How to Build an Online Community of Brand Ambassadors
This Guest Post is from Emma Siemasko, Content Marketing Specialist @Grasshopper. You can follow Emma here on Twitter: @EmmaFayeS Marketing and PR are important for any business. After all, would you buy a product or service you knew nothing about? Probably not. But billboards, radio ads, and Google AdWords can chew up a balance sheet faster than a cheetah running towards an antelope. What if I told you that there are people out there willing and able to promote your business for free– people who love your brand and already tell family and friends about how happy they are with your offerings? Wouldn’t you want to leverage that free publicity? Um, yes. According to a study by Bazaarvoice, personal recommendations carry far more weight than advertisements. In fact, 84% of millennials (ages 18-33) report that user-generated content has “some” or “a lot” of influence on their purchasing decisions. It’s not just us young people, either. Seventy percent of baby boomers (a.k.a. my mom) reported the same thing. Advertising as a standalone medium just doesn’t cut it anymore. People are reading reviews, checking out social media pages, and taking recommendations from family and friends before buying. I read roughly 30 online reviews before deciding which shampoo to buy. This makes it all the more important to have a stable of real people who want to talk about your brand. Creating an online community of brand ambassadors is as simple as identifying those happy customers and letting them do you a big favor: promote your company to the world through social media posts, blogs, and reviews.