As a fresh produce marketer in a commodity-centric industry, you know the challenge of building brand awareness and encouraging loyalty. At DMA, we are passionate about helping companies operating as commodities or trade names start the process toward becoming brands, and we are motivated to see consumers aligning themselves with brands on store shelves. So as a brand, how are you to know who your advocates are? Here are a few steps you can take to identify your most loyal brand advocates.
Identifying Your Brand Advocates
Establish a means of tracking activity and engagement
In order to identify your brand’s advocates, you must first equip yourself with the tools needed to track and segment your audience into general followers and brand advocates. You can do this by establishing a database of shoppers, as we often do for the brands we represent, in a platform that stores IP addresses to track website visits, content downloads, and email engagements. You can also do this by keeping track of your “Top Fans” on Facebook, or combing through your other social profiles to find consumers who are engaging frequently. However you choose to approach finding your most loyal consumers, you can then further identify your advocates by determining what advocacy means to you, and what you are really looking for in a loyal fan.
Here are some things we find separate a brand advocate from the casual follower or fan:
- Length of Relationship: A brand advocate will get connected and stay connected. Their longevity is a sign they are loyal to your brand and are more likely to choose your products on the store shelf.
- Email Engagements: A brand advocate anticipates receiving communication from you, and often opens and clicks your emails. Bonus points to the advocates who forward your emails to their friends!
- Social Media Engagements: A brand advocate is often one of the first people to like your latest posts and often comments about the quality of your products and the experiences they’ve had. They may even help respond to others’ questions on your page, as well as leave positive thoughts for future visitors.
- Purchase Intent: A brand advocate is always ready to jump on your latest Ibotta offer, and if they can’t find your products in their local store, rest assured they will be the first to use your website’s store locator feature!
If you’re looking to identify your brand advocates, you’ll need to empower them to do what they do best—advocate! Do you have a contact page on your website for consumers to leave their remarks? Do you monitor your social media feeds to see what comments you’re receiving? Further, are you asking for shoppers to leave you feedback? You can use the comments you receive as insights into how your brand is being perceived, and you can seek to nurture those who give you feedback into brand advocates.
Keep an eye out for tagged photos on social media—each and every person who tags you has an audience, and if they are sharing a positive message with their followers, they are advocating on behalf of your brand. No matter how small their following, don’t let this engagement go unnoticed! Be sure to constantly monitor your social media tags, acknowledge positive engagements, and address negative comments in real-time.
As you seek to build your brand, your loyal advocates will help spread awareness, build trust, and influence sales, so it is important to identify and nurture them through their journey with your brand. Interested in learning more about managing a database of shoppers and identifying brand advocates? Reach out to us!
Have something to add? Leave a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter at @TheCoreBlog!