A 12% increase in brand advocacy can double your revenue growth rate while boosting market share, according to Senior Vice President Tom Lazenby of Regions Bank Dealer Financial Services. But how, as a company, do you achieve that advocacy when consumers don’t always trust the brand?
Activate employee advocates, Lazenby said, or more specifically employees that are socially engaged. Those employees can then create their employer’s brand content to share on their own networks with friends and family.
With the right talent, employees could reach an audience 10 times larger than what your brand is reaching, because content shared by employees receives 8 times the engagement of content on branded channels.
Put simply, Lazenby said, 1,000 employee advocates can potentially drive 1 million customers, 50,000 social engagements, create 5,000 unique pieces of content for your brand, and that traffic generated converts at more than twice the rate of traditional marketing tactics.
But while done digitally, this really translates into increased word of mouth, which scales like nothing else, Lazenby says, because customers trust their own stories, not the brands’.
Word of Mouth Broken Down By the Numbers:
- 50% of purchase decisions are influenced by word of mouth
- 92% of customers trust friends or family more than any type of advertising, while only 10% trust brands.
- 89% of consumers believe customer testimonials to be the most effective content
- 81% of consumers say they are influenced by a friend’s social media post
- 70% of consumers view online customer reviews first when considering a brand
Lack of consumer trust is bad news, because in today’s digital world, 1,000 customers can generate up to half a million conversations about a company brand, according to Lazenby. Word of mouth is storytelling, which can improve brand perception, reputation and customer loyalty.
The good news, Lazenby says, is that 66% of brand mentions are positive.