It’s a basic tenet of marketing: no campaign can be effective without some way to measure its success. Unfortunately, though, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to calculate those measures – so when it comes to brand advocacy campaigns, figuring out the real value of your efforts means looking at the response they generate from your audience.
The more specifically you can define your desired results in any campaign, the more easily you’ll be able decide which factors and indicators are most important to evaluate your success. Since brand advocacy activities revolve so much around customer engagement, it can be challenging to convert them into direct number values. Don’t panic, though – that doesn’t mean they’re un-measurable! The trick is to focus on the qualitative value of those activities instead of the quantitative, and evaluate them based on how they relate to your ultimate goals. Here are a few questions to get started:
What kind of content is being shared most often, and where?
Knowing which products, services, events, or offers your followers are talking about, and how they’re talking, reveals a lot about the real value of that content for audiences across different channels. The next step is to figure out why that content is being shared (was it because of images? Colors? Language? Topic? Convenience?) and then use those insights to improve your advocacy strategy.
How do audiences respond to engagement requests?
The more consumers feel like an active part of your brand, the more invested they’ll become – and the more strongly they’ll lean toward positive advocacy. Their willingness to engage beyond liking or sharing your content can indicate their level of commitment, as well as revealing the best ways to stimulate further dialogue with them. So take note of how audiences react to your communication tactics. When asked to create and share their own content, for example, or to fill out a survey, how many of them actually do so?
What’s the vibe?
It’s not enough to track the sheer numbers of followers, shares, or responses: you should also pay attention to the quality of their reactions. A 20% increase in social media engagement might mean nothing if the enthusiasm for your brand isn’t there. So when audiences share your content, what are they saying? What kind of mood or attitudes do they convey? How do they perceive your content, your products, and more importantly, your brand as a whole?
What story do your analytics tell?
When it comes to any kind of performance measurement, a good metrics system is essential, be it Google Analytics, a social media monitoring program, or a networking platform that ties directly into your e-commerce system. The most accurate KPIs for brand advocacy will vary depending on your long-term goals, of course, but regular analytic review will make it possible to keep track of exactly how the response affects your sales rate and purchasing processes.
No matter what the purpose of your brand advocacy campaign, or the approach you take, it’s essential to know what you’re looking for in order to evaluate its success. Paying attention to the nature of your customer engagement, rather than the numbers, can help you better understand their relative importance to your efforts, and the role they play in achieving your goals.