There’s a great book called Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force by Rob Fuggetta. I reference it in the episode, and I’m assigning it to my students this term.
In it, the author describes how advocacy can’t be purchased. In order to be effective, it must be genuine and given willingly. When you achieve that, it’s way more powerful than traditional marketing. But how do you start the process?
Creating brand advocates starts with your story. It doesn’t matter whether your business is B2C or B2B—you need a story. When you boil it down, people don’t buy a product or a service from you. They buy a story.
A story is at the root of trust.
Why do you do what you do matters to people, and it’s the very core of your content strategy.
Of course, it’s only the first step. But a good content strategy gives your customers the language to use when advocating for you. If they love your business enough to tell someone else about it, but don’t know how to describe what you do—you just lost a sale. What’s worse is that it’s your fault, not theirs.
This is what content strategy is for.
The ultimate goal is for customers to be carrying your message for you. It’s more believable in their hands, so you should be doing all you can to make it easier for them. If you can reduce the friction, your story has a better shot at propagating.
I get into this in the episode, but here’s a summary:
- Tell your story in clear language. Not just what you do, but also how and why you do it, too.
- Treat your story as a promise to your audience. Come through on that promise consistently.
- Over-deliver. No one talks about something unremarkable. Exceed expectations.
- Write the script. Give your advocates the language they need to sell on your behalf.
That’s about all you can control. The rest is in the hands of others. But when you do good work and run your business the right way, people will show up to help you. It’s not likely to happen by accident though. Start with your goals, and write your own strategy.