Brand advocates are the highest form of loyal customers. They are engaged with your brand – and choose to buy from your business even when competition is knocking at their door.
They think your company offers the highest quality products or services and no other brand is capable of meeting their needs. For B2B companies that want to increase their social presence, advocates offer the social proof that moves prospects from the awareness stage to the engagement stage.
So, what is the most effective way to turn customers into advocates? Listen to what they have to say – then leverage this knowledge to captivate their attention and fulfill their needs. Build video marketing into your content marketing campaigns to delight existing customers and show them you care. Let’s take a deeper look at how to do this:
Why Video is Valuable for Turning Customers into Advocates
Advocates are rooting for your brand. They engage with your business because they believe in it.
They love blogs and social communities. And they even open your emails! So, what kind of content do advocates want? The kind that demonstrates and affirms your business as their top choice.
Why do they choose to do business with you every month, quarter, or year? Often B2B businesses rely on their products – thinking if they create the best offering, that will create customer loyalty.
Advocates don’t just believe in or trust the product. Here are a few other reasons customers become advocates:
- They believe in your vision
- They believe in your method
- They believe in your people
- They believe in your insights
- They believe others believe in you, and are successful in doing so.
Due to these reasons, your B2B customer advocacy videos shouldn’t include Product Demos. Tap into this trust and create B2B video content ideas videos that reward your existing customers. Let’s discuss few video concept ideas.
Types of Videos Ideal for Customer Advocacy
- Tips Series by Users/Community
- Employee-Generated Content
- Influencer Interviews
- Customer Event Wrap-Up
- Industry Award – Customer Story
You might also want to think about adding user-generated content to your content marketing strategy to connect with existing customers who love your brand. Advocates will promote your brand by leaving awesome reviews on third party sites, making videos discussing your product, and driving awareness about your brand. These acts not only give your brand credibility, but they open up the customer lifecycle for new prospects.
Use your advocates’ excitement and interest in your brand to strengthen your content marketing campaigns. Provide advocates with the opportunity to be seen and heard by including them in your content creation process. You can do this by putting together a user-led tip series or creating a B2B customer advocacy program. Show them how working with your brand can drive a real impact.
How to Craft a Story that Resonates – Key Questions for an Advocacy Campaign
1. Can user-generated videos tell this story?
Often, the customer journey is depicted as cyclical. This means once a customer has become an advocate, it’s easier to sell them related products and services. Advocates also become recommenders who expose other potential customers to the awareness and engagement phases of the customer journey.
An advocacy campaign is unlike any other video campaign. It has to center around people, stories, and should be crafted with amplification in mind. While smartphone videos might not be in-line with your brand, content can be created in seconds with or without the consent of your PR team. It’s better to get out in front of it.
2. Do these stories have broad appeal? Can we re-purpose this for social video shares?
While these videos are made for advocates – and perhaps they take on a starring role, the content matter should still appeal to a prospect just learning about your brand. Ask yourself: do our values take center stage? When your values and brand story are woven into the content, it becomes easier for your target market to self identify and add you to their list of considerations.
3. When customers see these videos will they be inspired to become brand advocates as well? Is this story worth talking about to someone who doesn’t know your brand?
Conduct customer interviews and find out where the love comes from. Ask your customers, “How did we become one of your favorite companies to work with?” Whether it’s helping to lead the development of the product roadmap, or a close relationship with an account manager, chances are there is a story of how this customer came to value your company as much as their own.
Explore this. You’ll most likely find out you went above and beyond in solving the customer’s problem. Often, a few great employees can make the difference. This relationship, or the relationship your customers have with their customers, well, it might just be a story worth telling through video.
B2B Customer Advocacy Video Examples
What they do: Cloud Storage
Type of video: Culture/Meet-the-Team
Why it works: Wow, creative! Like many culture videos, these soundbites are nothing extraordinary. And well, we don’t doubt the Dropbox team loves where they work, an abundance of enthusiasm isn’t exactly their deal. (West Coast cool, perhaps?)
But when you take these same soundbites and attribute them to puppets? B2B Gold. Not only do we infuse visual interest through color and texture, but we’ve also added something (puppets) where it doesn’t belong (the office). All bets are off and viewers will keep watching just to see what’s next.
When phrases like “I’m surprised every day” or “It’s not just a place I come to work, but a place I come to grow” are acted out by the puppets, you can’t help but chuckle. These expressions are rife in the startup/tech world, but our video creators have fun with it. This is a technique we see the best B2B video creators doing again and again. Get literal.
What they do: Automated Machine Learning for Predictive Modeling
Type of video: Customer Story
Why it works: B2B companies can create more interesting stories by championing their customer’s causes. In this video, DataRobot is working with the Global Water Challenge.
The video channels the passion behind Brian Banks mission as the Head of Strategic Initiatives. He wants to figure out why water points are breaking in Sierra Leone and anticipate when they will break. Not only did DataRobot build a model, but it sent data scientist, Chandler McCann, to Sierra Leone to teach municipalities how to collect data. This ensures the future success and improvement of this model.
Beyond going overseas, we see another inventive change of locale by DataRobot’s video producers. Placing Brian and Chandler in a boat (yes, you read that correctly) to talk is markedly more interesting than a dry customer interview. Keep it conversational and get interesting with your location choice – it’s an easy hack to steal.
Building a follow-up campaign: Following this customer story, DataRobot announces its #AIforGood program. The program focuses on supplying data resources to X number of well-deserving non-profits that solve society’s greatest challenges. Working with brands who make a difference is a huge selling point, even in B2B. Soon, millennials will make up roughly 50% of the workforce, so SaaS companies should be shifting their corporate video strategies to embrace this generation’s values. Smart.
Room for improvement: As the program is accepting nominees, it would have been great to see an additional CTA asking the audience to share the campaign across their social channels. Integrating video assets with web property and distribution channels like PR, social, and email will make the most of this campaign. Remember, if it’s an advocacy play, let interested parties advocate for your brand! Make it easy.
What they do: HR Software
Type of video: Culture/Employee Generated Content
Why it works: “We genuinely care about our employees and we want them to be happy. We know that the best way to do that is to live a balanced life.” Companies earn the respect of advocates by modeling the values they sell.
Since BambooHR assists employees and HR teams in tracking benefits and time off, they can’t just list their company perks. They need to show what they really value – people.
This collection of videos, shot by employees, honors who office workers are outside of their 9-to-5 and presumably connects with customers who may recognize some of these faces or voices. A 360° view of employees is one of the reasons why employee-generated content can be a powerful connector.
BambooHR also has another video on how they provide financial literacy courses to their employees. Check it out! If you believe in making people better employees, you don’t just implement programs that make them better at work: you influence their lives in significant ways by teaching them skills they can take anywhere. Kudos.
Key Metrics for a Video Advocacy Campaign
Advocates are a tangible way of seeing how your products or services have a positive influence on someone’s life. Pay attention to these key metrics to measure brand affinity with your advocates:
- Loyalty: Average NPS (net promoter score).
- Referrals: Growth in customer referrals (and specific codes to track this).
- Chatter: Total user-generated video communications in both brand-sponsored community groups and social media platforms (+comments/sentiments). Also, the number of additional feature requests and continued communication with the brand.
- Sales: Growth in auto-renew service offers or purchase clubs.
- Traffic: Days/months for movement between service tiers.
Customers are going to talk about your product (good or bad), so you want to be an active participant in the conversation. This doesn’t mean just responding – your company should shape the dialogue. This is what separates superior brands from just run-of-the-mill.
Video is no different. Customer advocacy programs need to find where positive conversations and interactions are happening and use this dialogue to develop creative video ideas.
Read More of the Creative B2B Video Series
Retention: How to Use Video to Retain B2B Customers
Advocacy: Create Lasting Relationships Using Video for a B2B Customer Advocacy Campaign