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Posts Tagged ‘brand advocacy’

STUDY: User Reviews Are Even More Important Than You Thought

customer-reviews-increaseAs leading proponents of “earned media”, we’ve all fretted about the value of user-generated content and the “brand advocates” who produce it. But new studies indicate that informal user reviews have even more power than we thought—especially when shared on social.

A Stanford Graduate School of Business researcher tells The New York Times that “the power of marketers is being undermined” by the trend.

This could be a good thing in some ways, though.

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Should Brands Pay Online ‘Influencers’ to Promote Their Products?

An article in the Harvard Business Review last week made an interesting, if not particularly novel, argument: brands should seek out independent “influencers” or “brand advocates” who have expressed support for their products in the interest of building relationships that will eventually involve the exchange of money for promotional services.

The story’s headline addresses “marketers”, but of course it’s relevant to PR pros as well. So should our clients identify and pay their “brand advocates” before it’s too late?

This issue is almost but not quite a retread of the “should brands pay for blog mentions” slippery slope debate: do we locate people who genuinely support our clients’ products and then offer them money to continue doing so?

Author Teresa M. Caro notes that brands have a lot of trouble pulling this off. Why? Because—all ethical concerns aside—it’s extremely hard to do. And proving ROI is a bit like finding the needle in that haystack.

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New Study: Brand Advocacy is Key to Amplification of Marketing Campaigns and Building a ‘Passion Brand’

Recent research suggests that 80% of reach from marketing campaigns now comes from amplification through advocacy. This means that whether or not satisfied customers are inspired to take that extra step and share their positive feelings about a brand can truly make or break a marketing effort.

In other words, brands that don’t generate substantial advocacy may end up paying more to market less efficiently than those that successfully make advocacy a priority.

This is at the heart of a new study conducted by Social@Ogilvy, which analyzed 7 million brand social mentions across 4 countries (Brazil, China, UK, US) and 22 brands to analyze the key drivers of advocacy. Partnering with Social@Ogilvy for the study were CIC, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Visible Technologies.

What the study found is that despite the enormous potential value, “brands are failing at driving satisfied customers to share in social media,” said Irfan Kamal, global head of Data+Analytics and Products at Social@Ogilvy. “Our study suggests that the vast majority of satisfied customers are not publicly advocating for brands on social platforms. Brands have not provided the technology, incentives or content that both inspire and enable customers to speak out positively. To help close the gap, brands must help facilitate advocacy volume, reward passion and amplify reach.” Read more

Free PR: The Value of ‘Brand Advocacy’

Everyone knows how important fresh, original content is to a brand—especially if this brand is looking to break out via social media. But content creation is a challenging job, and it tends to wear people out if they’re not used to it.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a miniature army of “advocates” ready to create honest-to-god branded content without even the promise of a freelancer’s salary? We’ve all heard about how great user generated content can be, but “brand advocacy” is a new tool in the PR/marketing arsenal. Rob Fuggetta, CEO of Zuberance—a company with the tagline “The Leaders in Brand Advocacy”–has some opinions on the matter. We recently asked him a few questions about  advocacy as a tool:

What is a “brand advocate”? 

Brand Advocates are highly satisfied customers who are willing to recommend your brand, product, or service without being paid. Many people think advocates are part of a lunatic fringe, making up maybe 1-2 percent of your customer base, which isn’t the case. Restaurant.com, for example, has identified almost a quarter of a million advocates.

How do you find and engage with these advocates?

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