There are many marketing strategies you should be aware of for the future but in this blog we are going to talk about one strategy that goes deeper and is rooted in a business’ corporate culture.
Let’s face it, marketing has changed – especially inbound marketing and social media has now taken a lead role. Inbound marketing can be used to attract people to your brand and build lasting relationships. If you are wondering how you can leverage this marketing powerhouse, it’s quite simple! I know you’re on the edge of your seat, so here it is…
Social Advocacy to the Rescue
Now the concept of a Brand Ambassador has been around for years. We typically think of paid “ambassadors” representing a company or brand according to the identity and demeanor we want to promote. Consumers have also served in this capacity in an unpaid fashion simply by being devotees to a brand and promoting these positive aspects to their friends, family and acquaintances.
With the rise in social media in the past few years, social advocacy has now become one of the most cost effective methods of growing your business. Today’s brand ambassador has a larger audience by publicly sharing your brand on their personal social media platforms.
The average adult has five social media accounts and spends approximately one hour and forty minutes on them each every day according to the Global Web Index.
“But why do I need a brand ambassador?” you may be asking yourself. Well, it’s simple. This method of marketing works because more and more people are using social media channels to research and recommend products and services. A recent survey stated that 78% of consumers trust the recommendations and endorsements of our peers 10 times more than other traditional avenues of advertising.
Organically Grown Brand Ambassadors
The customers of today don’t want to talk to a logo–they are accustomed to engaging with brands. Who better to empower with this responsibility than your employees? Your business will benefit from more authentic communication, which in turn will generate increased leads, higher sales, and greater cost-effectiveness. Mark Burgess from Blue Focus Marketing said it best:
“The most forward thinking companies know that the social employee is the new authentic marketing channel of the future.”
It won’t be long after your employees get on board that your customers will begin to do the same.
Will This Change the Way I Run My Business?
Your current strategy may look amazing on paper, but if your employees don’t buy into your mission, vision, and values, your amazing strategy will never get off the ground. This will cause your social employees to produce inconsistent and disjointed content in their social marketing efforts. Having a clear brand persona will help your employees better represent you.
Take Netflix, for example. They recently committed to provide unlimited paternal and maternal leave for all of their employees. Of course this made them look good in the eyes of the media, but at the end of the day, they wanted people to know that they strive to have a positive environment for their employees. More and more companies are establishing these types of policies for their employees because they understand that if they lift their employees up, their employees will do the same for them.
How Can I Use This Strategy to Strengthen My Business?
Using examples of how other business have mastered some of these techniques is the best way to help your marketing efforts. You know your audience and how they can benefit from your products and services, but you have to know how to use this information to influence the conversation on social media. Using a technique called ‘active listening,’ REI was able to implement a strategy spread by their social ambassadors in direct response to recent backlash against the Black Friday shopping craze.
People didn’t like that this shopping event encroached on the Thanksgiving holiday, which is intended to bring family and friends together. They announced via social media that they would be closed on Black Friday and urged their followers to spend the day outside with their loved ones, using the hashtag #optoutside, across all of their social platforms. This was a bold statement and proved to their employees and their customers that they live their brand values.
We’re Here to Help
Change can be difficult, especially if you are expected to learn a whole new way of doing things. Don’t fret! You aren’t alone and we are here to help you build the appropriate strategy for your business. Let us show you the ropes and teach you how to empower the people around you to live for your brand.