Nothing can help your business quite like free advertising, especially when it comes from an enthusiastic (and influential) customer. If they have a large online following, their praise for your business could go viral, burnishing your business’s reputation and bringing you new customers who already have a positive view of your company.
Getting people excited about your brand enough to promote it is the Holy Grail of marketing. This can be an effective way to build your brand as well as a loyal customer base. While it might seem like magic, there are plenty of ways to turn your customers into bonafide brand evangelists.
What Is a Brand Evangelist?
A brand evangelist is far more than just a satisfied customer. They are tireless promoters of your business who make advocating for your brand a way of life. Your product or service is indispensable to them, and they recommend it to whoever they think could benefit from them. In short, brand evangelists are your biggest fans, and they take every opportunity to show others just what they love about your business.
Do You Already Have Brand Evangelists?
You might already have brand evangelists that you didn’t even know about. You can find them on social media extolling the virtues of your brand. They might bring friends to your business or fill up your suggestion box with praise or constructive criticism. In many cases, they can be found within your own business.
How to Create More Brand Evangelists
Here are a few ways to turn your customers into brand evangelists:
1. Talk to Them
Social media provides an ideal platform for connecting with your customers and making your business a part of their lives. Listen to their concerns, make a few jokes, and answer their questions, and you could turn even skeptics into fans.
2. Start a Contest
Placing your business at the center of a competition is a great way to get people to engage with your brand. You could harness their creativity to promote your business while also generating excited new evangelists.
3. Offer Incentives
Consider incentives for repeat customers such as discounts, freebies, or being featured in your social media. Not only can you show your appreciation, but you might get more people to come back for return business simply because they like you.
4. Provide Personalized Customer Service
One of the easiest ways to make your customers come back again is to make them feel like they matter to your business. Get to know their names and what they do, and thank them for choosing your business.
5. Create a Consistent Experience
The last thing your customers should do is explain what they want to three different people. Keep track of any information they gave you in their current transaction and previous ones so you can better serve them and show them they are valued.
6. Be Accessible
The easier it is for your customers to reach you, the more you can interact with them, and they with you. Create social media profiles on the platforms your customers use most, and make the contact information for your business easily visible on all marketing materials.
7. Start a Community
Your brand can be much more than just a logo and a slogan, especially if you are trying to create devoted followers. Special events, social media pages, hashtags, and even memes can all come together to create an immersive experience which can delight your budding brand evangelists.
8. Switch Things Up
Keeping things exciting by creating new products or services, especially ones based on the requests of customers, can help to convert them into evangelists. Consumer tastes change all the time, but by listening to what yours want, you can make them a part of your company.
9. Follow Your Philosophy
Authenticity is one of the rarest qualities to find in a business, and customers that see a business practice what it preaches will naturally be drawn to it. Make your company ethos more than just a nice tagline, but a mission to live and act by.
10. Turn Employees into Brand Evangelists
If your employees love where they work, they’ll be more likely to advocate for your business outside of it. By creating a welcoming, dynamic culture within your business, you could turn your employees into some of your employees into your biggest fans.
Making brand evangelists a part of your marketing strategy can help you make the most of your advertising budget. Studies show that people are much more likely to take the recommendation of someone they trust when making purchase, compared to what they hear from advertisements. Zuberance reports that 92% of respondents trusted the recommendations of a friend, compared to 24% of respondents who trusted an advertisement. Brand evangelists can save your business money while building it a durable customer base. Even better, they can help you improve your business along the way.