For many organizations, customer obsession is often declared as a core value, a part of the culture. No decision is made without considering how the customer persona would be impacted. Customer feedback is key to product development and experience design. Turning users into fans and advocates is a business priority. And customer content is a key part of marketing.
But gathering feedback, supporting product development, uncovering the advocates, and utilizing their enthusiasm in marketing is a lot of work. Customer advocacy programs are on the rise, but if you are just getting started or looking for inspiration, we curated a dozen customer advocacy guides and eBooks that you should keep handy.
In this guide, HubSpot proposes four advocate personas and a gives us a simple question to help us profile our community members. It then goes on to emphasize the importance of customer-obsessed advocacy programs.
The author offers a detailed overview of all the necessary steps for making your advocacy program matter to real humans based on proven best practices: from establishing rewards, creating a personalized experience for advocates, aligning business goals with advocacy goals, to using benchmarks and measuring advocacy actions to reach maximum potential, as well as applying technology to ramp up your efforts.
2. Webprofits: The Customer Advocacy Playbook
In this extensive guide, Webprofits takes marketers through the entire process of planning, designing, developing, managing, and eventually scaling a healthy customer advocacy program. The resource is intuitive and covers in-depth concepts like incentivization, company culture, creative controls, and creative licensing.
It also does a great job at explaining the why behind the what your program should contain and provides good templates on how to reach out to customers and personalize their experience.
3. RO Innovation: The Customer Reference Handbook
This Upload RO Innovation resource puts customer references at the center of your brand’s sales and marketing efforts as a powerful tool to help drive business growth. Managing a successful customer reference program has many layers and relying best practices will generate extra response from your market.
A comprehensive method for getting people to actively participate and for budgeting your program, this 14-chapter guide ticks all the boxes of a reliable resource you should check out.
4. Influitive: Customer-Powered Enterprise Playbook
This wonderful collaboration of Influitive with Gainsight and Pendo is one of my personal favorites. The e-book offers marketers a systematic, yet comprehensive outlook of how customer advocates can support more than your sales and marketing. They can fuel product development and customer success and any other function. The playbook provides a prescriptive approach to building a customer-powered organization and is full of case studies from companies that have successfully used these tactics.
5. Influitive: Identifying Advocates and Inviting Them to Act
One more nice collaboration by Influitive, this time with Waypoint Group focuses on advocate recruitment. Using NPS surveys as a wide net to identify most loyal customers is a great start, however applying the steps recommended in this guide is critical to creating a strong army of advocates and running a successful advocate program.
The idea is to get from these surveys as much information and data as possible, to either improve your customer relationships or create the list of advocates that can be activated, motivated, and eventually transformed into powerful brand promoters through tailored content. All in an effort for you company to generate more leads, reduce churn, and improve customer lifetime value.
6. Advocacy Maven: Share Your Success, Promote Your Business
Perhaps the best part of a customer advocacy program is that it benefits both the referenced brand and the advocates. But those benefits are sometimes difficult to articulate, especially if you are relying on someone else in the company to make the case for you. And many advocates, despite loving a brand will not participate actively because they see it as a favor for them to do to a vendor, not a win-win.
our team of advocacy mavens has built this guide with your advocates in mind and we even worded it in a way that you can just forward to customers, or to sales reps and customer success managers that need to pitch the concept. Or you can use it in your automated nurturing, as part of a series of interactions that help your customers understand whats in it for them. And the best part, it’s not your words that do the convincing, it’s a third party, Advocacy Maven.
7. Advocacy Maven: Case Studies Templates Pack
Once you manage to show your advocates what they stand to win from the program, our case study templates pack allows you to bring their story to light. These done-for-you PowerPoint presentations are easy to edit according to your brand’s guidelines. More importantly they help streamline the creation of case studies in a professional way and bring your team on the same page in term of deliverables. From customer background, industry, and challenges your clients faced, to project scope and overview, solution, execution, and ultimately results, these templates pack all the requirements for a quality piece of content that can position you miles ahead of the competition and make your organization more trustworthy in the eyes of the audience.
8. Influitive: The No Fuss Recipe for Hot Referral Leads
Referrals fuel you company’s growth by reducing customer acquisition costs and shortening the sales process. In this eBook Influitive shows you how to set up a system for generating quality leads on an ongoing basis. They identify a few must haves that can bring in new customers and increase recognition before diving into the right tools to ensure scalability, assigning ownership of the program, and formulating the “asks”.
9. Ambassador: Choose the Right Incentive Structure
Running the right reward structure for your referral program can be overwhelming, especially if you run a global program and do your best to personalize by persona. But with sufficient data about your customers and if planned in advance, it can drastically increase the effectiveness of your advocacy campaigns. From non-monetary to monetary motivators, this short guide created by Ambassador expands on the key elements involved in determining the cost of incentives, tailoring rewards to fit the interests of your customers.
10. Crowdly: Guide to Advocate Retention
This is a short yet comprehensive eBook developed by Crowdly on how to keep your advocate community motivated and engaged so they come back even more loyal and committed to helping. As a good predictor of how successful your customer advocacy marketing program will be, advocate retention can be stimulated through various strategies and tactics meant to spark meaningful conversations and transform customers into brand ambassadors.
According to Crowdly, the best strategy to get people to talk about the brand is by letting them talk about themselves. At the same time, the worst thing you could do as a community manger is to try to please all the members simultaneously.
11. Point of Reference: Getting Your Customer Advocacy Program Unstuck
While the previous guides covered the in-depth information and strategies on how to run a successful advocacy program, on the practical side, some challenges can arise when your program is mature. Point of Reference created this blueprint that addresses potential issues and suggests clear steps and recommendations on how to get the wheels back in motion. From the “symptoms” of an unstuck program to the hacks that will help marketers resume it, the guide gives your team a vision and several tricks to and keep your program on the right path.
12. TIRO: The Customer Advocacy Marketing Superhero
This guide brought to us by TIRO Communications changes how we see customers: from buyers to partners. Portrayed as a new level in customer marketing, the concept of this guide revolves around customer advocacy 3.0, which as opposed to 1.0 and 2.0 can be easily integrated in various tasks, aligned with business goals, and more importantly, it can stimulate collaboration between multiple teams within the organization like sales, product, and customer service.
In customer advocacy marketing 3.0 the goal is to create a “super-advocate” or “superhero” properly equipped to promote your brand and attract more business. And I love the cover!
In the process of ramping up your customer advocacy marketing program, relying on credible resources can make the difference between being successful or letting your advocacy program’s faith in the hands of the unknown. Whether you are new to customer advocacy marketing and just getting the hang of it, a seasoned advocacy marketing manager looking to level up and improve her game, or you simply want to accelerate your learning process by taking a deep dive into advocacy marketing concepts, these guides will surely serve your interest and complement your knowledge.