How We Got Our Advocates Fired Up To Send Us 20 Referrals In 1 Hour

Truman Tang

Coming up with new ways to engage your advocates can be a challenge. However, the better you do this, the more your advocates will sing your praises and recommend you to others.

Asking an advocate to do something for you is like asking a friend to help you move. If you never hang out, or do anything for them, they probably won’t lift a finger. But if your friend knows they can count on you, they’ll show up with a truck on moving day.

Many marketers spend too much time asking their advocates to do stuff for them, like “Share our blog post!” or “Review our product!”

You must limit your “asks” and keep your advocate marketing program fun. That way, your advocates will want to take a break from their workday and engage with you. Plus, they’ll be more likely to remember it the next time you ask for help.

One way to engage advocates is by running regular contests or games. I like to run a fun campaign every month to keep things interesting for Influitive’s VIP advocates.

In March, we ran a March Madness campaign. We wanted to see how much engagement we could drive in a one-hour period.

march_madness_vip_contest_influitive_15We created two types of advocacy challenges for March Madness: Fun and asks.

The fun challenges included:

  • NCAA trivia
  • Free point challenges
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Phoning me to get a password for points

Our marketing asks included:

  • Sharing our content
  • Submitting reviews and referrals
  • Writing testimonials
  • Filming video content

VIP March MadnessWe decided not to include any educational challenges in March Madness, as the one-hour time frame wouldn’t give our advocates enough time to absorb the training.

We assigned higher point values to challenges that required more time and effort to complete. During the campaign, our advocates could look at a leaderboard to see where they stood and who was beating them—in real time. At the end of the hour, the three advocates who earned the most points would get an additional 5,000 points.

A total of 51 advocates participated in March Madness and completed 636 challenges. By the end of the hour, we had received:

  • 57 testimonials (48 written testimonials and 9 video testimonials)
  • 180 social shares
  • 30 community posts
  • 20 referrals
  • 6 product reviews

We later surveyed participants to get their feedback on the March Madness campaign. Almost everyone said they would take part again. They liked that it was interactive and had a strong sense of urgency.

We were amazed by the amount of engagement that we generated in just one hour. For me, the best part was chatting with advocates when they called me to request a password during a challenge. It was awesome to hear from them!

How to Get Lightning-Fast Results From Your Advocate Marketing Program

Here are three ways you can get mad results from your next advocate marketing campaign:

1. Prepare challenges upfront.

We created 105 challenges in the weeks leading up to March Madness. Yes, this seems like a big number. To make this number manageable, we created about 50 challenges in advance and then duplicated them.

However, about 25 minutes into the contest, we realized that we would need more challenges. Our advocates were tearing through them! So, we duplicated a lot of challenges to keep our advocates busy throughout the hour.

If we did it again, I would create even more challenges upfront. I would also vary the challenges a bit more to make it more interesting. For example, our advocates felt that we had too many social media challenges.

2. Clearly communicate your campaign in advance.

Give your advocates plenty of advance notice if you want them to act at a specific time. They’ll need to schedule time during their workday to take part, so your event must sound exciting.

We asked our VIP advocates to “save the date” in our customer newsletter. Then, we sent them three reminders leading up to the event. One of these reminders was posted as a challenge in our advocate hub, so our VIPs would get points for reading about March Madness.

3. Use scarcity to drive action.

I was inspired by the game show Supermarket Sweep, where contestants had just minutes to race through a grocery store and throw as many items as they could in their cart.

I wanted to recreate this sense of urgency with the March Madness challenges. After all, the more you limit something, the more people will want it. So, we limited the contest time to just one hour. We also limited the number of challenges that participants could complete. For example, some challenges would disappear after five people had completed them. So, if VIPs wanted the points for these challenges, they needed to act fast.

While it takes time to build relationships with advocates, there are things you can do to get some quick wins. The key is keeping things fun and exciting, so your advocates will take time out of their busy day to advocate for you.

Contact Influitive today to learn how to mobilize your advocates to supercharge your sales and marketing results.

11 Responses to How We Got Our Advocates Fired Up To Send Us 20 Referrals In 1 Hour

  1. […] your contest. The sense of urgency will make the experience more exciting. We did this idea in our March Madness contest, and received 20 referrals in an […]

  2. […] your advocates do things for you—such as send you referrals or write glowing product reviews—they show that they are committed to your success. Be sure to […]

  3. […] Here are Jason’s recommendations for improving the quality of your customer referrals: […]

  4. […] Just like how demand gen folks design and execute campaigns targeted at prospects, customer marketers have to come up with creative campaigns for customers to generate more referrals. It doesn’t just happen organically. Truman is always cooking up incredible campaigns and competitions to inspire our customers to continuously give us referrals. (You can learn more about how he generated 20 referrals in one hour here.) […]

  5. […] would receive, but the future potential the platform offered for our customers. Reviews? Referrals? Case studies? This is a no-brainer—sign me […]

  6. […] would receive, but the future potential the platform offered for our customers. Reviews? Referrals? Case studies? This is a no-brainer—sign me […]

  7. […] is by talking about things our customers like outside of work. For example, do your customers enjoy March Madness, nerd culture or game shows? Bringing these elements into your advocate marketing program can boost […]

  8. […] keep referrals top of mind and make it fun for our advocates to give us referrals. For example, our March Madness contest brought in 20 referrals in just 1 […]

  9. […] So, how can you get more referrals? […]

  10. […] turned them into stronger advocates for our brand which helped us generate new referrals, case studies and references, and solidified our relationship with key […]

  11. […] those relationships. Work more closely with customers, encourage them to give referrals and references, and elevate them. You’re probably more inclined to rely on a Yelp review when […]

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