Today, the most important person selling your product or service is no longer you—it’s your customer. What’s important is customer engagement and how it benefits you, your customer, and your prospects. When it comes to customer marketing, you may have heard a few terms - Customer Advocacy, Customer Evidence, and Customer Reference. They all sound similar, and we may think we know what they are, but they are in fact quite different.
Building a customer advocacy program means recruiting your happy customers, turning them into advocates, and involving them across many departments. Customer advocacy programs are broad and comprehensive, but the purpose of an advocacy program is to involve as many customers in as many ways as possible – leading to a snowball effect over time. Some advocates may provide references for your sales teams, but there are many more activities such as participation in industry events, online engagement on review sites and social media, content production, help with new product design, and even product development.
70-90% of a buyer’s journey is completed before speaking to a salesperson, and opinions are formed from reviewing online content. What’s more, 92% of buyers trust references and referrals from their peers. Therefore, you need to find a way to get on that shortlist of recommended companies. The best way to do so is by building customer evidence content; positive and authentic stories about how a company’s product or solution enabled a customer to overcome a challenge. The stories are told from the customer’s perspective but in a way that portrays the customer in the most positive light possible. This makes it more trustworthy than traditional branded content. These stories can be utilized by different departments in the company including marketing, sales, PR, and others.
What’s better than a strong customer endorsement? A customer reference is when you interview your customer and turn their quotes into either content assets (such as short videos or visual quotes on your website) or activities (for example reference calls between your happy customer and prospects). It’s about aligning your happy customers with qualified prospects.
How can we help you build customer marketing programs to benefit your company? Wings4U s.r.o.