Advocate marketing amplification is the business technique of getting an online community to talk about a product or service. It operates on one of the oldest and most well proven principles of marketing - word of mouth sells products. It’s superior to simply sharing things on a business’s own social media channels for many reasons, not the least of with is the exponential growth of the message.
But how do businesses use advocate amplification to build and manage an online community? Here are three tips for creating a strategy that works:
1. Be Creative About Incentivizing Sharing
Having a large online community is potentially a great resource for businesses looking to improve their name recognition with a target audience. However, just having a large audience isn’t enough if you aren’t doing anything to get its members to spread the word to other people in their own networks.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to incentivize people in a community to share content. Of course, providing a monetary incentive turns your content into just another advertisement. However, there are many other ways to encourage your community. Creative ideas include things like philanthropic gifts for reaching a target share goal, interactive contests, or using shares as currency for a paywall - something marketing guru Andrew Chen famously did when he required people to share his content with their own social network before downloading it themselves.
2. Create Content That Can’t Be Ignored
With all of the emphasis being placed on quality content today, a business looking to differentiate theirs enough to get their online community sharing it can be a challenge. In such a competitive environment, it can be helpful to stop thinking about how you can do what everyone else is doing better, and instead start thinking about how you can do something entirely different that will turn heads. One idea is to ditch the emphasis on short content pieces and start producing longer form content instead.
If you think that sounds crazy, the data says otherwise. Not only have studies shown that long-form content is more likely to be ranked higher than shorter content, but because people recognize a business has taken the time to create something worth reading, they are actually more likely to share it with their network. This gives the content more opportunities to impress, increasing the chance it will grow the community further.
3. Pair Up With Influencers
It’s no secret that people are swayed by social media influencers, which is why big name corporations are increasingly shelling out money to big names across all the different platforms. These types of marketing budgets may be out of the reach of many businesses, but that doesn’t mean they can’t use the psychology of influence phenomenon to their advantage as well.
Finding the influencers that exist in a niche market is a great way for businesses to get the most out of their online community investment dollars. If the business has created quality content, many of these influencers will want to share it, making it a much more affordable - or even free option. Once it happens, an online community won’t fail to notice that well respected names are interacting with them - and lending credibility to the community by extension. This in turn makes it much more likely members will tell others in the industry about what’s going on in the community.
Don’t Forget: People Want to Be Social
The individuals in a business’s online community already have some kind of connection to its product. It’s the business’s goal to prove the right combination of quality content and incentives to make that community want to be active and grow. Following the tips above will go a long way towards making those conditions a reality. Remember, people love to share things they find helpful with others, all the business needs to do is give it to them.