About our Guest Author: Bond has a license to kill. Senior Marketing Manager Truman Tang has a license to create engaging experiences for Influitive’s customers and advocates. He runs Influitive’s advocate marketing program, Influitive VIP.
Marketers often tell me that their top goal is to improve the customer experience.
They know that by enhancing the customer experience at every stage in the customer lifecycle, they’ll boost their brand’s reputation—and drive sales and marketing results.
As a Senior Marketing Manager, Customer & Advocacy for Influitive, I spend all of my time trying to build close relationships with our customers, fans, evangelists and employees. We call this loyal group our advocates. They’re the first people to raise their hands when we need references, referrals or online product reviews.
However, since I can’t physically be where our customers are all the time, or spend all day on the phone with them (I wish I could!), I use two tools to make personal connections with them at scale: an advocate marketing program (run on Influitive’s AdvocateHub software) and web conferencing software (ReadyTalk).
Here’s how we leverage both to build 1:1 connections between our prospects (or future advocates, as I like to call them), current customers and employees.
Engaging customers via webinars and advocacy
In order to turn our customers into passionate advocates, I get them to engage with our brand, content and employees on a near-daily basis through our advocate marketing program, Influitive VIP. In this exclusive online hub, customers are given fun challenges, educational resources, networking opportunities and perks or recognition when they advocate for our brand.
I also find that having live conversations with customers is the best way to show them the real people behind your brand and make your company more human—which is why we use a web conferencing platform to help us build more personal relationships at scale.
Here are three ways we combine webinars with advocate marketing to improve engagement, success and the customers experience:
1. Training customers at scale. We host product sessions—called AdvocateHub Classes—every other week. In these sessions, we feature one of our customers as a special guest. They volunteer to share how they’ve built a successful advocate marketing program using our platform. Our customers enjoy these sessions because they learn from their peers and interact with members of our team, which helps them build a stronger network. We use our advocate marketing program to find volunteers, vote on upcoming class topics and discuss what was learned afterwards in our community.
2. Educating prospects. We’ve created semi-private video chats, dubbed “Coffee Time,” where our current customers talk to a small group of prospects about their accomplishments in advocate marketing. They’ll also answer questions our potential buyers may have. This helps us connect with a number of prospects in a personal way and move deals forward. At the same time, we also make our advocates look like rockstars and help them expand their professional network.
3. Getting advocates involved in webinars. We give our advocates an active role in creating our webinars by asking them to contribute questions or topic ideas in advance. After the webinar, we share recaps of key takeaways, and invite advocates to ask follow up questions, give us feedback and share the recording with their peers. Involving our advocates in our webinars makes them feel valued and keeps them engaged in between webinars. Crowdsourcing ideas from them also makes our webinar content more relevant to our audience—which helps drive attendance.
Webinars and advocate marketing can work hand-in-hand to improve the customer experience from end to end. Webinars help establish personal and professional relationships, while advocate marketing programs continuously nurture these connections throughout the customer lifecycle.
By consistently engaging customers and prospects with both tools, you’ll remain top-of-mind—and drive adoption and retention at the same time.
If you want to learn how to start an advocate marketing program, read this blog.