Brand advocacy within your team is vital to fostering culture and activating exposure. They are customers, employees, partners, and influencers who help to elevate your brand through authentic word-of-mouth (or mouse) marketing. As a company, turning your team into brand advocates is an influential, powerful tool for brands.
But first, how is brand advocacy beneficial?
In today’s marketing world, customers seek information on brands through reference groups. Whether from online reviews or asking a friend, over 92% of people trust “brand advocates” over any other form of advertising; thus, making brand advocacy one of the most effective and credible forms of communication. When advocates are activated, they help:
- Grow brand exposure & “fan-base.”
- Represent your value & USP
- Provide user-generated content
With advocates vouching for your brand (on their own time), a significant degree of authenticity is cultivated – one that could never be achieved with simple paid marketing or hard sells. While brand advocacy is necessary for your company’s success, and can’t be faked or purchased, it’s best to start within.
Activate Your Team
Many businesses focus on outside advocates, such as customers or partners, and overlook their employees. Internal brand advocacy encourages active employee engagement and leverages their skillsets and networks to disperse content while representing your brand. As we’ve mentioned, you can’t fake brand advocacy. Get started cultivating advocacy by:
1 Creating value
Similar to company culture, create an environment that provides value with a shared perspective. Find those key players within your organization who clearly understand the company’s vision and promote it with their network.
2 Own it
When your team is invested in their projects and owns it, they are more likely to have enthusiasm toward their job and your brand; thus, being more inclined to share.
3 Support the culture
Get to know your employees: hobbies, interests, etc. and capitalize on it. Your team is more than a labor force, so take the time to have a personal connection. This is crucial in establishing a culture that is sharable. When your team has a good time at work or gets team tacos on Tuesdays, they enjoy work and inherently become brand advocates.
4 Be bigger
Your company’s mission and vision shouldn’t be solely revenue-driven. When driving employee advocacy, commitment, and synergy, your company must always be honest, consistent, and transparent. Don’t be money-focused, be “go-givers” and offer your employees a greater cause to be passionate about.
When you’ve provided your team with their “why,” follow these GROWL tips to encourage advocacy.
Turn your team into brand advocates in four steps
1 Increase social media engagement
Social media is the best place to showcase your culture (and crew, of course!), so encourage your team to be active by liking, commenting, and sharing posts.
2 Invest in team-brains
Your team members range in interest and expertise, so involve them in your creative branding decisions. Start by getting their input on social media content, fun quotes, team activities, and blog topics.
3 Get involved
Embrace your community and inspire your team to take part in chamber activities, volunteer for non-profits, and support local organizations.
4 Host team bonding events
These simple, yet effective activities tell your team that they are valued while bringing members closer. Team bonding can be a lunch BBQ or drinks on the patio, anything that brings your team together on a personal level.
Building brand advocacy must be authentic and takes time but is an essential aspect of your corporate culture and brand awareness. Although brand advocates can be anyone with a stake in your brand, it’s best to activate and elevate from within – investing in your employees turns your team into your top advertisers.