6 Common Advocate Marketing Applications And Use Cases

There are dozens of objectives that an advocate marketing program can support, but generally they fall into six categories:

1. Revenue growth

The most powerful use case for advocate marketing is to generate more high-quality referral leads. It makes sense – the driving force behind the advocate movement is that buyers are heavily influenced by their peers when making purchasing decisions. Every B2B company wants more referrals.

the-driving-force

But while every great advocate marketing program has referrals as its foundation, asking for referrals isn’t how to engage new advocates. In fact, if you jump straight into asking for referrals too early, it could alienate your advocates. A successful referral program instead ‘warms up’ advocates through a progression of advocate marketing campaigns to build trust, confidence and engagement.

Just like baseball teams are built on a foundation of cultivating their most promising new players in a “farm team” system first before eventually calling them into the major leagues, the most effective B2B referrals emerge from carefully organized advocate programs.

2. Demand generation

Your advocates can support your demand generation efforts in two ways. First, advocates are very effective at promoting lead generation offers. Second, offers such as white papers and webinars that include contributions from advocates tend to convert leads at a higher rate than those that don’t.

3. Inbound and content marketing

You may have great content – but is it getting to your target audience? Up to 70% of content produced by B2B marketers goes unused. Advocate marketing programs can act as an effective content distribution network by getting advocates to share your content to their networks. They can also help you crowd source content through surveys and interviews, and produce the kind of blog comments and activity that boost SEO efforts and inbound lead capture.

4. Sales enablement

Your sales team probably already has a short list of customers who they can call on when they need references, testimonials or case studies, but before long those customers are burnt out and tired of hearing from you, leaving your salespeople desperate. Your sales team probably already has a short list of customers who they can call on when they need references, testimonials or case studies, but before long those customers are burnt out and tired of hearing from you, leaving your salespeople desperate.

An advocate marketing program provides an easy and effective way to identify, organize and mobilize the customers best-suited to each of these requests from a larger pool of advocates. Then your sales team can even pick and choose the advocates who are most relevant to their prospects’ industries, seniority and use cases.

5. Customer engagement

Despite conventional wisdom about “bugging” your customers to complete tasks for you, they actually become more loyal to your company the more they advocate for you – especially when it’s an easy, fun experience.

As individuals, they become an essential part of your team – expert product users who are much more likely to renew existing contracts, buy additional products and champion your product at their new company when they move jobs.

6. Product development

A company is only as good as the product or service it delivers to its customers. The best way to ensure your product meets expectations is through constant market feedback. But getting authentic product feedback from your customers can be like pulling teeth. Why rely on surveys, focus groups and beta programs when a powerful advocate program can give you real-time feedback in a fraction of the time – from your ideal customers.

The Advocate Marketing PlaybookGet started: Download The Advocate Marketing Playbook

The Advocate Marketing Playbook provides marketers with a blueprint from which to build and manage a successful advocate marketing program; it’s a detailed “how-to” guide based on proven best practices.

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This post is part of a series of resources excerpted or adapted from The Advocate Marketing Playbook, created by TOPO. Click here to read the other posts in this series.