The relationships you’ve built with your audience can be used to a powerful effect – from encouraging them to share their experience of publishing with your organisation, to advocating new products and services, and recommending your conferences and events to their friends and colleagues.
Brand advocacy isn’t a new marketing initiative, but it’s one that can sometimes be overlooked. The essence of an advocacy programme is in identifying and developing relationships with people with influential networks that can help your organisation become visible to larger audiences, and grow interest in your products and services – building stronger brand awareness.
One of the best things about using advocacy techniques is the virtual circle that it creates – creating advocates creates more advocates, and advocates in turn provide feedback that can help improve your brand and products.
When we’re working with our clients on advocacy strategy, we focus on 3 key pillars:
- Right People – good advocates generally have a level of expertise and influence, a good sized network, they’re active communicators, willing to advocate on your behalf, and loyal to your organisation.
- Right Conversations – what are the right topics for you to base conversations around within your community, and how best to engage with them?
- Right Place – advocates can be found on social media, blogs, editorial boards, panels, discussion forums, or they could be conference speakers.
If you’re looking to get started on shaping an advocacy plan, here are some pointers:
- Once you’ve defined your priority topics, then match these to your identified priority influencers to create an advocacy action plan.
- Map out an editorial calendar against key activities/events you can plan for.
- Remember to consider ‘what’s in it for them’ – there has to be a value exchange.
- Remember to reward and acknowledge
– at its simplest, retweets
– also consider more formalised advocacy programmes with official ‘membership’, events, and prizes.
And don’t forget to measure the impact of your advocacy plan through reach, engagement, connections and activity.