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  • Writer's pictureROMI

Stage 5: Multiplying Traffic

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

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So your consumers have converted. Congratulations! It’s not the end of the road for your marketing, though.

Following conversion, you still have to go to the next stage of the marketing process. This is the stage where you multiply traffic.

In other words, it’s when you use the conversions you’ve earned (through the conversion stage) to drive further traffic or leads into your funnel.

At the heart of this stage is the concept of customer advocacy. It fuels fresh traffic, added conversions, and brand presence.

We’ll begin our guide to multiplying traffic by explaining this concept. After that, we’ll show you how to build it in order to multiply the amount of traffic you’re driving to your business.


What Is Customer Advocacy?

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Customer advocacy is when existing customers (people who’ve converted or used your product/service) act as your advocates to other consumers.

They may recommend your product to other consumers, for instance, or promote your brand to their friends and family as a brand that can be trusted.

Customer advocacy may thus come in any of various forms, including reviews, positive social media mentions, referrals, blog features, etc.

As we said earlier, we’ll show you how to build customer advocacy in this article. But before we get there, let’s answer a couple of questions first.

Question 1: Is Every Customer a Potential Advocate?

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We wish! But the truth is, some customers just won’t expend effort in promoting the products or services they buy to other people. Some of them will buy once and leave matters there.

Your goal is to identify which customers have the potential to become advocates. Once you do, you’ll have a better idea of where to invest even more effort in building a relationship.

That’s not to say you should ignore all of your other customers, of course. Rather, you just want to give potential advocates a little bit of extra effort - or as much as you can spare without denying other consumers a positive experience.

Finding potential customer advocates isn’t too difficult, fortunately. One simple (but often very effective) way of doing it is to ask customers how likely they are to recommend your brand to others.

Let’s assume you’ve given those customers a scale on which to answer that question. The scale goes from 1 to 10. You tell them this:

  • An answer of 1 means they’re unlikely to recommend your brand.

  • An answer of 10 means they’re absolutely going to recommend your brand.

In that case, your likeliest customer advocates are going to be those who give you a figure anywhere from 8 to 10. They themselves have admitted it, after all!

Another way to find potential advocates is to identify your best customers. You see, the customers who buy more than once are typically those who have the most interaction with you - and each purchase or conversion is an interaction.

Question 2: Is Customer Advocacy Worthwhile?

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It generally takes multiple interactions to build the type of relationship that leads to customer advocacy… so getting customer advocates often takes time. It makes sense that most business owners ask if going through the trouble to build customer advocacy is worth it.

In a word: Yes.

The fact is, customer advocacy boosts revenue. Studies have found that a mere 12% increase in it can already lead to a 200% increase in company revenue.

That’s partly because customer advocacy is basically word-of-mouth marketing. This remains the most trusted form of advertising for most consumers.

85% of Asia-Pacific consumers trusted it in 2019, according to Nielsen. That figure was lower for Europe (78%) and North America (82%) - but even then, it was still the most trusted form of advertising in all locales.

So when an advocate recommends your product to another consumer, that consumer is more likely to trust that the product is worth it.

That means they’re more likely to buy it… and possibly even become advocates in themselves.


How to Build Customer Advocacy

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Given that we’ve established that customer advocacy is possible and hugely beneficial to businesses, the next question is how to build it.

There are many ways to build a base of customer advocates. The most obvious, of course, is just to offer quality in your main product or service: if customers are satisfied with it, they’re far more likely to be advocates.

But you can supplement that with a few other techniques. Let’s cover some of our favourites right now:

1. Use an Advocacy Programme

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An advocacy programme is just a marketing programme that encourages customers to recommend your brand, products, or services to others.

There are quite a few famous examples of these that you can study when coming up with your own. For instance, there’s Tesla’s referral programme.

Tesla offered Tesla car owners $1,000 in store credits for convincing others to buy a Tesla as well. What’s more, Tesla offered an equivalent amount in store credits to those new buyers.

They also offered more perks, such as the ability to buy the Model X SUV - not generally available to the public - after hitting 10 referrals.

Another example is Cisco’s Champions programme, which offers digital Cisco advocates resources and training to beef up their IT and social media influence. Champions also get access to special events and new products before other customers.

What does Cisco ask for in exchange? Only that advocates talk about the brand in social media and contribute to Cisco content through blog posts, participation in Twitter chats, podcasts, etc.

Finally, there’s the Starbucks Tweet-a-Coffee programme. This offered Starbucks customers an easy way to send a $5 gift card to a friend.

Customers did this by tweeting a friend’s Twitter username along with the hashtag for the programme. All they had to do was link their Starbucks account to their Twitter account.

It gained Starbucks $180,000 in sales shortly - although the real coup was that it allowed Starbucks to learn more about its customers by identifying their Twitter accounts.

In any case, you may get inspiration from programmes like these when coming up with your own advocacy programme. Just make sure that whatever you devise, it offers a reward that your customers can actually use!

2. Beef up Your Customer Service

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Customer service is huge when it comes to customer advocacy.

Consider this: answering a customer complaint increases advocacy by 25%.

What about not answering the complaint? Well, that decreases advocacy by 50%!

Again, this is because customer service is part of the experience you’re providing your customers: it’s part of your relationship with them.

Anyone will tell you that communication is key in a good relationship. Well, the same can be said when talking about your relationship with customers... and customer service is about communication.

Furthermore, providing great customer service can help customers feel like you’re trustworthy enough to recommend to others.

You see, if you bother to listen to even their complaints, you’re perceived as a company that genuinely values its customers.

That’s why customers won’t feel compromised in any way by recommending you to people they know. They trust that you’ll value those people as customers in the same way you valued them.

3. Ask Customers for Feedback

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This is a step that can help you in more ways than one. It works for much the same reason the previous technique does.

When you ask customers for feedback, it helps you show customers that you value their input and experiences. That can be very reassuring to them.

Moreover, it can give you a bank of reviews or testimonials to publish online (if customers agree to that, of course). Those reviews can be examples of customer advocacy in themselves too.

It can also give you more information to feed into your Capture and Nurture stages (see our articles on Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the marketing process)... all of which only strengthens your marketing!

4. Personalise Your Services

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Personalising products and services is yet another way to win over customers into advocacy. Again, it may help them feel more valued, particularly as it suggests that the company recognises their individuality.

Note that Tesla does this too with its cars, which can be modified in-factory before being given to the customers who’ve purchased them. It’s part of the package Tesla customers are buying.

Of course, it’s not just about personalising the final product or service you offer them. You can also personalise as much of their experience with you as possible.

Personalise key aspects of the customer journey for them. Personalise the content you offer them and the insights you offer.

When you do this, you tend to serve customers better, which is how you win them over and get them to promote you to others.

5. Ask Customers for Content

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This is a bit similar to technique number 3 on this list, where you ask customers for feedback. The difference is that you’re asking for content on your products or services now, or possibly content of them using your products or services.

How does this help your customer advocacy?

For one thing, the content already acts as a “vote for your products or services” in a sense. If it shows the customer using your product, for instance, it more or less tells others the customer approves of it.

Second, it works very well as part of a social media marketing strategy, particularly as a programme seeking UGC (user-generated content).

Consider this: when people produce content, they tend to want others to see it… which means the customers who submitted the content are likely to encourage people they know to take a look at it.

That can drive further awareness of your brand among the acquaintances of that customer. That lays the foundations for customer advocacy, as those acquaintances may well become interested in your brand afterwards and ask the original customer about it.


Conclusion: Cycling Back to the Start of the Flow

Once you’ve won customers over, you’re in a perfect position to cycle back to the start of the flow. Your advocates will drive more traffic into your funnel that you can take through the next stage of the flow all over again!

This harks back to something we said in our overview of the marketing process: the need to choose the marketing activities that give you the best returns for the least amount of effort.

By multiplying your traffic, you not only lower your cost-per-acquisition but also craft a marketing cycle that partly fuels itself.

In other words, you’re multiplying more than your traffic here: you’re also multiplying the effects of your marketing efforts, as customers are now benefiting you beyond conversions.

In any case, that concludes our discussion of the stages of marketing. If you’ve read all of our articles in this series, you should now be ready to strike out on your own!

If you think you still need help, though, that’s nothing to be ashamed of: most business owners would still prefer to get professionals to help them here, because it can help them reduce effort and resource waste, as well as freeing them up for other tasks.

Whether you’re in that position or simply want to consult with us for ideas on how to set up your own marketing flow, reach out to us! We’ll be glad to help.

Still thinking about whether you need to engage a marketing agency? Our blog piece, Is a marketing agency worth hiring? An SME perspective, may help!

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