Webinar & Twitter Chat Recap: Influencer vs. Advocate Marketing Best Practices

Influencers and advocates both have the power to increase your brand’s reach and bring in new customers. However, incorporating them into your marketing strategy shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.

That’s why Chris Newton, Influitive’s VP of Business Development, joined Holly Hamann, TapInfluence’s co-founder and CMO, for a webinar to discuss the pros and cons of working with influencers and advocates, and how to develop a marketing campaign around each.

Influencers, who are generally experts or quasi-celebrities with a large audience, can scale your efforts to spread your brand’s message, and generate content and enthusiasm for your product.

Advocates, who are already champions for your brand, lend credibility to your campaign and can often help you tap into a small—but targeted—audience of potential clients.influencers_advocate_marketers_15_02

Using either group for your next campaign requires different tactics. Here are some of the best practices for creating successful influencer and advocate marketing programs discussed in the webinar.

Influencer Marketing Dos and Don’ts

-Do create a value exchange. Influencers have the trust of their followers, and they know the value of their audience. That’s why, even if they’re a good fit for your brand, they usually require payment. However, it doesn’t always have to be monetary compensation. Consider offering products, covering travel expenses to an event, or something else they may be interested in. Just make sure the expectations surrounding compensation are clear.

-Don’t focus on selling your product. Provide your influencer with useful content that proves you’re a thought leader in your industry. Encourage them to use a variety of content types (including video and images) to help spread your message across social platforms. Try to repurpose their content elsewhere to get more mileage out of the campaign—which will benefit both parties.

-Do let go of the message. You can’t control every aspect of an influencer campaign. They must be thought of as partners, and be allowed to put their spin on things. After all, they know what their audience likes best. Just make sure the customer’s call to action is clear.

-Don’t measure your campaign based reach alone. Look for an influencer who is relevant to your brand and engages their readers, rather than just choosing the candidate with the largest following. Make sure the platforms they target are the same ones your potential customers use.

-Do find someone who is interested in a long-term relationship. Sometimes, influencers can turn into brand advocates, so don’t forget about them once a campaign is over. Keep in touch so you can continue your mutually beneficial relationship and to tap into their audience.

Advocate Marketing Dos and Don’ts

-Do give them lots of ways to participate. The more options you give your advocates, the more likely they are to contribute to your program. Let them choose if they’d like to act as a reference, attend an event or share content. Segment your advocates so you can make targeted, personalized requests, which will increase engagement.

-Do provide recognition and feedback. Let your advocates know that their efforts are important, either through a social shout out or reward, so they continue to pull through for your brand when you need them most.

-Don’t just give gift cards and monetary rewards. Advocates want greater access to resources, connections with key people within your company, and opportunities to gain professional recognition and validation. A blog post that positions your advocate as an expert in their field will likely be more valuable to them than a physical gift.

-Do focus on advocate benefits. Are you giving your fans product hacks? Better support? A chance to contribute to your next ebook? Make sure you’re giving back to your advocates as much as you’re asking them for help. You don’t want to wear them out with requests to promote your brand if they’re getting nothing in return.

-Don’t forget about your long-term relationship. Your advocate marketing program can’t run on autopilot. There must be a constant stream of activity, feedback and communication to keep your advocates engaged. Everyone at your company should be involved in your program to keep it fresh.

Click here to watch the webinar, or download the slides.

We also hosted an #advocatemktg Twitter chat with Holly post-webinar to delve deeper into the influencer vs. advocate discussion. Check out the highlights below, and then join us for the next #advocatemktg Twitter Chat!

One Response to Webinar & Twitter Chat Recap: Influencer vs. Advocate Marketing Best Practices

  1. […] identify these individuals. Social networks users whose opinions the public trusts are called online influencers—because their feedback can sway (or influence) others’ decisions. These influencers are […]

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