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5 ideas to create brand advocates at scale

How do you mobilize your extended sales force as advocates at scale?

Most businesses are aware of the benefits of employee advocacy — in fact, 90% of brands surveyed already have an employee advocacy program. But how do you scale this advocacy to your extended salesforce? It’s time to look at your extended salesforce as a pool of brand advocates and your biggest opportunity.

The sales environment has changed dramatically. As it stands, 92% of customers are more trusting of advocates and “Word of Mouth” marketing over other marketing approaches. Brands are looking at ways to scale the power of employee advocacy beyond their direct workforce. By pairing a long-term strategy with short-term tactics, you can ramp-up your sales enablement plans and reap the benefits of advocacy at scale. It’s all about partnerships, motivation, and community.

In this post we’ll show you 5 ideas to create brand advocates at scale by involving partners, engaging users, and focusing on community to create advocacy in your existing sales force.

5 ideas to create brand advocates at scale:

Checklist image with a text list of 5 ideas to create brand advocates at scale

Person facilitating a group discussion

1. Involve partners from the start

Collaborating with strategic partners from the start helps align on mutual business objectives and iron out any roadblocks early. With sprint workshops, key stakeholders partner up with agencies like us to find a solution together, allowing problem-solving and ideation to happen while ensuring buy-in from the start.

Google branded fortune cookies presented as a game prize

2. Give learners a reason to start

You don’t get much time to turn your extended salesforce into real brand advocates who can deliver the warm hug equivalent to a cold call. Try gamifying the learning by building in a competition or a good old fashioned mystery to solve and spark interest through game-based problem-solving contests. Or, entice with food & swag. A well-timed treat or a thoughtful gadget can go a long way and leave a lasting memory of the brand.

Google Pixel 3A comic book with superhero characters

3. Keep up the fun

As the psychologist Jerome Bruner states: “Facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they’re part of a story.” Comics and stories create enticing storylines that bring content to life and make it easy to digest.

Animated computer screen that is scrolling through a website

4. Use tech as the means, not the end

The technology you choose should be in the background of the community you create, helping them to connect, learn, and share. Leverage online conferences, events, and social forums to enhance scaled learning, tracking, and create a consistently engaging experience with your team, partners, and clients.

Colleagues collaborating on the color selection of a brand design

5. Design the whole experience

Consider the whole learning journey for the user, from online to offline, as they progress through learning milestones. Graphic design, theming, and branding will secure a strong visual identity and brand aesthetic to make it stand out and have an impact. As poet Maya Angelou says, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

No time to lose

Rethink your extended salesforce as extended advocates. Act now.

The power of employee advocacy can scale outside of the direct workforce — it just needs the right fuel. Without this, you risk investing in training and enablement programs that fall flat with the audience or fail to cut through the noise. 

Companies with the right strategy in place to mobilize their extended salesforce will reap the benefit of scaled advocates to promote their brand and products. 

Check out our whitepaper for more creative ideas on how to scale advocacy to enable sales, and how we can help you implement them with three key elements: partnerships, motivation, and community.

1. Smarp (2020) - “Employee Advocacy” 

2. WhosOn (2020) - “Small but mighty: the power of brand advocacy”

 

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