As a website owner, there’s a lot you can do to promote your business. However, two thirds of your audience are unlikely to trust anything you say about your own products or services.
That’s where brand evangelists come in. If you can convert your fans into enthusiastic ambassadors, they’ll do all of the hard work for you – and likely get far better results.
In this post, we’ll discuss what brand evangelists are and why they’re important. We’ll then show you how to turn fans of your product, service, or blog into brand advocates. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Brand Evangelists (And How They Can Benefit Your Business)
Despite the religious connotation, today the term evangelist has expanded to mean any person who is a particularly loyal customer. Regardless of whether you’re running a WordPress website, preparing to launch a clothing line, or trying to find new customers for your restaurant, evangelists can be invaluable.
As a business, every conversion is a success, but evangelists are in a league of their own. Evangelists are loyal fans who will always choose you over the competition. These long-term customers are essential for ensuring that your venture thrives.
Even better, these enthusiastic supporters are happy to mention your business to others. There’s evidence to suggest that a recommendation from a friend or family member is far more persuasive than celebrity endorsements, review sites, or advertising. In this way, evangelists can help grow your business and earn you additional sales.
Given their willingness to engage in conversations about your products, many brand evangelists are eager to interact with you on social media and in comment sections. They may also be happy to share your content with their own followers. All of this can generate invaluable organic advertising and create a buzz around everything you do.
How to Turn Fans of Your Product/Service/Blog into Evangelists (5 Ways)
Whether it’s singing your praises on social media or recommending you to their nearest and dearest, brand evangelists are your most loyal customers – and your most effective marketers. With this in mind, let’s look at how you can inspire devotion in your target audience.
1. Understand Your Audience
Evangelism starts with happy customers. If you’re going to provide a five-star experience, it’s vital that you have a deep understanding of your target audience.
You can analyze the people who visit your site using a tool such as Google Analytics. This can help you learn more about them, including their geographical locations, how they arrive at your site, and the content that holds their attention:
If you have a Facebook page, this platform provides lots of information about your social media followers. To access this data, navigate to your business page, scroll to the Insights section, and click on See All:
This will take you to the main Insights dashboard, where you’ll find a wealth of useful data. For example, you can learn more about the people who are viewing your page and interacting with your content:
Once you have this insight into your audience, it’s a good idea to create a customer persona. This is a fictional representation of your visitors.
With this persona in place, you can design all of your content to appeal to that specific user. This is a simple but effective way to provide a consistently positive customer experience.
2. Ask for Feedback
Just because your audience is silent doesn’t mean they’re satisfied. In fact, 91 percent of unhappy customers leave without raising a complaint.
With this in mind, it’s smart to actively ask your audience for their feedback. This will enable you to identify any potential issues before you start losing fans. By continuously evaluating and refining the customer experience, you can maximize your chances of transforming casual visitors into enthusiastic brand evangelists.
The good news is that 76 percent of consumers are happy to review your business – all you have to do is ask. There are lots of ways to request customer feedback, but many businesses send follow-up emails after a successful conversion. Here, it may help to use an email automation platform such as MailPoet:
It’s also a good idea to monitor your Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is a one-survey question that asks respondents to rate the likelihood that they would recommend you to a friend or colleague.
You can ask this question in the form of a popup that appears whenever someone visits your site. In this way, visitors can send you invaluable feedback with the click of a button:
You can add a NPS popup to your WordPress site using the Measure NPS block. In your WordPress dashboard, simply navigate to the page or post where you want to ask this question, and insert a new Measure NPS block:
To view your results, navigate to the Crowdsignal website and sign in using your WordPress.com credentials. You can then click on the View Results button to view your NPS score:
On this screen, you’ll find a report displaying your overall score, completion rate, and the number of responses you’ve received. You can analyze individual submissions by selecting the Participants tab.
3. Interact With Your Customers
By continuously interacting with your followers across social media, they’ll start to feel that they have a personal connection with your brand. It’s important to ensure that your interactions are always positive. This may involve trying to solve a customer’s problems, liking their comments, or posting an enthusiastic response.
Depending on your target audience, you might even use humor to make your brand appear more approachable:
You can also build relationships with your audience by encouraging them to submit User-Generated Content (UGC). This is any content that’s created by a person who isn’t an official representative of your business. For example, you might encourage your visitors to submit guest posts, or to tag you in photos featuring your products:
You might even request UGC as part of a social media contest. For example, you could challenge your audience to submit a recipe featuring your cookware products. You may even ask for something completely unrelated to your brand, such as a photo of the customer’s furry friend in celebration of National Pet Day:
By promoting this UGC on your site and social media profiles, you can make your customers feel acknowledged and valued. In addition, if your audience sees lots of positive UGC, it may improve their perception of your brand – and perhaps even encourage them to become brand evangelists themselves.
As an added bonus, all of this UGC can boost your conversions. According to a study by TurnTo Networks, 90 percent of consumers claim that UGC influences their purchasing decisions more than email marketing and even search engine results.
4. Reward Your Best Customers
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and your customers are no exception. Social media interactions and UGC contests can prove that you see your audience as people, rather than potential sales. Most customers will also enjoy being rewarded for their loyalty.
A tangible reward can give happy customers the final nudge towards becoming enthusiastic evangelists. These rewards can be long-term and ongoing, such as loyalty programs where the person receives points for every purchase. They can then redeem these points against a purchase, or they might even unlock exclusive resources once they’ve reached a certain threshold:
Other rewards might be one-offs. For example, you might offer customers a discount for renewing their subscriptions.
Depending on your business, it may make more sense to reward actions that don’t involve making a purchase. For instance, if you run an online forum, you might acknowledge your most engaged members with a badge that they can proudly display on their profiles.
Making your audience feel special may be as simple as acknowledging their birthdays. This small act can convince customers that you see them as people and not just dollar signs.
Tracking dozens or even hundreds of birthdays doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can use a modern email platform such as Mailchimp to automate the entire process.
Essentially, anything that makes your audience feel special or sets them apart from the crowd can help promote evangelism. This can be a grand monetary gesture or a simple email – or anything in between.
5. Practice Five-Star Customer Service
If you can improve your customer service, then you should notice a reduction in your churn rate. In fact, almost 70 percent of churn occurs due to poor service. Therefore, providing five-star customer service is vital for the success of any business.
However, it’s also the most direct contact you have with your audience. This means it’s the perfect opportunity to convert consumers into brand advocates.
When it comes to delivering excellent customer service, speed is everything. According to studies, 82 percent of consumers expect a response within ten minutes.
In an ideal world, everyone will have the resources to run a 24/7 customer service hotline, but this isn’t always feasible. The good news is that there are alternative ways to offer around-the-clock support.
Your customers can access these resources at any time of the day or night. There’s even evidence to suggest that many people prefer to search for the answers themselves, rather than reaching out to a live sales representative. In fact, 40 percent of consumers now prefer self-service over human contact.
In addition to self-help resources, you may want to consider using a chatbot. By adding a chatbot to your WordPress.com website, you can ensure that your audience always has a minimum level of customer support.
Today’s consumer tends to view advertising and marketing in a negative light. The good news is that this suspicion doesn’t extend to brand advocates. If you can successfully level up your loyal fans, they should have no problems winning over your target audience.
Let’s quickly recap five ways to turn your fans into evangelists:
- Understand your audience.
- Ask for feedback, using the Measure NPS block.
- Interact with your customers.
- Reward your best customers.
- Practice five-star customer service.
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