Advocate marketing is fast becoming a hot topic among marketers, as they strive to bottle customers’ passion for their products and brand, and transform it into meaningful and measurable advocacy. In fact, a recent Forbes article on 2014 Digital Marketing Trends and Predictions, forecasts advocate marketing as a top trend for the year.
Like any type of marketing, the key to a successful advocate marketing strategy is finding ways to create engagement among influencers and brand champions. With video sitting atop the list of most engaging forms of content, it seems a natural partner for advocate marketing, but how exactly does video fit into the strategy?
Video can play a major role in advocate marketing in two key areas: content sharing and content consumption. I’ll dive into each in more detail, and will also touch on the value of video content analytics for gaining deeper insights into the effectiveness of advocate marketing initiatives.
Leveraging advocates to share video content via their social channels is a great way to reach new and wider audiences. When advocates share your content, their reputation as trusted influencers within their own networks adds authentic credibility to your video because it was recommended by someone whose opinion the viewer values. With the ever-increasing volume of content being shared on the web, it’s more crucial than ever to find ways to make yours stand out, and advocate influence paired with high impact video can be a perfect way to do just that.
Growing social video trends highlight a demand for video content among social media users, so arming your advocates with content in the format that their audience most desire is a great way to increase the likelihood that your message will resonate. Additionally, video offers advanced analytics to complement advocacy analytics, which can help you gauge the true impact of your influencers.
For instance, using an advocate marketing platform (we’ve had great success with Influitive here at Brainshark) you’ll be able track advocate activity and the scope of the audience your content is reaching by reporting on clicks and shares within the advocate platform. Video analytics can then help complete the picture of advocate influence by offering insights into not only how many times your content was viewed, but also how much of your content was viewed.
With the ability to track metrics like retention, and viewing behavior by day and time, you can then refine your advocate marketing strategy so you can get the right content in front of the right people at the right time. As your strategy evolves, you could even add interactive elements to your videos to help collect some information about the new audiences your advocates are helping you reach and then report on this using video analytics as well.
While inspiring advocates to share your content to promote your brand is of course a central goal of any advocate marketing strategy, it’s important not to overlook the value of content consumption among advocates themselves. In your advocates you have a ready-made pool of people who have already demonstrated that they enjoy your content, so it’s important to give them more of what they want. Remember, advocate marketing is just as much about giving as it is receiving.
Think about the types of content that will be most valuable to that audience – perhaps it’s how-to tutorials or a quick tips series that would be most useful. Video is an ideal medium for providing advocates with bite sized tips and tricks with actionable advice – content that helps inspire an idea – to help them spark their own projects. While they may not have time to read an entire eBook, a 2-3 minute video that will help them accomplish a very targeted task can have tremendous value. You could even attach a downloadable template to help advocates put the tips from your video to use.
In much the same way that advocates represent a group of people who already love your content, they’re also a constituency that knows your content well. This makes advocates an invaluable resource for early stage testing and collecting feedback about new content in the works. Perhaps you created a short form video teaser for a more in depth upcoming video. Share the short form version with your advocates, and utilize their feedback to help inform and shape the creation process for the larger piece. This type of crowdsourcing will help you and your team create the best possible video, and also strengthens relationships with your advocates by demonstrating that you value their opinion and by making them feel like insiders.
From a video analytics perspective, tracking how this targeted group consumes your content can help you further refine the content creation process. Perhaps in a video on tips for creating in-house video, your advocates spent the most time on the section that covered sound and lighting. Armed with that information you could then focus resources on creating additional content around that topic. Also, knowing which attachments advocates downloaded from your video, you can also gain insight into the templates and guides they found most useful.
How have you leveraged advocates and brand influencers to promote your content? Have you found that certain types of content are more popular for consumption versus sharing? Sound off in the comments and let us know what’s working for you!