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Advocacy Marketing


What is advocacy marketing?

Advocacy marketing is a marketing strategy that leverages satisfied customers or brand advocates to promote a product or service to their network of friends, family, and colleagues. It aims to create a loyal customer base and increase brand awareness through positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Advocates are more likely to recommend a brand, share their positive experiences with others, and defend the brand against criticism. This then leads to increased sales, revenue, and improved customer retention.

Evolution of advocacy marketing

The concept of advocacy marketing has been around for centuries, but it has evolved significantly over time since then. In the past, word-of-mouth was the primary way that people shared their experiences with a brand. With the rise of social media and lives lived online, advocacy marketing has become more accessible and widespread.

Influencer marketing, as a type of marketing, can also be considered closely related to advocacy marketing - where social media influencers share their experiences using a product or service.

How to build an advocacy marketing strategy

There are a number of ways to build and use effective advocacy marketing, as either a large or small brand.

01. Identify and nurture satisfied customers who are willing to advocate for your brand. These advocates should have a strong and loyal following on social media. Influencers come with different sized follower counts, and those with the highest number aren't necessarily the right fit for every brand. Their followers must be likely to take an action based on the influencer's marketing efforts. Make sure all your advocates share your same brand values, and that their followers are an audience you want to target.

02. Create a strong relationship between your brand and your advocates. Make sure communication about expectations and KPIs is clear to both sides. If you have brand guidelines, make sure your advocates are on board with them.

03. Provide advocates with the tools and resources to promote your brand. This could be as simple as providing them with samples of your product or experiences of your services. In other instances it might include resources and support to produce sponsored content for you.

04. Encourage advocates to share their positive experiences with others, through their social media accounts and their content.

05. Track and measure the impact of advocacy marketing efforts and make sure your advocates or influencers understanding the marketing ROI and other marketing metrics they're being measured against. They should be open to optimizing their efforts based on your data and their insights, as a win-win for both parties.


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Benefits of using advocacy marketing

If done right, there can be many benefits to using influencers and advocates as part of a comprehensive social media marketing strategy, including:

  • Increase brand awareness and reach through word-of-mouth recommendations - influencers can have accounts with millions of followers, carefully curated over many years. It's a great way to reach more people, fast and often with impact.

  • Build trust and credibility among potential customers. Advocates often have strong and loyal relationships with their followers, who trust their judgement when it comes to the products and services they use and endorse.

  • Improve customer retention by creating a loyal customer base who come to trust and build a relationship with a brand, just as they did with an influencer.

  • Increase sales and revenue through referrals from satisfied customers and advocates. Often one advocate making a product go viral, can encourage others to use and promote the product also.

  • You can create a cost-effective marketing strategy by leveraging existing customers as your advocates, which is very effective when building brand loyalty.

Challenges associated with advocacy marketing

While effective if done right, advocacy marketing, like any other strategy, is not without it's challenges. Nurturing satisfied customers who are willing to advocate for the brand can be a long, time consuming and sometimes expensive process. This can mean it takes a long period of time for advocacy marketing to show results, or measurable ones.

Another challenge of this type of marketing is maintaining a strong relationship with advocates and providing them with enough support and resources to effectively promote your brand. The relationship must be strong one, based on shared goals, in order to succeed. Putting your brand in the hands of someone else, is not an easy thing to do and requires a lot of planning and guidance.

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