Everyone agrees that content is vital to marketing. But “feeding the content beast” is expensive and time consuming. According to a recent study from Curata, the top three challenges of content marketing are:
1. Creating original content
2. Having time to create content
3. Finding high-quality content
Well, here’s the good news: You have a secret content marketing weapon that will help you overcome all three of these obstacles. That weapon is your highly-satisfied customers, AKA your “Brand Advocates.”
Your Advocates will gladly create compelling content such as:
Highly positive reviews
Answers to prospects’ questions
Positive tweets, posts, and comments
Videos, photos, and other multimedia content
Advocate-generated content provides powerful benefits to your company and brand:
Amplify positive Word of Mouth and/or combat negative Word of Mouth
Increase online ratings on third party review sites such as Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.
Improve search engine rankings by putting fresh, relevant content on your site
And since Advocates are your most passionate and enthusiastic customers, you don’t have to motivate them with perks, coupons, or cash. So what’s the secret to getting Advocates to create compelling content for your brand? Download the whitepaper now to find out.
You’ll learn how to:
Find your Brand Advocates
Turn Advocates into content creating machines to support marketing initiatives
Leverage the authentic and compelling content your Advocates create
Watch the recordingby clicking the orange “Play” button in the player below.
Marketing author Bill Lee triggered a firestorm of controversy when he declared recently in a provocative Harvard Business Review blog post that traditional marketing – including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications – is dead.
What do you think? Is it time to sound the death knell for traditional marketing? Is traditional marketing still alive and well? Are paid, owned, and earned media merging?
Traditional marketing- including advertising, public relations, branding, and corporate communications- is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.
The way that marketing is perceived by customers has dramatically changed. Buyers aren’t paying attention. They’re increasingly doing research on their own through online resources and social media before ever engaging with your brand.
According to a Corporate Executive Board study, 57% B2B customers buying decisions are complete before they engage with the supplier. By then, they don’t need to consult with any sales people. Instead they want to know what their peers and other customers think of the company.
CEO’s have lost all patience with CMO’s. 73% say CMO’s lack credibility and ability to generate sufficient business growth. 72% are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it all will generate increased business. 77% have had it with all the talk about brand equity that can’t be linked to actual firm equity or any other recognized financial metric.
The traditional marketing approach to marketing and sales doesn’t make sense especially in today’s connected world. Employees, consultants, partners, etc don’t come from the buyer’s world and they don’t share the buyer’s interest. This is not a promising arrangement to persuade people. Social media makes it easy for prospects to connect with buyers.
Stop trying to persuade buyers. Get skilled at getting your customers to persuade and influence your buyers using four pillars of new marketing:
Marketing (which encompasses everything from product, price, place, promotion) is not only alive and well, it’s core to a business’ success. In short, marketing isn’t dead. Marketing is everything.
Everything is with, not instead of. While some things might become antiquated or less powerful, they’re still very relevant.
Some brands in the pharmaceutical or finance industry, for example, have to live in the domain of creating a level of persuasion because they’re regulated by law or have products that have incremental difference to their competitors.
Advertising is not dying. In fact, it’s not on life support, it’s not sick, and it probably doesn’t have the sniffles.
Just because you trust your peers more than advertising, doesn’t mean you can’t see an ad. I don’t need peer reviews to decide to switch toilet paper. Some brands need to put the message into the general zeitgeist of the world that their product now has variance on it- it’s now on sale or has a new feature.
Brand advocacy programs are absolutely critical. However, the challenge we face is that if they’re successful, it takes a lot of work. It’s the difference between dropping a bomb and doing hand to hand combat door to door. Brands must be prepared for the success that will come with engaging Advocates.
If you want to inform a large audience about your brand, advertising is still very much alive (as is marketing, thank you very much). Saying that marketing is dead is like saying that product development is dead and that branding is dead. It may get a lot of clicks, but there’s no substance or truth behind it.
Bill is the President of Customer Reference Forum and Executive Director of The Summit on Customer Engagement. For the last nine years, his conferences have drawn leading customer engagement and advocacy practitioners from top global firms as well as dynamic smaller firms. In addition to its widely respected conferences, Bill and his team at Lee Consulting Group provide workshops, consulting, research and other educational and community building services to help clients reinvent customer relationships and achieve dramatic growth. Bill is the author The Hidden Wealth of Customers (Harvard Business Review Press, June 2012), which has been featured in Forbes Online, Fast Company Online, Marketing Magnified (CMO Council), CRM Magazine and other publications.
Mitch Joel is President of Twist Image – an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency (although he prefers the title, Media Hacker) and author of Six Pixels of Separation (Business Plus, 2009). He has been called a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert and community leader. He is also a Blogger, Podcaster, passionate entrepreneur and speaker who connects with people worldwide by sharing his marketing insights on digital marketing and new media. In 2008, Mitch was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media, one of the top 100 online marketers in the world, and was awarded the highly prestigious Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. Most recently, Mitch was named one of iMedia’s 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators in the world. His next book, CTRL ALT DEL will be published in May 2013.
Rob Fuggetta is the world’s leading expert on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the author of the ground-breaking new book, Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force. Published by John H. Wiley & Sons, Inc., a major business publisher, Brand Advocates shows how companies are leveraging Brand Advocates to build their brands and businesses – and how you can too! Fuggetta is the Founder & CEO of Zuberance, a social media marketing company that powers Brand Advocate programs for top consumer and business brands. Prior to founding Zuberance in 2008, Fuggetta was the Chief Marketing Officer at Genuity, a Verizon spin-out. He also was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary high tech marketing and communications firm in Palo Alto, where he co-led the global Apple account.
Webinar Recording: Influencers or Brand Advocates: Who Carries the Real Clout?
Companies today are investing in Influencer outreach strategies in hopes that a known name can deliver their message to a vast audience. 40,000 blog subscribers may look tempting, but many brands are sitting right on top of an untapped digital gold mine: their own Brand Advocates. These highly satisfied customers are eager and willing to share their positive brand experiences, defend companies from negative Word of Mouth, and deliver new customers. As marketers are developing both influencer outreach and brand advocacy strategies, it’s important to understand the characteristics, motivations, and objectives behind engaging these two segments.
Don’t confuse reach with influence. True influence drives action.
The motivations for influencers and Advocates are different. Influencers typically need some sort of perk, discount, or free trial to endorse a product. Advocates recommend because they’ve had great experiences and want to help others.
Jay Baer is a hype-free content strategist, speaker, and author. He founded the social and content accelerator firm Convince & Convert in 2008. It is the fifth marketing services firm he’s started or managed. Jay is a renowned and popular social media keynote speaker, delivering as many as 100 insightful, memorable, interesting and hilarious presentations each year to groups as large as 5,000. He’s also co-author of The NOW Revolution, 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social (Wiley, 2011) a leading book on social business, and an Amazon category best-seller.
Michael Brito currently works for Edelman Digital as a Senior Vice President of Social Business. He is responsible for helping his clients socialize their organization and at the same time operationalize their social media initiatives internally. He is the author of Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook For Social Media In The Organization.
Rob Fuggetta is the world’s leading expert on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the author of the ground-breaking new book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force” (John H. Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012) Fuggetta is the Founder & CEO of Zuberance, a social media marketing company that powers Brand Advocate programs for top consumer and business brands. Prior to founding Zuberance in 2008, Fuggetta was the Chief Marketing Officer at Genuity, a Verizon spin-out. He also was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary high tech marketing and communications firm in Palo Alto, where he co-led the global Apple account.
If someone told you there was a shoebox full of hand-written highly qualified referral leads buried next to a tree in South Dakota, would you grab a shovel and venture to retrive them? Judging by the stats below, I’m sure every marketer and salesperson would be on the next flight to South Dakota cracking a bottle of champagne!
Facts about Lead Generation
Sixty percent of B2B marketers say generating leads is their top goal for 2012, followed closely by 57 percent who said “converting leads into paying customers” is their top priority (MarketingSherpa, “2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey”).
In a recent survey by HubSpot, about 25 percent of marketers said referral leads were worth $1,000 per lead to their company and about 10 percent said referrals were worth more than $10,000.
Today, we’ve announced a new lead generation solution to help marketers and salespeople generate thousands of “free” referral leads from their own Brand Advocates and their social networks.
Zuberance’s new “Advocate Referrals” solution is not a tell-a-friend tool or pay for referrals tactic. It’s a complete referral marketing solution that enables companies to systematically:
Identify Advocates from among customers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, website visitors, and more;
Leverage Advocates to generate referral leads by making it easy for Advocates to create and/or share compelling content and offers with their social and business networks;
Track and optimize results in real-time.
How it works:
The Zuberance Advocate Platform automatically tracks which Advocates are sharing content and offers with their social networks; how many referrals have been generated; and the conversion rate for these referrals. A/B testing enables marketers to compare and analyze what offers or content being shared by Advocates are generating the most referrals. The Zuberance Advocate Platform also enables marketers to automatically re-engage Advocates to spur more sharing and referrals.
“Referral leads are the Gold Standard of leads, the Glengarry leads. These are the leads that marketers need and salespeople crave,” said Rob Fuggetta, Zuberance Founder & CEO. “Zuberance’s Advocate Referrals delivers thousands of qualified referral leads into the sales funnel, boosting sales fast,” he stated.
People love family history and sharing their incredible discoveries found within their family tree. Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, is enabling enthusiastic subscribers (AKA “Ancestry.com Advocates”) to recommend the family history website to their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere.
Ancestry.com has energized their Advocates to:
Create 7,270+ reviews and stories
Publish their stories and photos to Facebook, Twitter, email (82% of Advocates prefer to publish to Facebook)
Share 1,500 offers with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, email
Ancestry.com is displaying their Advocates’ stories on a dedicated Facebook tab. Click here to read some of these fascinating discoveries.
Director of Global Social Media, Nick Cifuentes, says that he’s ”been very pleased with the results we’ve achieved from the Zuberance Advocate Platform….[Zuberance] has made it simple and effortless to for us to find our Advocates and turn them into an ongoing marketing force. In particular, the content our Advocates have created powered by Zuberance is excellent and helps to continue further our marketing efforts,” he stated.
Hear Cifuentes on Zuberance webinar, “Top 5 Myths of Brand Advocacy Revealed” here.
You may spend millions of dollars on elaborate marketing campaigns. But there is nothing more powerful than a trusted recommendation from a Brand Advocate. In fact,Â Brand Advocate recommendations are the #1 influencer of purchase decisions in nearly every product category from smartphones to software, cars to computers, financial services to fitness memberships. Advocates’ love for you is no summer romance or brand fling. When you create and engage an Advocate, you’ve identified a renewable marketing asset you can leverage for years.
What You’ll Learn:
How to identify and energize your best customers (AKA Brand Advocates)
10 creative ways to leverage the enthusiasm of your best customers to drive positive Word of Mouth and sales
How to measure the impact of brand advocacy program
Andy heads social media for Anytime Fitness, the world’s largest fitness franchise. He’s particularly interested in how social transforms consumer experiences and expectations. In previous roles, he produced award-winning work at a Minneapolis agency, and spent a year teaching and traveling in Argentina. Andy is currently training for his 8th marathon and tweets at @agiefer.
Laura has over 10 years of experience working with small businesses at Deloitte Consulting, the Export-Import Bank, Intuit, and Outright. Her first job was in a small business (an after school tutoring program for young kids) and she’s still serving small businesses today at Outright, the online accounting solution for sole proprietors. Laura led Outright threw a tremendous growth period over the last year using advocacy and social marketing to drive acquisition. This culminated in the acquisition of Outright by Go Daddy in July 2012.
Rob Fuggetta is the world’s leading expert on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the author of the ground-breaking new book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force.”Published by John H. Wiley & Sons, Inc., a major business publisher, Brand Advocates shows how companies are leveraging Brand Advocates to build their brands and businesses – and how you can too! Fuggetta is the Founder & CEO of Zuberance, a social media marketing company that powers Brand Advocate programs for top consumer and business brands. Prior to founding Zuberance in 2008, Fuggetta was the Chief Marketing Officer at Genuity, a Verizon spin-out. He also was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary high tech marketing and communications firm in Palo Alto, where he co-led the global Apple account.
Exciting news! Today we launched a new solution that empowers employees to act as Brand Advocates (click here to read full press release). The employee advocacy solution enables companies to systematically identify enthusiastic employees (“Employee Advocates”) via customer engagement and social media listening tools and energize them to spread positive brand messaging via word of mouth and boost sales via Zuberance’s hosted advocacy applications. The solution also allows brands to track employee advocacy results and ROI in real-time.
Zuberance's analytics enable companies to track results of employee advocacy solutions in real-time.
Employees: A Powerful, Untapped Marketing Force
Employees are a powerful, untapped marketing force. Employee Advocates are employees who are willing to recommend their company and its products or services to others without the company paying or providing incentives for their recommendations. Employee Advocates are uniquely qualified to serve as Brand Advocates because they are highly credible, trusted sources for information about companies and their products or services.
Empowered by social media, Employee Advocates can collectively reach thousands to millions of people on the social web. Companies may have hundreds of thousands of potential Employee Advocates, depending on the size of the business. Large corporations such as Walmart (2.2 million employees), IBM (436,000 employees) and UPS (400,000 employees) may have massive “Employee Advocate armies.”
Employee Advocate Testimonial
Zuberance’s employee advocacy solution makes it easy for companies to unleash the power of their Employee Advocates to recommend their company as a place to work, helping firms attract qualified employees and lowering hiring costs. Employee Advocates can also evangelize the company’s products and services, helping spread positive messaging and generating referral leads and sales. They can also defend their companies from negative messaging and social media ambushes.
Zuberance’s new employee advocacy solution is ideal for mid-size to large companies across multiple industries and verticals including retail, technology, healthcare, automotive, transportation, travel and hospitality and more. There are more than more than 10,000 firms in the U.S. alone with more than 1,000 employees, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The employee advocacy solution is a perfect complement to Zuberance’s award-winning brand advocate solution, which leverages Customer Advocates as a marketing force.
Overview of Zuberance Advocacy Solution (both Brand Advocacy and Employee Advocacy)
19% incorrectly identified Burger King as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 40% who correctly identified McDonald’s as a sponsor.
28% incorrectly identified Pepsi as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 47% who correctly identified Coca-Cola as a sponsor.
37% incorrectly identified Nike as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 24% who correctly identified Adidas as a sponsor.
In the eyes of an Ad Man (I’ve been watching MadMen recently) this data is not impressive. Not only do brand advertisements fail to stick in consumers’ heads, many consumers think that brand competitors are in fact sponsoring The Olympics. Adidas must be pissed.
Attaching your name to The Olympics is expensive. AdAge reports that Adidas spent £100 million ($156,570,000) on its Olympic Marketing in the last four years, part of which gave Adidas exclusive marketing rights within the United Kingdom. Why should Adidas waste their money if when asked who sponsors The Olympics, more consumers say Nike?
Marketers are spending money in all the wrong places. Instead, brands should invest in finding and activating their most effective salespeople- their Brand Advocates. In an earlier ZuberRants post, Rob Fuggetta breaks down what a brand could achieve through an advocacy program instead of investing $3 Million in a 30-sec Super Bowl ad. We’re talking 2 million energized Advocates, 10 million authentic recommendations, and a 10X ROA (Return on Advocacy).
Getting more customer recommendations is considered the Holy Grail in the social media age. For example, restaurants that boost their Yelp ratings by only one star can increase revenues by a whopping nine percent, according to recent research by Michael Luca from Harvard Business School. For a large restaurant chain, this can mean millions of dollars in sales.
Now, a ground-breaking new book shows marketers, small business owners, and even non-profits how to generate thousands of customer recommendations and boost online ratings by turning their best customers – “Brand Advocates” – into a volunteer marketing force.
The book, Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force (Wiley; ISBN: 978-1-1183-3603-8; July 2012; Hardcover & E-book) provides a step-by-step guide on how marketers, small business owners, and others can:
Discover who their Brand Advocates are and what makes these influential customers tick
Energize Advocates, generating thousands of positive recommendations on Amazon.com, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere without paying for or providing incentives to Advocates
Reward Brand Advocates by giving them what they crave most (here’s a hint: it isn’t money)
Measure results and ROI from advocacy programs
Advocacy is Hot
Driving customer advocacy is now the #1 digital priority for CMOs worldwide, a recent IBM study of global CMOs showed. And eMarketer recently stated: “Brand advocacy has become a critical part of the social media marketing mix.”
“Ultimate Guidebook to Brand Advocacy”
Brand Advocates is the first book that focuses on these influential consumers and shows marketers exactly how to engage and energize them to drive positive Word of Mouth, referral leads, and sales.
Porter Gale, the former VP Marketing at Virgin America, calls Brand Advocates the “ultimate guidebook to brand advocacy.” Says Gale: “Advocacy is the ultimate goal for every brand. Rob Fuggetta’s book is simple, clear, and filled with practical advice.”
Packed with Real-World Case Studies
Brand Advocates is packed with dozens of real-world case studies from multiple industries and verticals including consumer products, restaurants, health and fitness, automotive, software, consumer electronics, and more. It includes a chapter devoted to how B2B marketers can activate Advocates as well.
Brand Advocates shows how GMC, Ford, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, Club One Fitness, Virgin America, Intuit, Microsoft, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino, and many others are leveraging their Advocates to amplify positive Word of Mouth and sales.
Who Should Read Brand Advocates?
Brand Advocates is valuable for a wide range of audiences:
B2C and B2B marketers in a variety of roles: branding, online/digital, social media, demand generation, eCommerce, corporate communications, market research, and more
Sales executives and managers
Customer experience and loyalty program professionals
Executives and managers in ad agencies, digital agencies, public relations firms, and other marketing services providers
Small business owners and entrepreneurs
Professionals in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) plus in political campaigns
College students in business and marketing programs
In addition, any company or organization that is measuring customer satisfaction, loyalty, or advocacy via Net Promoter® can also benefit from Brand Advocates. The book describes how to turn Promoters into a powerful marketing force.
About the Author
Rob Fuggetta is the world’s foremost authority on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the founder and CEO of Zuberance, a leading social media marketing company that powers award-winning advocacy programs for consumer and business brands. A twenty-year veteran of Silicon Valley, Fuggetta has played a leadership role in three start-ups including Genuity, a Verizon spinout. He was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary Silicon Valley marketing and communications firm that helped put Apple on the map.