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advocacy management platforms

What to Consider When Selecting an Advocacy Management Platform

Internet advent has remarkably changed the way consumers make their purchase decisions. It’s no longer easy for brands to convince their target consumers that they are the best ones to solve their needs. And because research shows that consumers trust their friends more than brands, businesses are starting to incorporate advocacy management platforms in their marketing strategies to overcome that problem.

Why to go for an advocacy management platform?

Besides being cost-effective, word of mouth marketing has always been the most effective way of promoting a product of service. In fact, according to McKinsey Quarterly, April 2010, the sales generated through this form of marketing are more than twice of the paid advertising’s. Besides a report by Deloitte shows that customer advocacy results in a high customer retention rate of 37%. However up until now only 20% of all brands have incorporated advocated programs in their marketing activities. 

In case you’d intend to create an advocacy program, it’s important to note that there’s a wide range of management platforms to choose from. Also, identifying the best for your business may be a daunting task. However, the decision will be easier to make if you consider the following:

1. Your audience

First and foremost, you need to have in-depth knowledge about your target audience/ customers. Some of the essential information you should seek to find out include what they love and care about, where they tend to hang out online, and the type of content they prefer (videos, blog posts, short posts…). As for the preferred content, you can perform an analysis of your social media posts and website content. Identify the content forms that attract the most traffic and user engagement. The information will help you to identify the management platform that’s most compatible with their favorite content.

2. Success parameters

Once you’ve established the go-to online platforms for your audience and their preferred content, you should now define your advocacy program’s KPIs and the metrics you’ll use to measure it. You can choose to measure the success using the number of video views, click-throughs, conversions, reach level, or engagement level, among other commonly used metrics. All in all, ensure that the metrics that you choose is in line with your goals for the program.

Also, it’s crucial that you identify the people who you expect to make the program most successful. Are they a couple of influencers or tens or hundreds of employees or customers? The information will go a long way to helping you figure out the platform that will provide the success-drivers with the tools they need to spread the word about your business.

3. Your budget

When you are exploring an advocacy management platform, you’ll realize that different platforms have different price tags for various products and services. However, some are free. But if you want more personalized and unique features/tools, you might decide to pay a few bucks for the premium benefits. Essentially, advocacy marketing should help you cut down on your cost of customer acquisition and improve your retention rate.

It’s advisable to have a reasonable estimate of the amount of money that you intend to spend on the platform from the very word go. Then, confirm if the expenses you are likely to incur on the platform are within the budget. If they are not, consider another platform with the tools that you need and a cost that you can afford without interfering with your other business financial obligations. 

4. Ease-of-Use

Many small and medium-sized businesses can’t afford to employ a person whose work is exclusively is advocacy management. If your organization is one of them, then you need an advocacy management platform that’s easy to use but with the tools that will support your program. Pukket currently offer free media, marketing and set up assistance for this purpose.

A complicated program will take you and your staff a long time to understand its functionality. Consequently, other activities in your business might suffer because you’ve diverted the attention they deserve to learn the platform. You don’t want a platform that will require you to undergo serious training now and then. The hassle of contacting the support nearly every time you want to use their software is quite hectic. You don’t have to go through all such hassle. Choose a new-technology platform with an intuitive design for easy and smart advocacy management. 

5. Scalability 

The technology is changing and so do the marketing trends. The tactics that work today might be outdated a couple of years down the line. As such, the platform that you choose should be on toes to keep abreast of the changes. Check out its commitment to providing a better user experience through regular system updates that are in line with emerging technological changes and users’ needs.  Pukket is scalable to any region or language you choose to. It can additionally integrate with the social media platform of your choice.

Choosing the right advocacy management system is crucial for your marketing efforts. Therefore, it is an exercise that you should perform diligently, considering the above factors, among others. To find out more about Pukket’s social advocacy management and rewards platform please visit www.pukket.com/business

Lean analytics virality

Lean Analytics Model: How to Encourage Virality

When running a business startup, there’s no better way of measuring your progress and getting clear answers to your important marketing questions than using lead analytics model. By knowing what, how and why to measure in your marketing strategies, you’ll be able to establish where you are in terms of virality and how to improve it. The Lean Analytics model was introduced to help build a better startup faster. The model consists of 6 sequential stages starting with Empathy all the way to Scaling by achieving stickiness, virality and revenue. With accurate lean analytics measurements, you can make smarter decisions and encourage virality of your product by:

1. Identifying the sharing triggers

Even if you’ve been in business for a short time, it’s important to identify what so far makes users to share your content. Remember that the content is intended to benefit the target users. In as much as you’d want to think that what you are delivering is the best for the consumers, unless you confirm that from their end, you’ll just be lying to yourself. The virality of content determines the value of the piece of the information being shared in the eyes of the intended users. The higher the sharing frequency, the higher the perceived value.

Once you identify the content that’s widely shared, seek to establish why the users like it that much. The answer to the question ought to inform you how to create the next piece of content for the improved virality of your business. This can be the key to unlocking virality within your lean analytics measurements.

2. Proper audience-content matching

The suitability of content isn’t one-size-fits all. Not every content will resonate with your entire market segment. As such, you need to study your target audience keenly and identify the kind of promotional content that each of the sub-segments is likely to share most. You can get such insights from the content you’ve shared so far. You can supplement that with relevant market research. Once you establish that, you can go ahead to create content that factors its suitability to the intended user segment. 

Alawys remember that you can’t gain much with hit-and-run approaches. Gimmicks, tricks and sleight-of-hand might work for a short time. However, in the long-run, such clickbait will do more harm than good as far as your reputation is concerned. Just get off on the right foot by knowing what your target users need and create content that offers them a solution. 

3. Identifying and working with the right influencers

You’ll miss lots of opportunities if you restrict yourself to your own social media channels. One of the best ways to want to reach a larger audience is by using influential people. But not any influencer can be as effective as you’d expect. You need to be a bit choosy. Perform brief research to identify people with loyal following within your target audience and request them to help you in the promotion of your business.

If possible, ask the influence to share their audience data such as gender, location and interest to see if the audience aligns with your target audience. The right influencer will spur word-of-mouth conversations regarding your brand/business/product/service among their audience, resulting in lots of quality leads. Their strong validation about your business will go a long way to growing your user base and making you go viral. Otherwise, engaging just a random influencer won’t yield satisfactory results.   

4. Motivating users to share

Virality is all about getting the information shared as many times as possible in the online world. Unfortunately, unless you give your influencers, customer advocates and brand ambassadors a reason to share, the chances of you going viral remain minimal. Therefore, first, you need to develop content that’s engaging, captivating and addresses the user’s needs.

Then, motivate your brand ambassadors to share and encourage their fans to share with the people around them. You can offer them perks as a way of encouraging them to share the content. Nonetheless, since rewarding a perk for every sharing may not make economic sense, you can set the number of people an influencer/ ambassador is supposed to recruit to qualify for an incentive. Don’t forget to communicate such information to your ambassadors or influencers from the very word go for transparency and trust’s sake.  

5. Keeping your video content short

According to various scientific studies, the attention span of an average person ranges from 8 seconds to 1 minute. Therefore, if you want your intended users to get your entire video message right on the spot, you need to keep it short. The length of the majority of viral videos ranges from 30 seconds to one minute. If yours is longer than that, it might not go as viral as expected. 

6. Long  and scannable blogs

For many years, there has been a rampant misconception about the ideal length of a viral blog post. Some people believe that only a few people will read long content. But this is not always the truth. If you make good use of bullets, subheadings and images, and the message is unique and corresponds to the needs of the audience, rest assured that your content has high chances of going viral.

 Research by OrkDork suggests that a 3,000 to 10,000-word blog article generates the highest number of shares. Therefore, even if you can’t make to hit the word count, make your blog article at least 200-word long for improved virality. 

7. Offering the right tools 

Virality needs not only great content and motivated promoters but also effective sharing tools and platforms. On that note, you can’t go wrong with Pukket. We know where your target customers are and what your existing customers need to reach and direct them to you. We’ll provide your promoters and users with ultra-effective tools to make you go viral and get to the growth stage within the lean analytics model. 

Having implemented these tips, your business stands to gain more online visibility, increased sales leads and a significantly higher lead conversion rate. 

Influencer marketing is not for you

5 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing Is NOT For You

Marketing trends are quickly evolving. A strategy that used to work superbly for marketers ten years ago is highly likely to be outdated. Influencer marketing is among the most commonly used marketing techniques at the moment. Nearly any brand is looking for someone influencial to pay them handsomely for access to their network. According to a recent survey, about two-thirds of companies worldwide increased their budgets for influencer marketing in 2019. Perhaps you’ve considered joining the bandwagon too. But before you get into the waters, it’s important to know that this form of marketing is not always a breeze and effective as you’d hope. In fact, it might not be for you and this is why:

1. It is costly to sustain

Influencer marketing is a highly competitive industry, with a recent report by Business Insider projecting its worth to hit $15 billion by the year 2022. The growth is attributed to the increased influencer demand. As such, hiring a top-notch influencer will require you to dig deeper into your pockets.

 

Unlike in customer advocacy, where some customers promote your brand or products without necessarily expecting to be paid, an influencer monetises his or her audience. The influencer’s payment is primarily dependent on the total number of followers within their social reach. On the other hand, as for customer advocates, even if you decide to reward them, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Some simple perks like coupon codes, exclusive access and modest branded giveaways will be just fine and still get energized team of followers.

2. It is risky to run influencer marketing

Influencer marketing and advocacy marketing are at opposing ends. In the customer advocacy people share the content in the form of their everyday experiences (highly engaging for friends and family). However in the case of influencer marketing, influencers create and share their own content regarding a brand or its products/services. So, in an unfortunate case where an influencer cannot create exciting content that resonates with the target audience, you won’t get much from their promotional efforts. In fact, their information might work against your brand. Consequently, your investment in them might end up being futile. Well, this is quite a tricky and risky marketing route to take.

3. ROI not guaranteed

The number of likes, comments, shares and followers can’t be used to measure a person’s influence in the online world effectively. As such, you can’t really tell if an influencer will influence every person who follows them on their social channels. So, there’s no rationale for determining that this amount of user engagement on an influencer’s channel will bring you a certain amount of sales. In other words, you can’t quantify the commercial value of an influencer. The only way you can establish that is if he/she actually brings in some sales first before asking for payment. Again, nearly no influencer will agree to work under such arrangements. They want to be paid first. From there, it’s upon you to see if the return on investment you get makes sense or not. 

 

Even if they have thousands of loyal followers, many influencers can’t really tell exactly how your ROI will be from your engagement with them. In as much as they can seem to be good entertainers or wise, the majority of internet personalities don’t have much influence on the money spending decisions of their followers.  

4. Consumers find influencers ‘fake’

The majority of internet users know that there are people who are paid crazy amounts of money to promote products. So, they see them (influencers) not as people who are genuinely praising a brand or product because of the benefit they’ve gotten from it but as money-chasers.

 

Many consumers perceive influencer’s messages as disingenuous and misleading. As such, the consumers have minimal trust in influence marketers, just like the brand they represent. That’s why some influencers tend to conceal any information that might make their audiences know that they’ve been paid to promote certain brands or products. Again, the trickery might not end so well with some consumers if they know the truth.

5. It’s not easy to engage with the right influencer

Approach any brand that uses or has at one point used influencer marketing and you’ll realize that getting the right influencer for your campaigns is not an easy task. A recent study shows that 61% of marketers  take a lot of time and effort to get to the right influencers. If you aren’t patient with the recruitment process, you’ll end up taking anyone who seems to have a big following and this will mark the genesis of the flopping of your marketing strategy.

 

On the contrary, in customer advocacy, it’s easy to develop a team of loyal customers to spread the word for you. And since such customers are already engaged with your products, you won’t struggle to show them how to put the right message out there. 

 

Considering the above five reasons, influencer marketing is not as effective as customer advocacy. Besides, it’s a more costly marketing approach with no guaranteed ROI. That’s why Pukket advocates for customer advocacy. Talk to Pukket today for any help you need with customer advocacy programme development.

brand ambassador

Key Factors In Running a Successful Brand Ambassador Programme

A well managed brand ambassador programme can be your answer to the following problems: Do you feel like your business is facing overwhelming competition? Are your advertisement costs heading to unsustainable levels? Are you striving to generate more quality leads and gain more loyal customers? If your answer is yes to any, if not all of these questions, know that you aren’t alone. Many business owners and operators have been there but did something that took their business to greater levels. One of the most effective strategies is choosing brand ambassadors help you increase awareness about your business.

Why A Brand Ambassador Programme?

The benefits of a brand ambassador programme include:

  • Business reputation protection

When some people out there decide to tarnish the reputation of your company, your brand ambassadors will be your shield. They can calm the situation by sharing their positive experiences with your staff, product, services or any other factual information.  

  • Resource-efficient

A robust ambassador programme can reduce the workload of your marketing team. Ambassadors can take over tasks such as content creation or distributing them on social media at cost-effective levels.

  • Improved brand-customer communication

Customers trust brand ambassadors more than the brands they represent. As such, they are more likely to tell them how they actually feel about the brands. The ambassadors will then communicate such information to their brands for action.

Which Are The Major Factors In Running A Successful Brand Ambassador Programme?

1. Choosing the right people

Traditionally, companies choose celebrities to become their brand ambassadors. However, with time, marketing departments have come to appreciate the fact that celebrities aren’t the exclusive brand ambassadorship candidates.  Anyone who has some level of following can be a brand ambassador.

In fact, when a person with just a few hundreds of followers posts about your product or service, their audience will find it more authentic as compared to a similar post by an influencer with thousands of followers. As for the latter, people feel like their promotional messages are inspired by the money they receive to post the advertisement.   

As you look into that while recruiting your brand ambassadors, also ensure that the qualified candidates embody your brand’s ideals. Such ambassadors won’t feel pressured to conform to your standards when communicating information relating to your brand.  

2. Agreeing on the rewards from the beginning

Whether you use a reward system or recruit volunteers to take part in your brand ambassador programmer, it’s good to give them something for appreciation. Also, to avoid unnecessary conflicts and overexpectation, you should agree on what they stand to get if they participate in the programme from the very word go.

Besides, you need to settle on the prerequisites of getting the agreed-upon reward. When such things are clearly outlined, the participants will be able to make informed decisions and work objectively.

As you explore your reward options, it’s important to note that free products can be a good choice. In fact, 38% of the 200 companies used in a recent Kite study say that they offer free products to their ambassadors as a way of appreciating them for promoting their brands on social media.

However, as you consider free samples as rewards for the promoters of your brand, you should be a bit cautious. If you operate in the U.S, ensure that your decision is in line with the Federal Trade Commission. For a U.K business, confirm if the reward program conforms with the Competition and Markets Authority regulations. To avoid these issues, on Pukket you would only reward your ambassadors only after they have posted their experience with your product/service on loyalty point basis, avoiding the problem of incentivisation before the post is made. 

3. A realistic and simple plan

Having agreed on the rewards that your ambassadors will get, it’s imperative to create a plan and have them incorporated into it. Make the plan as simple as you can to help future ambassadors understand the components easily. The simplicity of the plan is important for your quick reference or by the current ambassadors.  

4. Trust and transparency

Trust and openess are the key components of an effective brand ambassador programme that stands the test of time. However, trust comes from the point of understanding the potential and personality traits of every ambassador. As such, you should collect as much information as you can regarding the abilities of your brand ambassadors before engaging them. 

Once you confirm that the promoters have the abilities you desire, show them that you trust them with your company’s representation. Also, it’s imperative to make them develop a sense of belonging to your organization. You can achieve that by keeping them updated about the progress of the company. If you have an incoming launch or release, keep them in the loop. This will go a long way to strengthening the relationship between you and the brand evangelists. 

5. Honest and seamless communication 

Use your ambassadors to elicit feedback from your existing and prospective customers. Encourage them to stimulate and communicate outstanding positive and negative consumer comments about your business, products or services. Such information can help you and your marketing department to devise more effective strategies for improving on various areas regarding your business. Also, let your brand ambassadors know that you are fully okay with them conversing about your brand without bias. Don’t forget to respond to them when they give such feedbacks. 

Having put the above factors into consideration, you should have a brand ambassador programme that helps move forward to your organization’s goals. Do you need help in creating or running a successful brand ambassador program? Do you need help identifying and recruiting ambassadors from your community of loyal customers? If you do, let Pukket guide you through that as we have a fully automated ambassador management platform for your needs.  

 
customer advocacy

Turn Your Customers into a Killer Marketing Force

Marketing is a very crucial aspect of any business, whether established or start-ups. The rule of thumb is that as a B2C business you should spend between 5% to 10% of your revenues on marketing (2% to 5% for B2B businesses). However some businesses find themselves spending more than the upper limit of their respective category. This, and the fact that digital marketing cost is increasing at a rate that’s five times higher than that of inflation is something you as a savvy marketer can’t afford to overlook. But what if you could use your existing community of customers and turn them into a killer marketing force?

One thing that we must admit is that with the coming of the information age, consumers are growing weary of the too much noise from brands trying to win their hearts by all means. They are put in a situation where they experience business ads right, left and centre. Salespeople are almost everywhere. A person logs in to his social media accounts and a significant part of the information he sees is about businesses. What next? He opts for ad blockers. Finally, the nuisance is done away with but for you as a marketer, it’s an unfortunate move. A recent survey shows that approximately 30% of all people who use internet use ad blockers Another consumer survey shows that 82% of consumers look for referrals from their friends and family members before purchasing something. As such, peer-to-peer marketing has been found to account for 20-50%  of a person’s entire buying decisions. 

It’s Getting Tough For Marketers

Consequently, as a marketer, it becomes more difficult for you to make your message reach your target customers. They rarely trust you. But you can win their trust, although indirectly-through your existing customers. It’s quite easier to gain high-quality sales leads and high lead conversion when a sale process is initiated by a customer who has used your products or services than when using other conventional marketing strategies. In fact, 92% of people trust recommendations resulting from word of mouth while all the survey respondents reported that  they pay more attention to posts and recommendations made by their friends  than they do from the information presented by brands. Interestingly, 37% of the customers referred to a business by other customers have 37% higher retention rate than those who are persuaded through other marketing strategies.

The statistics clearly shows that your customers could form a killer marketing force through word-of-mouth marketing. How do you then convert your customers to ultra-effective marketers of your products or services? Let’s look into that now.

How to turn your customers into a killer marketing force

1. Focus on Customer Satisfaction

If you are truly determined to leverage your existing customers to help you reach more of your target market, you need to ensure that they are happy with what you provide them. Having done that, it’ll be easy for you to win their loyalty and influence them to spread the word about your business.

2. Know Your Customers

Having a deep understanding of your customers, including their location, what they like or don’t like about your business and what influences their buying decisions (especially those related to your business). With the information, you’ll be able to find the best customers who could become your great marketers and how to motivate them to tell the people around them about your business and products/services.

3. Offer Value

Although you can’t put a price on customer loyalty, a customer will feel more appreciated if you provide something more than just what you normally offer them for helping you in your marketing. Ideally, it’s a give-take relationship. Although it might just a simple token of appreciation, for instance, a shout out, small give away or exclusive information access, it goes a long way to making a customer feel more motivated to give you continued support. 

4. Request Testimonials

Once you identify your best customers, you can go ahead and ask them to write personal stories showing how your product or service changed their lives. You can then incorporate the testimonials in your website content and ask the customers to share them on their social media profiles. When posting the testimonials on the media, you can request them to include your website’s link so that those who see the posts can reach you easily. Customer testimonials are super-effective sales tools not only because they are from verifiable and trusted sources, but also for the reason that stories have a tendency of sticking in people’s minds.

5. Incorporate Customers in Your Support Forum

Do you have a forum where customers can ask questions and get answers publicly? If you don’t have, you need to create it and incorporate your existing customers into it. Although your sales or support team can answer the questions asked on this forum, especially by prospective customers, the answers that your customers will provide will seem more genuine, thus highly likely to influence your lead conversion rate positively.

6. Involve Business Virality Experts

Creating and implementing a successful customer advocacy plan might not be a walk in the park for you. While analyzing and putting analytics into proper use in the marketing strategy is a hard nut to crack for someone with minimal experience, involving a business virality expert like Pukket improves accuracy and yields better results.

Feel free to contact Pukket in case you want help in creating a killer marketing force from your existing customers.