Why Brands Should Partner with Advocates and Not Just Influencers

In today’s digital landscape, social media marketing reigns supreme. Brands are constantly vying for attention, battling for a slice of the consumer pie. One tactic that has gained immense popularity is influencer marketing. Collaborating with individuals who boast large followings seems like a no-brainer because it results in instant brand awareness. While influencer marketing has its place, many brands are discovering the power of a different breed of social media champion in the brand advocate.

Influencers often boast millions of followers. But a closer look reveals a potential pitfall of low engagement. This means a large portion of those followers might not actively interact with the influencer’s content. Large followings often comprise a diverse group with varying interests. The content might not resonate strongly with everyone. Influencers partnering with numerous brands can dilute their connection with their audience. Endorsements can feel impersonal and inauthentic.

Enter the advocate. Advocates typically have a smaller, more niche following. But these followers are highly engaged. They actively seek out the advocate’s content, trust their recommendations, and participate in discussions.

Advocates prioritize two-way communication. They respond to comments, answer questions, and foster a sense of community within their audience. Brands benefit from this because a positive interaction with the advocate can directly influence the audience’s purchasing decisions.

When an advocate passionately promotes a brand, it feels genuine. Their audience trusts their opinion because they believe in the advocate’s expertise and experience with the brand. This trust translates into higher brand loyalty and a more receptive audience to the advocate’s message.

Authentic advocacy

Let’s face it, today’s consumers are savvy. They can spot a scripted promotion a mile away. Influencers partnering with numerous brands can weaken the genuineness of their endorsements. Skepticism creeps in, and the message falls flat.

Advocates, on the other hand, are brand evangelists. They are genuinely passionate about the brand and its values. Their advocacy stems from a place of personal experience and belief. This authenticity shines through in their content, resonating with audiences who value real opinions over blatantly promotional messages.

Beyond the trends

The world of social media is riddled with trends. Influencers often capitalize on them, creating content that follows a similar style or format. This repetitive approach can make their promotions predictable and blend into the background noise.

Advocates offer a breath of fresh air. Their deep understanding and genuine interest in the brand allow them to create unique content. They can go beyond the surface-level features and highlight lesser-known benefits, offering a nuanced perspective. This “non-obvious” approach sparks genuine interest and surprises audiences who are bombarded with repetitive influencer content.

Unboxing a product with a creative twist. Instead of a standard unboxing video, the advocate might use the product to create a specific project, showcasing its versatility.

Highlighting a lesser-known feature. The advocate might focus on a specific detail of the product that other influencers have overlooked but offers great value to a specific audience.

Creating user-generated content challenges. Advocates can encourage their audience to participate in a challenge that requires using the brand’ product in a creative way.

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