Why a brand advocate community is a great option for limited budgets

Last week, we wrote in detail about our new approach: building a community of brand advocates. VoxFeed is helping brands build long-lasting relationships with their loyal fans and users by developing communities of brand advocates.

This community approach has many benefits in comparison to other types of influencer marketing. First, it creates more authenticity in your campaigns since you are using the real testimonies of your customers and fans. In turn, this helps build more trust in your brand, since the content comes from genuine users, instead of one-time paid partnerships.

One of the most important benefits of the brand advocate community approach is that it’s a budget-friendly investment. In this post, we’ll go in detail why building a community of brand advocates gives you the best ROI for your influencer marketing campaigns.

Example of the community-based approach: Breyer’s ice cream 

A few weeks ago, I bought my favorite ice cream: Breyers vanilla. I was at home baking Mexican-chocolate brownies and wanted to serve them à la mode. The ice cream turned out to be the perfect match for my fudgy brownies and I have to admit, I was proud of my quarantine brownies. So proud, that I shared a photo of my creation to my Instagram, via Instagram Stories. 

brand advocate idea

Like me, there are millions of people out there who share content about their favorite products and brands every day. While we might not be professional influencers, we love social media and we love to talk about the things we use in our daily lives: food, clothing brands, movie recommendations, etc. We have true “influence” with the friends and family that follow us on our social networks.  

While it’s a silly example, my ice cream-Instagram story represents a real opportunity for brands to tap into the creative and personal experiences of their fans and users. Imagine Breyer’s ice cream bringing together hundreds of ice cream fanatics like myself to share unique posts about how they enjoy Breyers’ frozen treats. These real and loyal customers are the foundation of a brand advocate community.

Why a brand advocate community will give you the best ROI 

The strength of the brand advocate community model lies in its ability to make your content and message more authentic. While the influencer-follower relationship is based on inspiring an aspirational lifestyle, the relationship between “regular” users and their followers is trust-based. They make conversation and connection with their followers, lending a human voice to the brands and products they talk about. 

But that’s not the only advantage. One of the biggest benefits of the brand advocate community approach is economic

Let’s stick with the Breyers ice cream example. Breyers most likely has a large budget allocated to marketing. Yet with over one hundred years of making ice cream and 600K+ fans on Facebook, Breyers is bound to have loyal customers like myself that would gladly share content about their Breyers ice cream experiences. Loyal fans like myself aren’t necessarily looking for monetary compensation. When brands share our content, it makes us feel seen, heard, and appreciated for our loyalty. 

We’d be happy to share content in exchange for things like: 

  • Free merchandise or product
  • Access to exclusive content 
  • Event invitations
  • Discounts 

That’s why the Return on Investment with building a community of brand advocates is so powerful. Authentic brand advocates provide stronger engagement at a much lower price. Brands have the opportunity to work with hundreds of their customers on social media campaigns, creating far more activity and brand loyalty at a fraction of the cost. You could essentially run multiple campaigns with hundreds of loyal users without spending a single dollar. 

Why 2020 is the time to embrace the brand advocate approach

This community-based approach comes at an important time. In today’s uncertain economy and current crisis, marketing budgets are shrinking across the globe. While this undoubtedly presents big challenges, it also presents the opportunity to focus on your real and loyal users. Now more than ever, it’s critical to thank your customers and users for their continued loyalty. It’s also an opportunity to activate their voices on behalf of your brand. 

Similarly, online traffic is growing, and customers are looking for real human connection from their brands and social media networks. The brand advocate community approach meets these consumer needs.  Aside from the economic benefits, this approach helps create more community and camaraderie in an age of increased disconnection. People want to feel connected and look for ways to build bonds with others. Often this is expressed via their love and engagement with a product or service. Smart marketers recognize this motivation and provide opportunities to encourage it.

Contact Us

If  you’re interested in building your brand community, but not sure how to start, reach out to us. We’d be happy to help. VoxFeed has a three-phase approach to recruiting, onboarding, and executing campaigns with your loyal fans and customers. 

To get started, create a free account on VoxFeed and schedule a call with us to walk you through the process. 

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