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How To Turn Clients Into Brand Advocates: 14 Strategies

What is one way to turn a client into a brand advocate?

To help you turn your clients into brand advocates, we asked marketing experts and business leaders this question for their best ideas. From starting with your employees to providing exceptional customer service, there are several strategies that may help you win over your clients to become your best brand advocates.

how to turn clients into brand advocates

How To Turn Clients Into Brand Advocates: 14 Strategies

Tip 1

Start With Your Employees

James Diel

James Diel, Textel

The best brand advocates at your disposal are at the front lines day in and day out—your employees. When you build a strong team that lives your brand’s values, they take every customer service experience to the next level. When we think about the brands that move us most, usually, the people behind the brand create memorable experiences that keep us coming back for more. You’ll naturally grow more clients into brand advocates by starting with your employees first.

Allow your team to get their hands into your social media feed, curating and reusing related content they post about work. According to one pro at building brand advocates, Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, employees are the true brand ambassadors, “the real merchants of romance and theater” that serve as the primary catalysts to delight your customers. Show your deeply ingrained cultural values and create a community of advocates within the company that naturally expands out to your customers.

Tip 2

Make It Easy To Leave Reviews

Colton De Vos

Superior customer service and quality of the product or service typically lead to customers wanting to advocate for your brand. Initiatives like small giveaways, adding extra features for free – or letting power users trial them for free, and delivering on adding extra value when your customers make a purchase or renew a contract always goes a long way to improving their perspective of your company – especially when already viewed in a positive light.

When you have happy customers ready to speak your praise, make it easy for them! They may want to let others know about their positive experience but aren’t sure of the right channel. You can provide quick links to leave Google Reviews or links to your chosen review platform with short, concise instructions on what is involved in sharing their testimonial. You can also use email marketing to reach out to top returning customers asking for their personal feedback and if they would consider sharing that in a text or video testimonial.

Tip 3

Focus On Hyper-Personalization

Yuvi Alpert

Yuvi Alpert, Noémie

The advance in technology has allowed marketers to engage in a relatively new technique known as hyper-personalization, and while it is generally used for promotions, it can also be utilized for clients to become brand advocates through targeted offerings. Hyper-personalization allows data to be collected through direct website and social media engagement to create individualized customer profiles that highlight their interests.

By taking the hyper-personalization technique and then tailoring your promotional offers to customers based on their profile, you can strengthen your business’s connection to them, which in turn, will make them an advocate for your brand. Giving customers what they want through personalizing your marketing efforts, increases enthusiasm, enhances customer satisfaction, and will turn them into a potential advocate who will share your messaging.

Tip 4

Prioritize Long-Term Customer Relationships

chris gadek

Chris Gadek, AdQuick

While it’s good your sales team is working to track down leads and land new accounts, they should also be maintaining relationships with customers. Social marketing extends the customer journey well beyond sales through customer retention and advocacy. So now more than ever, your team must engage customers post-sale and provide continued support to ensure their long-term business.

You can better understand the number of touchpoints your reps must make each quarter by comparing the average length of client relationships with the number of interactions they’ve had with those customers. Then use this as a benchmark going forward. The customer retention KPI impacts customer satisfaction levels, recurring revenue, and the growth of your business.

Tip 5

Use Referral Programs To Incentivize Client Advocacy

Cody Candee

Cody Candee, Bounce

Part of encouraging brand advocacy is incentivizing a client’s enthusiasm, and this is particularly true in the service industry, which is why referral programs can be so effective. While content marketing and loyalty programs can encourage customer re-engagement, referral programs can be used to expand a brand’s reach and customer base through advocacy.

Incentivizing advocacy by offering cash rewards, discounts on future products and services, or special gifts, can be an effective way to grow your business through your clients while continuing to foster that relationship. In addition, by implementing incremental rewards that increase with each referral, you can turn an enthusiastic client brand advocate into an informal sales rep. By incentivizing customers through a referral program, you can successfully initiate a brand advocacy program that will enhance your business’s reach and bottom line.

Tip 6

Offer Superior Swag-Gifts

John Ross

John Ross, Test Prep Insight

While clearly, the most effective way of turning a customer into an intentional brand advocate is offering elite customer support, the best way of turning a customer into an unintentional brand advocate is with awesome swag. If you routinely toss out nice swag to your clients, not only will you build loyalty with them, but it will also make them unknowing brand reps. To be clear, I’m not talking about cheap sunglasses or lanyards. I’m talking about puffy jackets from Patagonia embroidered with your company name and Yeti tumblers plastered with your logo. In other words, stuff they will actually dig and regularly use. Of course, this costs more, but as the old adage goes, you need to spend money to make money. If your swag is nice enough people will even ask your clients where they got it from or who your company is. It’s not the most direct path to creating a brand advocate, but offering superior swag does work.

Tip 7

Collect And Display Reviews And Testimonials

Henry Babichenko

Henry Babichenko, European Denture Center

We collect and display our patient reviews and testimonials online. This has been one of the best ways that our patients can advocate and share their personal experiences with our brand. Right from our website, patients can leave a comment or review. We also email our patients to collect their feedback after their patient visit with us. By collecting patient reviews and making it easy for them to share their feedback, your brand will benefit from indirect referrals and recommendations.

Tip 8

Build Partnerships With Your Customers

Adrian Pereira

Adrian Pereira, Eco Pea Co.

Your most loyal customers are likely already advocating about your brand to their peers and on social media, so why not partner with them to show them you value their support? Brands that do partner with their customers offer brand ambassador or affiliate programs. These are people who embody the image and values of your brand and can show off your products in a way that is truly authentic.

This not only increases brand awareness, but also makes your brand seem more attractive to the average consumer as well. Ambassadors and affiliates also get exclusive perks such as early access to products and discount codes that they may share with their friends and family to further bring in new customers.

Tip 9

Produce Results That Show Value

Kristen Ruby

Kristen Ruby, Ruby Media Group

The best way to turn a client into a brand advocate is to produce results. If you can’t produce results and provide value, no one will advocate for your business or brand. C-suite business leaders do not advocate for services or products they can not personally vouch for. If you want someone to vouch for you, they must be able to tangibly see the difference between your service and industry competitors. They must also be able to trust that you can reproduce the same level of results at scale if they refer business to you. In addition to producing results, your customer experience has to be top notch. Someone could love your service, but if they don’t love working with you, they will be less likely to make a referral. Brand advocacy begins and ends with customer success. How can you help someone win? People love sharing their wins and when you help a client achieve success, they are more likely to share that with people and your brand becomes a central part of their story.

Tip 10

Create A Customer-Centric Culture

John Tian

John Tian, Mobitrix

How you treat clients massively influences whether they stick with you or even spread the word about your business. Research has shown that 55% of customers will pay more if a company is customer-centric. The study by Zendesk also concluded that clients who received an exceptional level of customer experience were likely to advocate for your business. Clients prefer that companies don’t outsource customer care to just a single department. Instead, they expect organizations to collaborate between departments to provide a pleasant and flawless experience. An organization that achieves this can quickly turn clients into advocates.

Tip 11

Implement Customers' Feedback To Drive Referrals

Laura Berg

Laura Berg, Kong Club

You can use customer feedback data to implement product or service innovations. As you gather data from your target demographic, strategize using what interests them to catch their eye. Our members looked for expert pet advice on different social media platforms, for example, so we hosted expert-led webinars on Facebook focusing on their concerns. Not only did this drive other consumers to our event, but it facilitated a sense of community among our members who shared their experiences and gave each other feedback. The better your business solution meets your customers’ needs, the more relatable and helpful they will find your brand. Listen closely to your consumers, implement their feedback, and they will rave over your service.

Tip 12

Say Thank You And Mean It

Samuel Devyver

Samuel Devyver, EasyLlama

Thank your customers, and thank them often. The power of those two words can’t be underestimated, especially in a world where many are too busy to slow down and give appreciation to each other. A personalized thank you will help your customers feel special and appreciated. Brick-and-mortar businesses can give that appreciation in person.

A special note or a discount code given out upon receipt with a warm thank you can solidify your relationship—everyone wants to return to the shop with top-notch staff that treats you like gold.

In digital business, the spatial divide does not diminish the power of the thank you. Find creative ways to thank your customers and address them by name through follow-up emails and special discount codes. Let your customers know how much they matter to you, and you’ll have a relationship for life.

Tip 13

Reward Customer Engagement

Kyle Risley

Kyle Risley, Lift Vault

One way to help encourage customers to become brand advocates is to reward them when they engage with your brand socially. Many businesses do this without thinking about it, in offering discounts for referrals or hosting giveaways for social media posts. However, there are more ways that brands can get dedicated types of action from their most enthusiastic customers.

One of the best ways to help find which of your clients can become potential advocates is to participate in social listening. That means tracking your mentions on social media to see which customers check in with your business, and which share their experiences. The customers that have the most organic reach with these posts can be those that you might want to encourage more engagement with. You could even court these clients into an advocacy agreement, where they post about your business regularly in exchange for discounts. This agreement is a great way to connect with your community and inspire business growth.

Tip 14

Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Hector Ruiz

Hector Ruiz, BBQ Grill Academy

Provide exceptional customer service and you will be well on your way to building brand advocates. Customers that receive exceptional customer service and assistance are more inclined to recommend your brand to friends, family, and coworkers.

Providing exceptional customer service is one opportunity to convert a client into a brand advocate. When clients feel appreciated and respected, they are more inclined to become brand fans. One way of doing this is by having brand community managers in social media talking directly to customers. Consumers that are satisfied with your brand will spread the word about it and are more likely to become lifelong customers. Not only that, they are more inclined to volunteer as brand ambassadors, spreading the word about your business through their social media networks. Therefore, ensure that your client service is exceptional!

Knowing How To Turn Clients Into Brand Advocates

Ready to turn your clients into brand advocates? Let me know in the comments below what your favorite tips shared by the experts were.