It’s August, it’s hot, and most people have mentally checked out and are in summer vacation mode. But while the average Joe is lounging around in his cubicle, counting the hours till the weekend, marketers are anxiously counting the days until the busy holiday season begins. Because the holiday quarter can make or break a company’s annual earnings, marketers are increasingly focused on coming up with fresh, effective, and successful campaigns to boost holiday sales.
And while it may seem early to start thinking about holiday promotions, marketers understand that timing is crucial when reaching out to their customers. Starting a promotion too late in the year means your message gets lost in the holiday noise. Start a promotion too early and people will forget before the holiday season even begins. So choosing that marketing message sweet spot is especially important for engaging your brand advocates in spreading the word about your holiday promotions.
The timing of your message is important for leveraging your brand advocates because you want to ensure they’re given enough time to share your holiday message with their social networks. If timed successfully, your brand advocates can help increase the visibility of your holiday message, which will in turn boost your holiday sales.
So how can you get your brand advocates to make your holiday quarter earnings a phenomenal success? By understanding these 4 important tenets of what makes your advocates your most valuable marketing tool.
- Brand advocates expand your reach. Brand advocates are your most loyal customers who believe in your product and company and aren’t shy about touting that love on their social networks. These are the people who post pictures on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram when they buy your newest product. They’re the ones who tweet and blog about the cool deal they just scored from your company. They are the ones who have the ability to spread their love of your brand far and wide, amplifying your company’s reach. All this shared love is an invaluable lead and traffic generator, bringing in potential customers who are 50% more likely to click-through to your site from a trusted friend, review, or blog.
- Reward your brand advocates. According to a study by Search Engine Land, “72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” That means that when potential customers are researching your products, they would be more inclined to make a purchase if there are favorable reviews. And who would be writing those great reviews? Your brand advocates! Because they love your brand, they’re the ones readily sharing their purchase experience and product evaluations with millions of other potential customers. So reward your advocates for spreading the positivity by offering them tokens of your appreciation. Whether you’re giving them first dibs on promotions, sneak peeks into new product releases, or special prizes for sharing reviews, make sure you properly thank your loyal brand advocates.
- Brand advocates promote offers. Not only are your brand advocates posting rave reviews about your products and sharing their awesome purchases with their social networks, they’re also great at broadcasting your promotions. By identifying your most active brand advocates, you can give them first dibs on coupons, sales, and promotional offers. This shows your appreciation for their loyalty and ensures that they’ll be super excited to share these goodies with their wide network of friends and family.
- Brand advocates help build earned media. The efficacy of paid media is on the decline, with consumers using DVRs, ad blockers, and spam filters to selectively ignore unwanted solicitations and advertisements. So how are marketers supposed to get their message out there if consumers are actively blocking them? By building earned media. Brand advocates create earned media by sharing their experiences with a brand. This digital word-of-mouth is the most trusted type of content for consumers and usually takes the form of reviews, recommendations, and testimonials. Since customers trust each other more than any other source of influence when making a purchase, positive word-of-mouth goes a long way in boosting a brand’s sales.
Understanding how your advocates connect your brand with their social networks is the most important factor in creating a successful holiday marketing campaign. By recognizing and appreciating the grassroots efforts your advocates can do for you can help you leverage them as a powerful marketing tool to boost your holiday sales.