Why Identifying a Brand Advocate is Essential to Marketing Success
No matter what you sell at your business, you probably sell to more than one person. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t call it a business!)
But whether you keep a small clientele or serve thousands, you need to know how to speak to everyone while making it feel that you’re speaking personally to every single individual.
You’re never going to sell to one person only, but what will help save you funds and streamline your marketing strategy is to create a fictional person to whom you can sell. A fictional person who is your dream client, the one who is all-in on whatever you do.
This fictional person is your brand advocate.
The one person who is absolutely obsessed with everything about your business, from your products or services to your company mission. They’re the person your business can count on to consistently purchase from you, to share your posts on social media, and to be your biggest fan. They are the hero of your business’s story, and your business is the guide that will help them achieve success.
Let’s make one thing clear: creating a single brand advocate does not mean that you are turning away or excluding customers who aren’t exactly like your brand advocate. Having a brand advocate in mind simply allows you to fine-tune your messaging and to laser target your marketing spend.
Let’s dive into how to envision your brand advocate, and why having one is so important.
Creating Your Brand Advocate
Here’s some radical candor for you: coming up with a brand advocate is HARD. It takes time, thought, and imagination. And unlike our hypothetical situation, your business caters to the needs of many people. You may be asking, how the heck—and, more importantly, why the heck—should I speak to only one person when I have so many diverse customers?
By keeping a brand advocate at the forefront of your messaging, you’ll be able to attract many people who are excited to interact with your brand, because it feels like you’re speaking to them personally. Trust us, it’s so much easier to market yourself when you’re thinking of a human, even if that human is made up. Customers are driven by stories and approachable language much more than discount- and data-driven jargon.
To create your brand advocate, it’s important to think of them as an actual person. What are their likes and dislikes? What do they value above all else? What are their basic demographics? When it comes to creating your very own brand advocate, no question is too large or too small. It’s just as important to know their pain points (“What challenge in their life makes them need to partner with my business?”) as it is to know what kind of car they drive (“A used Toyota Corolla or a new Lincoln MKC?”). Answering these questions makes them feel like a real, tangible person to whom you can speak about and sell your offerings.
Here are a few brand advocates we’ve created for ourselves and our clients:
Having a Brand Advocate Can Make You Money
The number one reason having a brand advocate is essential to your success is because of your budget. Can you think of a brand that can speak to everyone? Wal-Mart comes to mind, but Wal-Mart is able to spend $1 billion per year on marketing. When your budget is leaner than that of a multinational corporation, you need to get very specific about who you are speaking to. This prevents you from wasting scant funds on people who will never buy from you.
How do you save money and get specific about who you’re speaking to? Read on.
Keeping Your Messaging Precise, Not Exclusionary
When we say to keep your messaging precise, we’re not implying that your messaging should say something like “NO MOMS ALLOWED.” All we’re saying is that to attract the very best customers for your business, the ones who could become superfans, you should use inclusive messaging with a specific person in mind.
Here’s an example. Our client, The Law Office of Matt Uhrig, is a personal injury and workers’ comp attorney. His service is high-investment and just as high-quality, but he didn’t want to blend into the clutter of loud billboard ads that plague his industry.
HDco created Matt Uhrig’s brand advocate: Theresa Keller, a dedicated wife and mother who, after her husband’s car accident left him unable to work, wanted to file a lawsuit, but didn’t know where to start.
After identifying Matt Uhrig’s brand advocate and describing her transformational journey, we came up with this original messaging: “You deserve the best outcome for a better future.”
Social media posts for the Law Office of Matt Uhrig
See how this simple line can speak to anyone within The Law Office of Matt Uhrig’s target audience? This sentence is deeply rooted in strategy and was created with Matt Uhrig’s brand advocate in mind, but it doesn’t turn away people who aren’t like Theresa.
After getting a clear direction for his marketing strategy with the Brand Messaging Manual, The Law Office of Matt Uhrig’s business skyrocketed.
He received seven leads in six days from his first Facebook ad run.
There was a 135% click rate increase from Google since launching his new website.
And, he got a 33% conversion rate on his contact page’s call to action.
How can something as simple as a strategy document lead to such impressive results? Once we knew who we were talking to, we were able to create an emotional connection. Customers fall in love with stories, not products. When we capitalize on a brand advocate’s pain points and offer powerful solutions that can transform their life, they feel compelled to take action.
Knowing the one person you’re talking to is the most efficient way to execute your marketing tactics. You’ll be able to create messaging that targets and excites your ideal audience, which saves you time, money, and effort.
Speaking to a Single Brand Advocate
While two brand advocates is preferable to no brand advocate, having one brand advocate keeps your messaging clear and straightforward. Not only will having two brand advocates confuse you about who to speak to and when, you’ll confuse your customers! If you launch an ad or social campaign that tries to speak to both 25-year-old socialites and 50-year-old mothers, you’ll find that both of these groups will think your product is not right for them. When you confuse, you lose. Not to mention you spend twice the amount of money to reach two different audiences.
The only time it may be necessary to have two brand advocates is when you are speaking to two separate, distinct audiences, like a wholesale audience and a retail audience.
Ready to get started creating your brand advocate persona?
Let’s recap, shall we?
A brand advocate is a fictional character you must keep in mind when creating your brand’s messaging. This one person is always all-in on your offerings, and they’re the one you can count on to share their favorable opinion with the world through word of mouth. It’s important to think of them as a real person.
Having a brand advocate prevents you from wasting your marketing spend on people who aren’t in your target audience. It also allows you to be inclusive, not exclusive. Keeping a brand adocate in mind is a surefire way to appeal to your current and potential customers, no matter if they’re the occasional shopper or the loyal fan. Your brand advocate will keep your messaging and marketing materials clear, helping you increase sales.
In short: create your brand advocate, and watch your business grow.
Let’s find your superfans.
Hoot Design Co. is a marketing, branding, and design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to brand identity, website design and execution, and social media marketing strategies in-person and through online courses, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.