Finding a strong WHY to incent your WHO to re-share messages to promote you and your business is imperative to the success of your advocacy marketing program! The different type of WHY’s include:
Just Cuz’ – this is when people want to advocate for you because they love you and want to see you succeed.
Good will – Anyone who feels an intrinsic indebtedness to promote you or your services. Maybe you did a great job replacing their roof or found them health insurance and they genuinely want to proactively advocate for you because you did such a good job. Maybe they want to promote your cause.
Implied Financial Gain - Sharing a message increases the target advocates chances of financial gain. This is relevant with bars, car dealerships, any place where employees get tips or commission, so the act of sharing is increasing not just the businesses bottom line but the employees as well.
Direct Financial Gain – When a target advocate is incented with some form of compensation, e.g., discounts, referral fees, etc. This can be used to give discounts on services, or maybe expand on an existing referral program so that the referral is the result of re-sharing a message, then they get some form of referral fee. (Sounds a little like affiliate marketing?)
Culturally Relevant - Referral based culture that promotes those we know, like and trust. This could be employees, charity volunteers, association members, referral networks, etc.
At this point you need to become a bit of a psychologist to determine what is going to specifically motivate your WHY. They’re WHY has to be strong! “The force is strong with this one.” (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself). You know who your WHO’s are, and you know what makes them tick. Tap into that and find the one thing that will make them want to advocate for you from the rooftops!
If you’re in one of the industries where people’s WHY is already very strong, you’re in luck because this exercise completes itself. Some examples of industries that have organically strong WHY’s include bars & restaurants, car dealerships, non-profits, network marketing companies and churches.
Now that we know who your WHO’s are (I feel a little bit like Dr. Seuss), and you understand the various WHY’s available to motivate them, identify you WHO’s WHY’s and start to think about how you can motivate your WHO’s to advocate proactively for you. Now take out your list of WHO’s and start to write down each one of your WHO’s WHY or WHY’s. Unless you have a clear cut WHO-WHY combination, I would start slow with one or two and work on making those effective before broadening your program. You will learn a lot in that one or two that will help you hone your strategy with a bigger advocate pool.
The most important thing to remember when creating your advocacy marketing strategy is to be intentional and creative. One size does not fit all. A practical example of this is a client I had was a solo-preneur financial coach. She had done a great job of creating identifying synergy partners and curating referral partnerships with them, but she didn’t really feel she had any WHO’s that would be effective advocates for her. Since I knew the power that advocacy marketing could have for her business, I was determined to find a way to make it work for her. I created what I called an “advocacy coop”. What is an Advocacy coop, you ask? It is a group of synergy partners that are not competitive in nature that share co-branded social messages. So the program looked like this…
My client paid my company to create and administer her social media. She chose three synergy partners to co-brand with. We would build a social post about her business and include the logo, contact info, tagline, etc. of each synergy partner. Once a week, we would post a co-branded message on her Facebook page, and she would share it personally, as well as the 3 synergy partners.
If you remember what we already learned that each one of us is on average connected to 400 people on social media. Since 4 people shared each post, my client receives a reach of about 1600 each week, the equivalent of $40 Facebook ad spend in the DFW metroplex. Do that every week for 52 weeks and that is equivalent to $2,080 of publicity she wouldn’t have to pay for.
How do your numbers add up?
Now that you have a strategy on who you’re going to approach and clearly understand what’s in it for them how do you approach your target ambassador and ask them to promote your business?
Each kind of ambassador will have a different approach, but affiliates and influencers should be pretty cut and dry (especially influencers because this is kinda what they do) so this applies mostly to advocates, but some could be relevant in an affiliate program too, depending upon how you’ve structured yours:
1. Be INTENTIONAL about why you want them in your ‘CROWD’
2. Be PREPARED to give them their WHY (what’s in it for them)
3. Be CONSIDERATE about any constraints they may have.
4. ASSURE them that:
It will cost them nothing.
You will not over-utilize their goodwill.
They will not be exposed to annoying advertising.
They will have an opportunity to review and approve and/or opt out of sharing every post.
The only sensitive information being collected is what they directly provide.
·They can share to business pages or groups as well if that suits them better, it does not have to be their personal profile.
If you’ve structured your program properly then this should be a pretty easy conversation to have with a high adoption rate. If you are getting a lot of push back, my recommendation would be to go back to the beginning and rethink your WHO’s and their WHY’s.
Next week we will talk about HOW to ease the process of re-sharing so your WHO can support you effectively.