As a business owner, your most effective sales team is a satisfied and excited customer base that echoes your brand messaging and promotes your product to the people they know. It’s referred to as evangelist marketing, and it’s one of the most powerful types of marketing a business can have.
Businesses have to work hard to earn trust, especially with first-time customers. Brand evangelists bridge the gap between brands and new customers because the person selling the brand already has trust and influence with potential customers. That’s the power of evangelist marketing.
At its core, evangelist marketing is just word of mouth, but brand evangelism is still more than that. Brand evangelists don’t just share about a brand. They are passionate and will proactively advocate and defend brands they believe in.
Every team member, client, and customer has the potential to become a brand evangelist, but how do businesses convert customers into brand evangelists?
Choose Your Demographic
You can’t focus on all of the people all of the time, and this is especially true when it comes to targeting brand evangelists. Businesses should closely define the exact audience that will be most impacted by their brand.
Get as specific as possible with demographics, motivators, and pain points. Businesses should understand exactly who they are reaching. Consider how and where you would like them to promote your business. Is it through blogs, social media, or some other means? Who are you hoping to reach through their influence? Understanding these things ahead of time is a key part to successfully converting customers into brand evangelists.
This is also a time for a business to be picky, as this is the demographic that will be representing them. It’s important to make sure that their persona aligns with the business’ brand persona.
The people that interact with your brand the most are already working for you. If they’re not excited about the brand, it might be because there isn’t a unified understanding of what that brand is.
As a first step, businesses should clearly define their mission and core values and communicate them with employees. Creating this sense of alignment will ensure that each employee is representing the business in a consistent way that is unified with their brand’s commitments and goals.
This will probably require culture changes and may involve significant growing pains, but getting employees on board is the first step to building a strong brand evangelist base.
Focus on Your Existing Customer Base
Every business wants to grow, and gaining new customers is the goal. But if you’re a business looking to gain brand evangelists, it helps if your existing customers are happy and excited. This might involve upping your customer service game and adding personalized touches to your business. Most businesses already have potential brand evangelists within their existing customer base that can be easily converted by creating a culture of going the extra mile.
Engage on Social Media
A strong social media presence is absolutely necessary for businesses hoping to connect with potential brand evangelists. More and more, brand interactions are taking place digitally. Shoppers use social media to research brands and leave reviews, and having an active presence shows that your brand is living and interactive.
Businesses should make sure to actively respond to both positive and negative interactions on social media. There’s a lot of value in acknowledging a positive interaction or review, and there’s even more in changing a negative experience into a positive one.
Create Content that Resonates with Your Audience
Okay, you’ve defined your audience. Now it’s time to create content that they’ll engage with and hopefully share. Don’t get stuck in the “content is king” mentality. Quality content is king. Businesses shouldn’t flood their audiences with unauthentic content. That will only hurt efforts to create brand evangelists.
There are a few guidelines to follow when creating effective content: make it authentic to your brand, make it relevant to your audience, and make it shareable. Brand evangelists need to be able to share content to advocate for brands.
It takes time to build the kind of loyalty needed for brand evangelism. It won’t happen overnight, but with sustained effort and a focus on customer service, any business can build a healthy base of brand advocates.