Because… Who doesn’t like free marketing?
We live in a funny world. A friend recently pointed out that we now highly value candlelit dinners and handwritten letters, when once upon a time they were the norm. I chalk it up to the personal touch. And, you know what? Marketing is heading that way too. Mass marketing tools will still have their place, but customers want that personal touch. Of course, word-of-mouth is the OG of marketing. Back in 1923, if Gertrude wanted to know which seamstress would mend her mittens best, she’d ask Ethel next door. Since then, everything has changed in the marketing world. But, at the same time, not much has actually changed.
People value their friends’ opinions over advertising and even social media. Groundbreaking.
The other upside? Unlike influencer marketing, brand advocacy doesn’t have to cost a cent. Brand advocates are the people who love your brand so much, they’re willing to shout it to the world for free. You know how people get tattoos of the Harley Davidson logo? Yeah, it’s something like that. Only, slightly less drastic and you won’t regret it in 40 years’ time.
If you’re already writing off brand advocacy as something for the Apples of the world, don’t. Sure, it’s a lot easier to get people to camp out in front of your store when you’re launching the latest $3,000 Facebook machine, but that’s not to mean you can’t get brand advocacy happening on a smaller scale for your own brand.
How can you get the ball rolling? Easy.
Ever since we were little kids, we’ve had it drilled into us that we shouldn’t be sheep. We should do our best to stand out from the crowd and celebrate our own uniqueness (cringe), individuality (cringe) and authenticity (cringe). And then we became teenagers… And suddenly we didn’t want to be different anymore.
Now, you’re a business owner and you’re wondering how you can make your business stand out from everyone else out there. Because, as I’m sure you’re well aware, you’re not the only one vying for your customers’ hard-earned credit card limit.
Sure, you could pull a big PR stunt or hire a plane to write your business name in the sky. But, these things cost money. Lots of money. And, in the early days of business, money is a luxury most of us don’t have a whole lot of.
So, how can you make sure that your business stands out? Without it costing an arm, a leg and your left kidney, that is.
“I know I should be creating video content but I just can’t talk on camera.”
“Video is only for good-looking people. I have a face for radio.”
Why is it that so many entrepreneurs are brave enough to invest their life savings and a few limbs into their business, quit their safe corporate careers and upturn their entire lives to follow their dreams… But, when it comes to recording a direct-to-camera video, they turn into shaky little leaves. Video is one of the best types of content marketing and it holds so much power for building a connection with your audience.
It’s a bit like that pesky fear of public speaking that holds so many of us back.
However, just like the fear of tripping up in front of your audience, the fear of talking on camera can be overcome. It’s a topic I’ll save for another day, or else we’ll be here well past wine o’clock, and you wouldn’t want that, would you?
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of puppy-sitting for my parents’ new Sproodle (yes, it’s a real breed) puppy, Benji. I might be biased, but I think he’s a pretty smart little dog. He’s also really good at hanging on to his toys – and our shoes – for dear life. That is, until he hears the sound of the treats container being opened. The second he hears the “Click, click” of the container, Benji promptly forgets what he was doing, drops his toy and focuses his energy on being a Good Boy so he can get all of the treats.
I don’t know about you, but some days in business, I feel like a puppy too.