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How to Turn Your Raleigh Customers into Brand Advocates

What’s the difference between a customer and a brand advocate?

A brand advocate is a person who promotes your brand to other people via word-of-mouth marketing through natural conversation. This person can be:
  • An employee
  • A business partner
  • A customer
  • Online influencers (industry websites, etc.)
The concept of “peer review” is one of the most powerful and authentic forms of marketing. It occurs when person A makes a recommendation to person B based on their experience.  What are you doing to turn your customers into brand advocates who will go out of their way to recommend your products or services to their friends, coworkers, and family members? Read on to learn more about how to get started on this potent form of marketing.

Identify Your Advocates

You will first need to find current customers who identify and have an internal connection with your brand. For example, maybe you know someone who loves Dr. Pepper.  Whenever you go out to eat, they refuse to drink anything else. Whenever there’s a friendly gettogether, it’s a sure thing they’re bringing a colossal case of Dr. Pepper to the event. That’s a brand advocate. That person identifies with the Dr. Pepper brand and promotes it by sharing it with others. So how do you find these types of people? There are a variety of ways, some more complicated than others. However, one of the most popular ways is to conduct a survey of your customer base. Ask them the following simple question: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our products/services to your family, friends, or colleagues?”  Those who answer a “9” or “10” are your brand advocates—the type of person who would immediately recommend your business without thinking twice. These are the people whom you should focus a portion of your marketing efforts on building even stronger relationships. Here are a few tips on how to foster and grow the relationship between you and your most important customers:

Loyalty Program

Loyalty ProgramLoyalty programs don’t have to be complex—they can be as simple as having a few business cards printed up wherein the cashier punches a hole every time the customer makes a purchase.  After the 10th purchase, the customers get a free product or percentage off their next order. You can offer two loyalty programs to sweeten the deal—one for regular customers and another secret one for your brand advocates. 

Referral Program

Give your brand advocates an extra reason to promote your products and services with a referral program. This will help you gain new business, and you could wind up creating even more brand advocates than you had before. Be sure to reward the referrer and the person they referred. It will give your customers an extra incentive to refer someone else as they know they’re getting a good deal. 

Give them a Surprise

Who doesn’t like a surprise every now and then? Give your best customers a free gift every so often as a way of saying “thanks!” A great way to do this is with a promotional product imprinted with your brand logo. Avoid the temptation of sending out a bunch of calendars or pens—that’s so 1980s. Step up to the plate and spring for a more expensive product such as a blue tooth speaker or something similar.  Your brand advocates will thank you for the gesture, and they’ll subconsciously associate the high quality of the item with your company.

Under Promise and Over Deliver

Regardless of what industry you’re in, strive to under-promise and over-deliver. For example, a web designer can promise their client that their new website will be ready in a month—when in reality, it will only take ~2 weeks.  Alternatively, if you sell products online, you can promise a two-week delivery and instead get the product to them within a few days of the initial order. 

Ask for Online Reviews

Online reviews serve two primary purposes:
  1. They instill a sense of trust in potential new customers.
  2. The more reviews you get, the better Google ranks your website in the local search results.
Asking for a review from your brand advocates is a no-brainer. These are the people who are most likely to say the nicest things about your business.  Have a postcard printed up, or send an email to these individuals and ask them to go online to a review site of your choosing and leave their honest thoughts.

Branding and Marketing Help in Raleigh

Just a little bit of time, money, and effort on your part can go a long way towards turning regular customers into happy brand advocates. As time goes by, be sure to track and fine-tune your program to ensure the greatest amount of success. At AlphaGraphics of Raleigh, we’re much more than a print shop—we’re also marketing experts who you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can help with your content marketing needs, you may email us, request a quote, or call us at (919) 832-2828.

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