Tip #47: Start a Fan Club

Before you read this blog I want you to think like a consumer versus someone trying to sell something. As consumers we are all constantly exposed to hundreds of ads, offers, or promotions every day. The “noise” has become so overwhelming that we have figured out how to effectively tune out every unwanted pitch that comes our way whether it’s print, radio, tv, outdoor, email spam, direct mail, online, or even sky writing.

But consumers still need and want to buy things. So, whom do they buy from? Who do you buy from? Someone you trust. You buy from businesses that you respect. You buy from businesses that care about you, understand you, and work hard to earn your loyalty.

Ok, now that we understand how the consumer thinks let’s think like smart marketers. How do we earn our customers’ trust? Consider this: instead of directing your marketing dollars toward the same advertising noise mentioned above, distinguish yourself from your competitors by investing your marketing efforts in creating an army of advocates (fan club) that actively share word-of-mouth referrals. Successful marketing campaigns focus on establishing and nurturing long-term relationships with customers that have become your advocates. This strategy is especially effective in the social media world where mobile phone users share and receive content every minute of the day.

Lesson 1: Advocacy strategies are content driven. Content that is relevant, engaging, and trustworthy. Advocacy is the direct path to achieving influence, and influencers can play a strong role in impacting behavior. At A+H we call this content-driven marketing strategy “social storytelling” because people are always interested in a good story. You just need to tell it in a way that is engaging and shareable. So, what’s your story?

“I’ve been around longer than most of my fans have been alive.” ~ Dolly Parton