Advocate marketing expert Truman creates goals to evaluate his advocate marketing program

Marketers often ask me, “What is the first thing I must do to ensure that my advocate marketing program is successful?”

I always respond with, “Brew a nice pot of tea and create goals.”

Without goals, you will be walking around in the dark – blindly trying to engage advocates and get results.

I like to think of goals as the light that guides you along your advocate marketing journey. They provide you with a sense of direction and can help you realize the full potential of your investment.

How to choose your goals

When you select your top goals, choose ones that align with your overall business objectives. For example, if your objectives are to generate sales leads, your advocate marketing program can focus on getting referrals that lead to new business.

Your goals can also relate to:

  • Pipeline development
  • Sales cycle acceleration
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Product marketing
  • Product development

Of course, your advocate marketing program isn’t only about what you want. You must also consider your advocates’ goals, wants and needs. For example, I’m helping my advocates by giving them opportunities to display their thought leadership or attend industry events. Aligning your goals with your advocates’ goals is a win-win for everyone.

Some goals that you may want to consider and think about are:

Advocate engagement

This is not just someone liking a Facebook post or connecting with us on LinkedIn. For an advocate to be considered “engaged,” they have to be more involved with us. Consider what is the minimum requirement for your program to evaluate this goal.

New advocates

You have to constantly be thinking about raising the number of advocates into your program. Identifying and inviting advocates is an ongoing process and one that will ensure longevity in your advocate marketing program.

Referral suggestions

As mentioned above, this could be a hard value that is tied to your program. Executives want to know how your program contributes to the bottom line and this is a perfect goal to focus on.

Download The No Fuss Recipe For Hot Referral Leads to learn more about how to achieve this.

Content and social mentions

This could be the number of links shared and clicked through to drive traffic to your online properties – a great way to boost your online presence and brand reach.

To give you some context and to help drive advocates to take action, I’d like to give you a peek into some of the goals I’ve set for my own advocate marketing program. I use our cloud-based advocate marketing platform, AdvocateHub, to run Influitive’s advocate program – VIP. Here’s a peek into my personal dashboard that automatically tracks what I’m doing to manage my goals.

Admin goals for our advocate marketing program

Admin goals for our advocate marketing program (click to enlarge)

My top three program goals are listed on the left side of the dashboard above. As you can see, my team and I have selected new advocates, referral suggestions, advocate engagement and social sharing/commenting as key goals.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what this means for us:

  • New advocates are the number of advocates who joined our program in the past month.
  • Referral suggestions are how many people the advocate program refers to us on a monthly basis.
  • Advocate engagement is when an advocate completes a bigger ask than clicking a ‘Like’. Our challenges involve commenting on blog posts, sharing our content, submitting reviews about our product and much more.
  • Social sharing/comment is when we track the number of links shared across a social network and how many comments are made by an advocate to online content.


What to do if you’re not reaching your goals

My dashboard shows how close I am to reaching my monthly goals. For example, I set a goal to engage 20 new advocates and have already engaged 47. It’s been a good month – welcome new advocates! I still need four more referrals to meet the month’s “referral suggestions” goals, though. I’m so close!

Close up on advocate marketing monthly goals

Close up on advocate marketing monthly goals

To meet my referral goals, I may look at the challenges that I’m providing and decide if I’m recognizing advocates for their contributions. Am I providing incentives that are attractive enough for them to take action? I can also change my language to entice advocates to pass on more referrals.

If you’re not reaching your goals, try those strategies. However, you may also need to take a step back to see if your goals are realistic or if something outside your program is impacting advocate engagement. For example, if your organization loses a contract, the loss of advocates may be reflected in your advocacy program.

Monitor your goals on a daily basis to see what’s working and what’s not working. You should also revisit your goals on a monthly basis to see where you fell short and adjust as needed.

And of course, if something is working, leverage the opportunity!

How are you evaluating your advocate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

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