Badges And Points Turn Passive Fans Into Super Advocates

Truman Tang

One of the biggest challenges in advocate marketing is creating a fun experience that engages your advocates over the long term – so they keep interacting with your content and doing more for your company.

While using fun and games to engage advocates is a smart move, I recommend looking beyond your current advocacy campaigns to achieve long-term results. You need to look at the heart of your advocate marketing strategy – your core goals.

To help you understand how goals can impact your advocate marketing results, I’d like to share my personal goals with you. I use our cloud-based advocate marketing software, AdvocateHub, to run Influitive’s advocate program – VIP.

Here’s a look at my personal dashboard and monthly goals from VIP:

AdminGoalsSmall

As you can see, one of my top objectives is advocate engagement. To that end, my goals include attracting and maintaining 200 monthly engaged advocates by the end of the year. I still have some work to do toward achieving this goal, but I’m making good progress.

Create goals that engage advocates

The first key to engaging advocates over the long-term is ensuring that your goals align with your advocates’ motivations. For example, many advocates are motivated by status and want others to recognize them for their achievements. These advocates like to see how they rank against others, so they can ensure that they always stay at the top.

To play into these motivations, I use a badge system that encourages advocates to participate more. The badge system not only helps us meet our advocate marketing goals, but also recognizes our advocates for everything that they do.

BadgeSystemBlogWhen advocates complete their first challenge in a new category, they receive a bronze badge as a form of recognition. As they do more activities of the same type, they earn silver and gold badges.

50KBadgeSome badges are also associated with points. The more advocates do, the more points they collect, and once they hit a certain number of points – 50,000 points for example – they’re awarded the elite 50K badge.

Eventually, they can redeem their points for incentives, such as conference passes. Advocates can also see how many points they have in comparison to their peers – which can motivate them to outrank others.

Design a recognition system that motivates advocates to take action

Start by looking at your overall program objectives and deciding which goals are the most important to you. From there, you can create activities for your advocates and assign each activity a point value. The points should correspond to how much each activity impacts your goals.

For example, it’s my job to ensure that 20% of our sales opportunities come from referrals. Since referrals are extremely important to us, our advocates are awarded 10,000 points for providing a referral that turns into a customer.

When you compare this to the 10 points they receive for sharing one of our blog posts on social media, you can see that I really want to motivate our advocates to provide more referrals. Currently, 18% of our pipeline and 32% of our customers have come from referrals.

The points also should correspond with how much effort it takes for an advocate to complete an activity. For example, our advocates get 150 points for writing a product review and 10 points for retweeting our content. Since it takes more effort to write a product review, they get more points for completing that activity. This helps advocates feel as though they are receiving a fair number of points for their efforts.

Using a recognition and rewards system – such as badges and points – can help you engage advocates and reach your program goals. For long-term success, be sure to align your goals with activities that your advocates are willing to complete.

You should revisit your activities on a regular basis to see if any need to be added, removed or changed to motivate more advocates to take action.

How do you motivate your advocates with badges and points?