Brand advocacy: The overlooked asset

“People are our most valuable asset” says every CEO ever, and yet the power of brand advocacy is so often overlooked. Text100’s Shahnaz K. Jain looks at the stats and asks: Why should anyone listen to what brands say about themselves?

“People are our most valuable asset” says every CEO ever, and yet the power of brand advocacy is so often overlooked. Text100’s Shahnaz K. Jain looks at the stats and asks: Why should anyone listen to what brands say about themselves?

The sheer amount of information thrown at us in daily life can make authenticity hard to spot. With that in mind, why should anyone listen to what brands say about themselves? And therefore, how can they build a following that goes beyond their standard digital mouthpieces?

According to the National Business Research Institute, a 12% increase in brand advocacy generates a 100% increase in revenue growth. Additionally, socially-engaged companies are 57% more likely to get more sales leads.

Most organisations have focused on the social elements of marketing by creating brand pages, handles, etc. then using paid posts to avoid the evolving (that is to say, severely limiting) algorithms.

While this method works, brands often forget how digital and social media platforms came to be so well regarded to begin with. Put simply, social expanded the scope of good old word-of-mouth; by far the most effective way to influence a customer. In the fight for Likes and clicks, we forget that nothing matters without the credibility of word-of-mouth.

So the question this raises is, how does one create organic word of mouth? The answer lies within.

Advocacy is the answer

Employees make the best champions for our brands and create the most natural advocates.

Employee advocacy is a way to go back to basics and create brand champions that are able to drive word of mouth for you. Through a well-guided program, employees own channels can generate more value than any celebrity endorsement.

So now, imagine taking your message and amplifying it to the power of your staff strength:

  • Leads from employee advocacy are 7 times more likely to close than other forms of leads.
  • According to a study by Jim Keenan, 54% of salespeople using social selling say it helped them close at least 1 deal

That said, sales isn’t the only aspect to benefit. Imagine also, expanding your HR team’s efficacy in the same way:

  • When it comes to trust, studies have shown brands rank below employee advocates. Most candidates prefer to hear from current employees when considering a company as they seem more authentic
  • 52% of the content they share is trusted by candidates.

Speaking of content, any employee advocacy program would fail without relevant, meaningful content at its centre.

Recent research by Havas Media says that 84% of people expect brands to produce content, but 60% of that content is irrelevant.

Even a mediocre (not to endorse mediocrity) content strategy benefits from believable and passionate brand advocates; That is, employees who build their own narratives around brand content.

So many numbers

I’ve thrown a lot of statistics at you, so I’ll summarize: Employee advocacy can help put the customer at the center of your business; Credibility comes from meaningful content amplification. Easy.

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