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Creating Brand Champions

We all know that our prospects are important to us, especially when we work so hard to acquire them. As they engage in research, prospects are searching high and low for the right information, but often get overwhelmed and lost between brand messages. Of course, we can’t have them getting lost in our content sauce, so let’s combat this. We must attract and convince in the most effective way. Leverage relevant and informative content that will grab and keep prospects tuned in for more.

What a brand ambassador can do for you

Now that we have their attention, how do we convince them to buy? One of the most powerful tools at our disposal is something marketers don’t create themselves: brand ambassadors and champions. Customer reviews, peer recommendations, suggestions and even accolades can have a powerful effect on encouraging your prospects to make that final purchasing decision. Ultimately, they’re looking for existing customers who love your products and services, your brand and your business and encourage everyone they know to do the same. Their voices hold a lot of weight for other prospects as they make their way through the buying cycle. To prospects, these champions offer a vote of confidence in your company’s ability. To you, they will offer lead security and a potential for new business. Of course, prospects will conduct research on their own, but these referrals, references, and reviews are an increasingly integral part of that. Having happy customers who will vouch for the authenticity, value and general excellence of your brand is your golden ticket to getting new *and* existing prospects interested in what you have to offer.

Let’s say James has been using your product for a while and has achieved a lot with it. He’s so pleased with what your products or services are doing for him that he’s left reviews, follows (and engages with) your social media profiles and has personally recommended a few leads. James is an excellent example of the type of customer you’d want for a brand champion. He’s not only had some exciting successes with your product, but he’s also willing to share that success (and the love) with others in his industry. So how do you hook him? Do you ask him outright to be a brand champion? Do you load him up with swag? The answer to that is a resounding “well not quite…”

Getting your buyers on board

Turning your customers into brand champions starts with offering them a platform to speak to their success with your product. Give them opportunities to share their story and showcase how you aided in their accomplishments. Traditional methods like highlighting them in case studies, offering them chances to speak or present at your hosted events, and – of course – swag, are all effective ways to offer your customers the limelight. You might also consider special or limited time only perks, such as test group inclusion or exclusive offers, that might get your champions excited for the next phase in your company’s progression. This not only opens the door for another positive experience, but acts as another motivator for your champion to support your brand.

And once you’ve gotten customers like James on board, you can start looking to expand your pool of brand champions. You already have a pretty large database of customers to pull from, but it can be tedious and inconvenient trying to find a needle in a haystack. So how can you decipher who’s a perfect match, and who may not fit the bill? Look for increased activity and engagement in your customers, which is something you’ll need to keep a close eye on. Gathering specific data that will shine a light on customer engagement can lend a huge helping hand. Certain rates of engagement can narrow down your list to a select few based on the amount of interaction they’ve had with your company. With each click, open, and download, your customers and are jumping on the wagon and showing more and more interest in your brand. This is where you take action. Catch your customers with high engagement and begin to introduce them to a platform that will allow them to share their ongoing success.

 

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