Advocate marketing is all the rage right now, and rightly so. With a bewildering array of information available on any subject, the challenge is to find content that is relevant and reliable
Recommendations or shares from individuals are much more likely to get our attention than straightforward brand communications, and they can be cheaper to deliver than paid channels. So how can you tell if your content is suitable for advocate marketing?
The personal Twitter test
When working with clients to develop advocate marketing programmes, we (at Content Cloud) ask them to take the Twitter test: would you be happy to share this content on your own Twitter account? (You can substitute LinkedIn for Twitter if you don’t tweet about your industry.)
The initial response is usually ‘Yeah, sure’, at which point we ask how often they actually share such information. There are some star pupils but most people rarely share the content they are responsible for with their personal networks. This is where it gets interesting.
As we work to identify the reasons why content isn’t shared, we often discover gaps in either the quality or relevance of what is being produced. No one wants to spam their friends, followers and professional network, but if you’re not willing to share, why should others?
The quality content conundrum
There’s a constant danger that quantity of content gets prioritised above quality. Editorial calendars dictate the pace and there can be a feeling of needing to feed the ever-hungry SEO machine.
It is also the case that marketing people are often in charge of the content creation process. And while marketers are undoubtedly the best people on the planet, they are not necessarily trained in the editorial and design skills that make for great content. They can also not be expected to be technical experts.
Once again it comes back to understanding your audience and their needs. If you have a clear idea who you are talking to, and what will make their lives better, you can direct the editorial and subject matter experts to do their stuff.
Advocate marketing is a powerful way to connect with audiences, but it will only work if the content that is being shared is high quality and truly engaging. Is yours? Why not take the Twitter test and find out.
by Miles Kendall