Turn blog visitors into brand ambassadors. Create long-lasting blog advocates.
Brand ambassadors and blog advocates are those who passionately stand behind you and spread a positive word about your offerings. But this doesn’t happen easily…
After all, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your average visitor. Why should they actively promote and vouch for you?
In order to answer this vital question, you must actively take steps that involve putting everyone’s needs first, front and center. Here’s how to increase brand awareness and gain loyal advocates.
Incentivize & Reward
This tried-and-true formula has always worked – as long as you present people with the right incentives.
For Product Owners
Offer sales and discounts: This one is rather obvious, but I still see so many product owners not leveraging this enough.
For starters, take advantage of the holiday season to surprise customers with compelling discounts. Product owners can also email discounts to customers after their first-ever purchase.
Offer monthly goodies: Some places offer free or discounted items regularly on specific days, such as the first Monday of every month.
If you sell art / crafts, for example, provide items at a discount each month directly through your website. This gradually makes people anticipate your next big sale, often leading to word of mouth and more sharing in general.
No Product? No Problem
Not every blog owner sells their own product, but you can still gain loyal and vocal readers who eagerly consume every piece of content you publish.
Run regular contests and giveaways: I have already discussed this and love to repeat it whenever possible. People obviously enjoy free things, especially when it’s highly valuable and the entry barrier is low.
Consider running a contest relating to your blog niche to maximize its impact. For example, a blog about writing may consist of visitors completing a short writing prompt. A food blog may consist of user-submitted photos of their best recipes.
Ideal contest plugin: WPAchievements
The reward is entirely up to you, but make it worthwhile!
Go out of your way to help: Does your blog get a fair share of comments? Reply back in detail and don’t provide half-hearted answers to genuine questions (same goes for social media).
Speaking of which, aim for maximum reader satisfaction within your articles. Some bloggers avoid linking to their “competitors” for fear of losing traffic. However, if said competitor has published an article that could benefit your readers, by all means reference it without shame.
Produce content people keep coming back to: Can you create spectacular content? You’re not restricted to traditional articles; rather, think of an ongoing service or something that is regularly updated.
For example, a blogger with web development skills may create a FREE script to track basic SEO rankings. A travel blog may dedicate a page to ongoing flight / hotel deals. A local blog owner may have a similar page based on all neighborhood restaurants.
Get People Involved
Establishing blog / brand ambassadors requires a real sense of involvement where people feel acknowledged and appreciated. Here are some ways to go about it:
Reference people within your blog posts: There’s no better feeling than realizing you have been mentioned in an article.
Look for fellow bloggers within your niche and occasionally acknowledge them by name (with a link back to their property), as this slowly helps establish a future ambassador. Be genuine in doing this and don’t mention people merely for your own benefit. Loyalty is a two-way street, and this is maintained by authenticity.
Highlight or reference quotes from others: Has anyone ever written anything that inspired you or something that strengthens your blog or product? Then use that quote and acknowledge its author!
Perhaps someone wrote a great comment on your latest article, which you can surely include within your very next post. You may also post it on a product page if this person had previously praised it (it’s best to ask for permission when it comes to product testimonials, unless you post it anonymously).
Create weekly polls: I regularly visit some video game blogs that regularly ask, “What game are you playing this week?” This all slowly contributes to creating fans, and in some cases, blog ambassadors. It’s all about how interesting you make these questions.
Poll questions work with just about any niche, whether you sell a product or not. I suggest you compile a list of questions and schedule them throughout the year.
Ideal poll plugin: Responsive Poll
Pro tip: The more hypothetical and outlandish, the more fun a question is. This subconsciously makes them more likely to spread the word about the blog.
Designing something? Ask for feedback and reward contributors. People appreciate having a voice, which certainly helps establish brand advocates.
If you’re creating an ebook and can’t decide between two potential covers, leave it up to readers to make that decision! Otherwise, this could be as simple as choosing between two WordPress blog themes.
You may then reward everyone with a free product, or simply a blog mention in the future.
Tip: The aforementioned poll / questions are perfect in this situation.
Make Sharing Easy
Most blog articles and product pages have a default set of sharing buttons, but some people have become somewhat blind to them at this point.
Remind visitors to share your article, but make sure to drive the point home.
For example, post the following quote mid-way through your content: “Like what you see so far? Please share it!”
Then, remind them to share once again toward the end of the article.
Meanwhile, Always Build Relationships
Relationship-building never ends. Always ask yourself, “How can I serve my customers or blog visitors better than I did yesterday?”
Genuinely befriend everyone: Acknowledge people by name, ask about their day when they reach out or leave a comment, and find other means to spread positivity.
Treat social media like a human: Use your social accounts to post fun, non-promotional content at least 7 out of 10 times. This may include a meme, fun facts, well-wishes, and even non-political current events. The point is to be human, which is crucial in establishing brand ambassadors and blog advocates.
Provide amazing customer service: Aim to respond to all queries within 12 hours whenever possible. Also consider a live chat plugin if you can generally handle the workload. This helps visitors get answers instantly and they will certainly remember you for it.
Ready to Build Your Army?
All of the above helps create a memorable experience which nurtures brand and blog advocates over time. What other creative ideas can you come up with based on your niche and the audience you serve?