Brand advocacy is a powerful digital marketing tool and an effective strategy that many businesses use in today’s digital world.
Why do businesses use it?
Because most decent brand advocacy initiatives (such as those supported by GaggleAMP) help businesses grow potential customers and stay ahead of the competition.
In other words, brand advocacy boosts businesses’ lead generation by:
Did you know? According to IBM, “When a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy, that lead is 7X more likely to close compared to other lead gen tactics.”
Sounds pretty interesting, right? So what exactly is brand advocacy, and how can your business use it to create brand advocates? Most importantly, how do you get started with it?
That’s what we’re going to explore today.
You’ll also learn:
Here’s a sneak peek at what one customer said about GaggleAMP:
“Having implemented the tool a couple of weeks ago now, I am continually delighted by what this tool has to offer. It plugs all the gaps for getting your employees engaged on social media.” — Kassia C, Social Media Manager.
Sounds good? Let’s get started.
Brand advocacy simply means elevating a brand through word-of-mouth advertising.
However, there’s a difference between asking your brand advocates to promote your material via word-of-mouth and having an effective brand advocacy solution in place.
In fact, the best brand advocates don’t spend time writing engaging content. Nor do they go around every street corner telling people why your brand matters.
Instead, the best brand advocates increase your brand visibility organically using practical tools such as GaggleAMP.
“GaggleAMP streamlines social sharing for our employees. Our employees have one central place to find any type of content they'd like to share on their social channels, all with proper corporate messaging and on-brand images.” — Jamie G, Social Media Strategist
Simply put, GaggleAMP allows your brand ambassadors to select activities you’ve created and uploaded, so that they can share them across social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
What’s more? In most cases, your advocates can do this in one click, saving time while allowing your business to reach your target market.
Remember: There aren’t any hidden fees or costs per click with an effective brand advocacy program like GaggleAMP. This contrasts with a traditional marketing campaign offered on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, which requires you to set a budget and pay per click/engagement.
So with all of this in mind, who can be a brand advocate? Let’s take a look.
This one might come as a bit of a surprise, but anyone can be a brand advocate.
It’s true: Although GaggleAMP focuses on employee advocacy and creating a platform for your employees, you can also make a brand advocate out of customers, partners, and influencers.
In fact, just about anyone who’s engaged with your brand and received good service has the potential to contribute to your brand advocacy program, and their word spreads faster than paid advertising.
However, there are a couple of aspects you should consider before choosing your brand advocates:
When you’ve chosen a few good brand advocates, you’ll soon experience five key benefits that will boost your lead generation.
The first benefit is that brand advocacy reduces marketing costs and makes you money.
We’ve already proven how brand advocacy reduces marketing costs. As mentioned above, brand advocates free up your marketer's time, and the content they share spreads faster than traditional advertising.
However, there are a few more secret benefits that lead to a reduced cost and increased profit margin for your business, and we’re going to focus on those a bit more now.
The first is that an employee advocacy program boosts your employee's morale. That’s because it makes your employees feel like a part of your brand, which helps them become invested in your brand's success.
This leads to better working efficiency within your business, meaning you’ll be bringing in increased orders and have an increased output.
In fact, according to Gallup, good company culture leads to 21% greater profitability.
While that figure might not seem a lot on the surface, 21% is enough during a recession to make or break a business.
There’s also no predefined end to your campaign when running an employee advocacy program.
As we mentioned above, you set a budget with a traditional marketing campaign. When your campaign hits that budget, it ends, or you increase it.
However, with brand advocacy, your campaign lasts as long as you need it to without you having to pay any additional costs. This means you boost brand awareness and don’t have to pay out constantly.
In fact, with GaggleAMP, you only pay a monthly fee, and in most cases, that fee pays for itself with the money saved and increased profits.
“Support & team are really responsive. The platform really does increase your reach significantly, it's a great strategy.” — Administrator in Information Technology and Services.
This second benefit goes hand-in-hand with making money: brand advocacy helps your company’s growth.
However, brand advocacy does this indirectly.
Since you’ve increased your lead generation, you’re making new sales. With new sales, you’re making an increased profit, and with increased profit…see where we’re going with this? Your company grows.
Now, what are the advantages of growing a business?
However, the most significant benefit of company growth is that it gives you as a business more opportunities. As your company grows more popular, you’ll attract new customers and talent.
Believe it or not, while new customers are great and the key element to keeping your business afloat, the new talent is more important here. With new talent, you can further increase your brand advocacy program and spread your message. In turn, you’ll keep boosting your lead generation and create a never-ending cycle of growth and profitability.
This never-ending cycle should be enough to keep your business strong no matter what the economic market is like. It’s another way outside of investing money that you can make your business recession-proof.
Social selling is quite simply what it sounds like: using your social media channels to connect with potential leads, develop a relationship with them, and reach your sales targets.
However, through brand advocacy, it won’t just be you social selling. All of your employees will be social selling, too.
The best part is that social selling works.
In fact, LinkedIn Sales Solutions did an in-depth look at social selling and found out that “78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.”
So, why is this? Why is social selling such a successful way of boosting lead generation?
In short, it all comes down to trust.
According to Adobe Experience Cloud Blog, “7 in 10 Customers Will Buy More from Brands They Trust”
With brand advocacy and social selling, your brand ambassadors share activities and content with those in their social circle. This means they’re selling to people who already know and trust them—so your business enjoys the benefits of trust in your brand and, in turn, increased profits.
This is further strengthened when your brand ambassadors become thought leaders in your niche, which can happen when they continually share more and more activities from your brand advocacy program.
As your brand ambassadors become an authority in your niche, customers will learn to trust them even more and are more likely to engage with what they share on social media.
Like our second benefit, this creates a snowball effect where you can keep increasing your lead generation because your brand ambassador is making more and more connections with people who trust them.
Of course, you must keep your ambassadors motivated for this to work, and that’s where tactics like gamification come in.
Using a tool like GaggleAMP, you can offer gamification incentives such as leaderboards to keep your brand ambassadors from getting burned out on social selling. For example, you can provide a reward for whoever shares the most content at the end of the month—such as a monetary bonus or gift card.
We asked one user what they liked best about GaggleAMP, and gamification was a standout feature:
“The ease of bringing in posts, unique tagging for campaigns/programs and ability to track employee activities and the gamification element.” — Administrator in Information Technology and Services.
It’s the ideal way to keep your brand ambassador's social selling to grow your business and boost lead generation.
Why is this important?
Having high brand awareness comes with many advantages:
So how exactly does brand advocacy boost brand awareness?
With brand advocacy, your brand ambassadors share activities and posts on social media channels like Linkedin. This opens your business up to everyone in your brand ambassador’s social circle and allows them to get to know you.
However, if those in your brand ambassador’s social circle see content they like, they’ll also reshare it to their connections and followers.
Fun fact: According to Twitter’s Help Center, “There is no limit to the number of times a Tweet can be Retweeted.” There’s also no limit to resharing content on Linkedin and Facebook.
In other words, it’s not just your brand ambassador’s social circle that sees your content but also those in their connection’s social circles, too.
This means the content your brand ambassadors share on social media needs to be good. Otherwise, nobody will reshare it, and you won’t get that extra boost to your brand awareness.
To ensure this, you must create activities that engage the reader, entertain them, and are relatable.
How do you do this? By knowing your target audience, what they’re interested in, what entertains them, and what appeals to their values.
Make sure to research your market, conduct focus groups, and build buyer personas to learn all of this.
Then, curate your content using GaggleAMP, so your brand ambassadors can quickly share relevant activities and boost your brand awareness.
“GaggleAMP is very simple to use and has become a crucial part of our employee advocacy program. It's extremely easy to put in approved social content and makes it seamless for employees to share.” — Rebecca C
This last benefit is more of a culmination of the above, but it’s essential to know about nonetheless. Brand advocacy matters. It’s one of the best marketing strategies out there and will likely be successful for your business.
In fact, according to Marketing Charts, “brand advocates are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information by people around them.”
To reiterate: customers are more likely to buy from brands they trust.
Yet, that’s not the only reason brand advocacy is a solid marketing strategy and one of the best out there. Having employee advocacy also makes your brand authentic. Why’s that important?
Hiver says, “80% of customers expect companies to interact with them."
Now, by having brand advocates, you’re playing right into that expectation and are building a genuine, engaging brand. By doing this, you’re growing your traffic organically, which means you’ll create customers with a high retention rate. They’ll engage with your thought leaders, trust your brand advocates, and know your brand is one to buy from above the competition.
So with that, we’re going to take a look at some brand advocacy examples:
These three companies use brand advocacy to boost their lead generation and have found success with it. We’re going to talk about how they use brand advocacy and why it's a successful marketing strategy for them.
Kiteworks is a technology company based in California that secures sensitive communications sent over the internet.
Their brand advocates promote cybersecurity tips on Linkedin that help to build Kiteworks as an authority in their niche.
What’s interesting about this strategy is that Kiteworks doesn’t ask its brand ambassadors to sell their content overtly.
Sometimes their brand ambassadors will post about how easy it is to use the Kiteworks platform, or they’ll share customer testimonials. However, for the most part, Kiteworks' social media content isn’t salesy, and what they share is interesting, engaging, and makes it easy to trust Kiteworks as an authority in the realm of cybersecurity.
Kiteworks advocates also share content daily, so their brand ambassadors are never far from the top of your news feed. But since the content is always exciting and educational, connections never get bored seeing it.
In other words, the ambassadors always bring something new to the table that keeps Kiteworks at the forefront of your mind.
This means when the need arises for a business to choose a cybersecurity platform, Kiteworks will always be the first choice.
And given that Kiteworks has been in business since 1999 and have 35 million users on their platform, it’s clear this strategy works for them.
Colonial Life is an accident insurance company with strict compliance policies. Thanks to these policies, their Director of Corporate Communications was against employee advocacy.
However, Colonial Life eventually decided to implement an advocacy program.
Before Colonial Life settled on GaggleAMP as their platform, their advocates only shared 50 social media posts across their networks.
Yet when Colonial Life settled on GaggleAMP, those same advocates shared over 20,000 posts, and it worked wonders for the company.
"Sales reps who were active on GaggleAMP saw two-to-three times the company’s average sales growth in the last year." — Chris Winston
Colonial Life reached 16 million users in its first year of using employee advocacy. This led to a massive 2-3X sales growth which continues today.
Now Colonial Life has over 500 active users on GaggleAMP. They’re so thankful for the platform in their success that they consider it a partner more than just a product.
“They’ve felt like a partner rather than a vendor since day one. GaggleAMP has always, always, always been willing to help us solve any problems we're seeing, and help our program to be more successful. The people there have always been willing to talk us through anything. It's felt like a partnership every step of the way, and everyone at GaggleAMP has been a pleasure to work with.” - Chris Winston
After leveraging social media to expand their reach, Colonial Life said they’d never go back to not having an employee advocacy program in place. You can check out the full case study here.
Ricoh is an electronics company that’s been around since the 30s! From cameras to printers, Ricoh sells a massive line of products.
And like Kiteworks, Ricoh uses brand advocacy to boost their lead generation. Their brand advocates regularly post links to their service and blog pages. Like Kiteworks, doing so helps to build Ricoh as an authority in their niche.
Ricoh mostly shares its content and activities on LinkedIn. Most of their posts have multiple engagements and are reshared multiple times, expanding their reach.
Each year, Ricoh sees growth in their profits — part of that they can contribute to their employee advocacy program.
You’ve now seen why brand advocacy is successful and understand why you need it in your business.
Your brand advocates can help boost your lead generation and make your business recession-proof. The best part is that you can start today by choosing the right platform.
GaggleAMP is the culmination of our vision: to provide an employee advocacy program for your business that makes it easy to share content and activities online. We aim to help boost your lead generation, increase engagement, and provide you with the tools you need to make your business recession-proof.
“What we've liked best about Gaggle is that it's allowed us to better share our message with all employees. Now, employees are able to be notified when a new post is up and easily share that. We've been up on many of our KPIs on social, and I believe Gaggle has been a driver for that.” — Administrator in Computer Software
“I like that GaggleAmp can automatically import our social media posts. It makes it easier for our team to be aware of and share our social posts. We have seen our stats increase since we implemented GaggleAmp.” - Jennifer A, Marketing Manager
“GaggleAMP is the most intuitive tool on the market. Users can figure out how to use it without training, which eases the pressure of launching a program like this when there are scheduling conflicts.” — Andrea C
Michelle Brammer is the Director of Marketing at GaggleAMP. Her background includes over 17 years of brand marketing, strategy, analytics, operations, and multi-channel experience, and she’s firmly rooted in client success and engagement. She is passionate about teaching youth about the digital advertising space and perfecting inbound marketing and social media efforts. Michelle’s thoughts on marketing, advertising, and social media have been published on Forbes, Convince & Convert, iMedia Connection, Bulldog Reporter, MediaPost, PRNewswire, and more.
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