advocate. This works because people trust the people that they know. You're more likely to pay attention to things that the people you follow on social media post, rather than posts from brands/publishers.
*Social Toaster's articles on advocacy and marketing helped to inspire this blog post. Check them out here.