After a late night jamboree at the Advocamp After Dark Party, campers crawled out of their tents and headed to the final day of Advocamp.

Congratulations are in order for the 2017 Best Advocate Marketing Award (BAMMIES) winners, who were crowned at the After Dark Party. You can see the complete list of winners here.

The final day of Advocamp was jam-packed with advocacy and customer experience goodness. Our 3 tracks of AMP talks resumed, and our campers were ready to learn!

Here are a few highlights from Day 3:

Day 3 AMP Talks

1. Lindsey Erlick

Double BAMMIES winner Lindsey Erlick (Senior Manager, Student Advocacy & Marketing at Pearson) took to the stage and shared the story of how Pearson was able to launch a strategy to generate a high volume of well-crafted, user-generated content.

They used to struggle to get 1-2 blogs written by students per month, and they had to reject many pitches that weren’t quite right for their website. Since launching a formal advocate marketing program where they can educate students on how to write blogs for Pearson, they now get 3-4 high quality user-generated content pieces every week.

Here are Lindsey’s top tips:

    1. You must measure the impact of your content to be successful, so set tangible goals.
    2. Position your requests as an opportunity for your advocates to shine, instead of as a favour to you.
    3. Create an exclusive community to motivate people to become a part of it.
    4. Make face time with your advocates because your assumptions of them can often be wrong.
    5. Set your advocates up for success with clear instructions and support along the way.

2. Lauren Turner

If you think that humour will damage your credibility as a B2B brand, you could not be more wrong, says Lauren Turner (Principal Advocacy Consultant at Customers Love Me).

Infusing humour into your content can be a major strategic advantage. It helps people let their guards down and doesn’t make them feel like they’re being sold to. It’s engaging, shareable, and humanizing for your company.

Things you can do to bring the fun to your advocate-facing content:

  • Dedicate 10-15% of your content to fun and interesting conversations (e.g. Tell the story of a brush with a celebrity you had)
  • Add funny gifs and images to business asks to warm up the conversation (Simpsons GIFs anyone?)
  • Let your customers get to know your personality (some ideas: employee of the month interview, video office tour, share your personal milestones, funny stories)

Here’s a video example of B2B humor done right from Hootsuite:

3. Raif Barbaros

Raif Barbaros (CTO at Influitive) led the Influitive Product Team in a presentation that shared the company roadmap and product direction, as well as highlighting the latest advocate marketing features.

Here’s a few highlights:

  • Simplified user experience to increase advocate engagement
  • New product integrations, including Trust Radius, G2 Crowd, Sendoso, and Gravy
  • Updated admin features, such as batch actions
  • Campaign-building functionality to help advocate marketers quickly deploy goal-oriented campaigns that are engaging for advocates with minimal planning and overhead

4. Amy Rosenberg

Amy Rosenberg (Manager, Marketing at Namely) shared four ways you can empower your advocate community to create a movement on behalf of your brand.

  1. Ask your customers for online reviews so they can tell the world about your offerings
  2. Facilitate opportunities for customers to help each other become super users
  3. Let advocates take product ownership by sourcing feedback from them
  4. Allow advocates to steal the show by placing them front and center in all your campaigns

Learn more about the value Amy’s generated from her program in this eBook.

5. Addy Clark

Addy Clark (Director of Customer Marketing & Advocacy at FinancialForce), shared how she generates valuable acts of advocacy.

To make advocacy a company-wide initiative, Customer Success Managers and Project Managers are given advocacy targets to hit—including a percentage of customers expected to be referenceable, and another percentage expected to share a logo. This keeps delighting customers and asking them to advocate top of mind for the FinancialForce team.

Addy recommends making advocacy an expectation with customers so that it never feels like you’re begging for favours. For instance, advocacy requests are sometimes built into customer contracts.

When Addy asks customers for something big—like a case study or video—she makes sure to showcase their thought-leadership more than the FinancialForce product. This way, the advocate can use it for their own promotional purposes. These mutually-beneficial asks make generating advocacy and building strong customer relationships easier.

6. Kelsie Swenson

Kelsie Swenson (Marketing Manager, Client Engagement at Egencia) discussed how she shifted her 13-person Customer Advisory Board into an advocate marketing program that could engage and collect feedback from 73 passionate customers.

The goal of the program was to take their twice-a-year board meet-ups out of email and calendar invites into something that continued to provide value throughout the year. Her main goal was to increase executive engagement—and subsequently contract renewals.

The most engaging thing they’ve done in the program (aside from offering points and free travel rewards for participation) was to connect members via discussion boards with each other and the Egencia product teams. This way, advocates can network with each other, and share product feedback and ideas with Egencia. The product team often responds and engages with customers so they feel heard and can have issues resolved more quickly.

Networking break

Next, campers grabbed a granola bar to refuel, and learned about some of the new tech and trends in the advocate marketing space from Advocamp’s lovely sponsors.

A star-studded BAMMIES Winners Panel

On the heels of their recent BAMMIES victories, the winners took to the stage in a panel to share how they engaged and mobilized their best customers to fuel business growth.

Hats off to all of the award-winning panelists:

Nicole Dingley, Director of Customer Success at Wiley
Beth Renstrom, Outbound Product Manager at Oracle
Kayla Geigerman, Customer Marketing Manager at BMC Software
Lindsey Erlick, Senior Manager, Student Advocacy & Marketing at Pearson
Larisa Sandu, Advocacy Program Manager at Procore
Carlos Gonzalez, VP Customer Success Operations at Ceridian
Jessica Mitchell, Customer Marketing Manager at Hero K12
Ray Lau, Senior Manager, Customer Marketing at PowerDMS

Closing up camp with a Jonah Berger keynote

Finally, closing off Advocamp 2017, was keynote speaker Jonah Berger (Marketing Professor & Best-selling Author of Contagious and Invisible Influence) who revealed the science behind what makes people talk and share.

He introduced the STEPPS framework, which contains 6 key elements that inspire people to share:

Social currency
Practical value

Jonah explained that brands need to give their customers social currency related to their brands in order to compel people to share. One way to do this is to make people feel smart, special, and in-the-know by knowing about your product/services.

One example of this is Please Don’t Tell, a bar in NYC that made themselves successful by maintaining an air of secrecy, so visitors felt special for knowing the bar and bringing their friends there.

In a B2B context, you can give customers social currency by inviting them to participate in Customer Advisory Boards or invite-only webinars.

For your brand messages to really spread, it’s not enough just to tell stories or give social currency. You also need to find ways to actively trigger people to talk about your product. When you go to the beach, you think about Corona beer. When you think Corona beer, you think about a wedge of lime. Jonah says all companies need to create these associations to keep their offerings top-of-mind.

Ask yourself: what’s the thing in your environment that reminds people of your product when you’re not around? Think about what you want to trigger and when. Then your job is figuring out how to create that link.

Jonah recommended two actionable next steps for B2B marketers to implement his ideas:

  1. Think about what that kernel/thing you want people to share is. What would you want people to say about your brand if you could script that conversation?
  2. Next, figure out how to apply STEPPS framework to make this idea contagious.

Thanks to our incredible community for making this event a success!

Then, it was time for all of us campers to head back home with a backpack full of new tools and ideas, and new connections to help us with our engagement and advocacy initiatives in the year to come.

From all of us at Influitive, we’d like to say a huge thanks to the campers, sponsors, and speakers who made this event a success.

We hope you learned lots, made some new pals ‘round the campfire, and filled your belly with s’mores. Until next time! 🐻🌲⛺

Want to be pen pals?

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Curious what we were up to on Day 1 and Day 2? Check these out:

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