Brand Advocacy: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

Brand advocacy means encouraging happy customers to tell others about a brand, helping it grow and succeed naturally.

Brand advocacy means encouraging happy customers to tell others about a brand, helping it grow and succeed naturally.

Having a strong brand presence is essential for any business, and one way to accomplish this is by building a robust marketing strategy that establishes brand visibility.

But what if you could go beyond just being seen and spark genuine connections with your audience?

That’s the power of brand advocacy — having authentic voices advocating for your brand.

If you too want to benefit from this strategy, this guide is for you. It will help you understand the different voices of brand advocacy and how to use them to promote your brand and boost your business.

Table of Contents

What Is Brand Advocacy & Who Are the Brand Advocates?

Brand advocacy is when people organically promote your brand due to their love for it. They’re your cheerleaders, spreading positive word-of-mouth and creating content that sings your praises.

Think of loyal customers, enthusiastic employees, and even social media influencers as brand advocates. They’re anyone who champions your brand without being paid, simply because they believe in what you do.

Why Is Brand Advocacy Important?

Brand advocacy is like having an army of credible, passionate marketers on your side, and here’s why it’s crucial:

  1. Trust & Credibility: People trust recommendations from friends and peers far more than traditional ads. In fact, WoM is five times more effective than ads when it comes to sales.  Advocates build trust and authenticity, making your brand more relatable and appealing.
  2. Amplified Reach: Advocates extend your reach beyond your own marketing efforts, sharing your message with their networks and multiplying your visibility.
  1. Enhanced Reputation: Positive word-of-mouth creates a buzz around your brand, boosting your reputation score and attracting new customers.
  2. Customer Loyalty: Advocates are loyal to themselves and inspire others to be the same. They champion your brand, leading to repeat business and higher customer lifetime value.
  3. Valuable Insights: Advocates provide valuable feedback and suggestions, helping you improve your products, services, and overall brand experience.

Investing in brand advocacy isn’t just marketing, it’s building a community of passionate supporters who fuel your brand’s success.

Types of Brand Advocacy

Brand advocacy comes in various forms, each playing a crucial role in boosting a company’s visibility and reputation. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the different types:

1. Customer Advocacy

Customer advocacy revolves around satisfied customers willingly promoting a business based on their positive experiences. These advocates serve as powerful brand ambassadors, often engaging in activities such as:

  • Word-of-Mouth Recommendations: Sharing positive experiences with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Social Media Engagement: Sharing brand content, including social media posts and blog articles.
  • Online Reviews: Writing positive reviews on review platforms and websites.
  • User-Generated Content: Post photos and testimonials showcasing their purchases or experiences with the brand.

Customer advocacy thrives when businesses prioritize exceptional customer experiences and actively nurture relationships with their customers. Leveraging customer advocates not only fosters trust but also leads to higher conversion rates and a strong sense of community around the brand.

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2. Employee Advocacy

Employees play an important role in brand advocacy by promoting their employer’s business based on their firsthand knowledge and experiences. Key activities include:

  • Social Media Engagement: Sharing company updates, achievements, and job openings on personal social media accounts.
  • Professional Networking: Representing the company at industry events and conferences.
  • Referral Programs: Bringing in leads from their personal and professional networks.

Semrush Employee Advocacy Post

Employee advocacy benefits from the authenticity and credibility of employees, who are often viewed as trustworthy sources by their networks. Investing in improving employee experience and implementing advocacy programs can further enhance employee engagement and amplify brand promotion efforts.

3. Influencer Advocacy

Influencers, individuals with significant followings on social media platforms, partner with businesses to promote their products or services to their audience. Key methods of influencer advocacy include:

  • Content Sharing: Sharing branded content with their followers through posts, stories, or videos.
  • Sponsored Content: Creating sponsored posts or videos featuring the brand’s products or services.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Sharing affiliate links or discount codes with their audience.

Influencer advocacy leverages the reach and credibility of influencers to increase brand awareness and drive engagement. Collaborating with influencers whose values align with the brand ensures authentic and impactful promotion to a targeted audience.

4. Community and Partner Advocacy

Community and partner advocacy involves collaborating with external entities to amplify brand messages and support shared objectives. This advocacy type includes:

  • Joint Initiatives: Partnering with communities or organizations to co-create events, campaigns, or initiatives.
  • Cross-Promotion: Collaborating with complementary businesses to endorse each other’s products or services.
  • Advocating for Causes: Supporting social or environmental causes to demonstrate shared values and foster goodwill.
  • Networking and Collaboration: Facilitating connections and partnerships between community members and stakeholders to drive mutual growth.

Community and brand collaborations extend brand reach and credibility by tapping into existing networks and fostering meaningful relationships. By aligning with like-minded organizations and communities, businesses can strengthen their position and contribute positively to society.

How to Measure Brand Advocacy

Brand advocacy isn’t just a feel-good metric; it’s a driving force for growth. But how do you quantify the impact of those passionate voices cheering for your brand? Here are 4 key measurements to unlock the power of your advocacy chorus:

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS is used to gauge customer loyalty and satisfaction. It involves asking customers a single question: “How likely are you to recommend our brand/product/service to a friend or colleague?” 

Responses are categorized into promoters (scores 9-10), passives (scores 7-8), and detractors (scores 0-6). The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) Formula to calculate your Brand's Health

This provides a numerical value that indicates overall brand advocacy and customer sentiment, helping businesses identify areas for improvement and measure advocacy trends over time. There are many NPS software tools available that can help you better understand and track your NPS results.

2. Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, clicks, and mentions offer insights into brand advocacy and audience engagement.

Higher levels of engagement indicate active support and endorsement of the brand by followers and customers.

Analyzing engagement patterns across different platforms provides valuable feedback on the effectiveness of brand messaging, content strategy, and community interaction.

Brands can track engagement metrics regularly to assess advocacy levels, identify popular content, and foster meaningful interactions with their audience to strengthen brand loyalty and advocacy.

Ronaldo and Messi partnership with Louis Vuitton on Instagram

Ronaldo and Messi’s partnership with Louis Vuitton – One of the most engaging social media posts – Source

3. Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials are a reflection of customer experiences and satisfaction levels with a brand’s products or services.

Positive reviews and testimonials serve as endorsements and can influence prospective customers’ purchasing decisions, driving brand advocacy.

Monitoring the quantity and sentiment of reviews across various platforms provides insights into advocacy levels and helps identify areas of strength and improvement.

Brands can leverage positive reviews and testimonials in marketing campaigns, on their website, and on social media to build trust, credibility, and a positive brand reputation, further fostering advocacy.

4. Referral Programs and Surveys

Referral programs incentivize customers to refer others to the brand, providing a tangible measure of advocacy.

Tracking the number of referrals generated through such programs offers insights into customer willingness to endorse the brand to their network.

Additionally, conducting surveys to measure customer satisfaction and likelihood to recommend can provide qualitative data on advocacy levels.

Analyzing referral program participation rates and survey responses helps businesses gauge advocacy effectiveness, identify brand advocates, and tailor strategies to encourage and amplify advocacy efforts, ultimately driving customer acquisition and retention.

How to Build an Effective Brand Advocacy Program

Here’s how you can build your own brand advocacy program in 5 simple steps:

1. Set Clear Objectives and Goals

What specifically do you want to achieve? Is it boosting brand awareness, increasing customer loyalty, or driving sales?

Define specific outcomes the program aims to achieve, such as increasing customer retention, driving referral traffic, or boosting brand awareness. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Smart Goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound

For example, a goal could be to increase customer referrals by 20% within six months.

Clear objectives provide direction and focus efforts, and enable effective measurement of the program’s impact on business outcomes.

2. Identify and Understand Advocates

Who are your potential brand champions? Identifying and understanding advocates is essential for tailoring engagement strategies and maximizing their impact.

Conduct thorough research to identify potential advocates among customers, employees, and influencers who have a genuine affinity for the brand.

Understand their demographics, preferences, behaviors, and motivations for advocating. Then segment advocates based on their level of influence and engagement with the brand to personalize communication and engagement tactics.

By gaining insights into what drives their advocacy, brands can effectively nurture and mobilize advocates to amplify their message.

💡 Pro Tip: If you want to quickly find brand advocates for your brand, you can try the “Top Mentioners” report on the Mentionlytics platform. This feature lets you find influencers in your industry based on their level of engagement. Sign up free to see the report.

3. Develop Engagement Strategies

Creating effective strategies is essential to activate and empower advocates to advocate for the brand.

To achieve this, providing advocates with valuable content, resources, and tools that align with the brand’s messaging and resonate with their interests is important. Involving advocates in brand-related activities, such as product launches, events, or exclusive previews, helps to foster a sense of belonging and community.

Encouraging user-generated content and authentic storytelling is also crucial to showcasing real experiences with the brand. This can help to build trust and credibility among their networks and potential customers.

4. Incentivize and Reward Advocates

Incentivizing and rewarding advocates can encourage active participation and sustained engagement in advocacy efforts.

Offer tangible rewards such as discounts, loyalty points, exclusive access to products or events, or personalized thank-you notes for their advocacy efforts. Recognition programs, such as “Advocate of the Month” or leaderboards showcasing top advocates, can also motivate others to increase their involvement.

By acknowledging and rewarding advocates for their contributions, brands can strengthen relationships, foster loyalty, and maintain enthusiasm for advocacy initiatives.

5. Measure Performance and Iterate

Don’t just clap after the show, track the impact! Monitor and track social mentions, review sentiment, and sales referrals to gauge your program’s effectiveness.

Implement key performance indicators (KPIs) such as referral traffic, engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments), conversion rates, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) to track the program’s impact on business outcomes.

Regularly analyze data to identify trends, strengths, and areas for improvement. Use these insights to refine strategies, adjust tactics, and allocate resources more effectively.

Iterative improvement ensures that the program remains relevant, impactful, and aligned with evolving business goals and customer needs.

Embracing The Power Of Brand Advocacy

So there you have it! By building a dedicated community of brand advocates, you can harness the power of authentic voices to propel your brand forward.

💡 Pro tip: Don’t underestimate the little things. A simple “thank you” to an advocate can go a long way in showing your appreciation and solidifying their loyalty. Encourage advocates to share their stories on their terms, and be open to adapting your strategy based on their feedback.

Remember, it’s all about fostering genuine connections, empowering your champions, and celebrating their contributions. By nurturing these authentic connections, you’ll ultimately build a thriving chorus of voices that will sing your brand praises and bring you better business.

Pratik Shinde

About Pratik Shinde

Pratik Shinde is a Founder at Growthbuzz Media, a Content Creator at Make SaaS Better, and an SEO enthusiast. He helps fast-paced B2B SaaS startups acquire customers through organic marketing efforts. He likes reading philosophy, writing non-fiction, thoughtful walking, running, and traveling.