As part of the Content Marketing landscape, Digital Marketing has so far been the preferred approach for Brands to reach and engage its audience online. The typical Digital Marketing model comprises a combination of Email, Search and Social Media Marketing and has so far used a formulaic and paid approach to create and distribute brand content online.
However, there have been challenges and debates on the strategy, measurability, outcomes and ROI of the paid media approach of digital marketing.While Email and Search may provide a standard value of marketing measurement, Social Media Marketing faces constant algorithmic changes and low tangible value of engagement with users on social media channels.
The holy grail of organic reach of paid content or ads on social media has been a constant challenge.
It is quite evident that, user generated content is given more importance than brand posts / ads and Content from friends, family and peers have more relevance and engagement by users on social media channels.
Humanizing Social Media Marketing through Trusted Brand Advocates
Advocacy Marketing, an evolving concept or phenomenon of content marketing, aims to solve some of the above challenges for Brands. Advocacy Marketing is a comprehensive social marketing channel for Brands through its stakeholders.
Advocacy Marketing through platforms like SOCXO gives a lateral approach to brand marketing by creating a social media fabric for enterprises which embraces the tenets and mimics the behavior of social media within Enterprises.
Advocacy Marketing, in simple words, enables Brands to:
- Leverage stakeholders (employees, alumnis, partners, customers and fans) of a Brand
- Curate and offer them differentiated and discerning brand relevant content
- Create trust, transparency and tacitly engage them as Brand Advocates
- Distribute and amplify such Brand Relevant content into their social media and communication networks
- Improve organic reach and engagement of content on social media
- Increase intangible brand value and tangible business value for Brands
Advocacy Marketing Benefits
- Connects all stakeholders (employees, alumnis, partners, customers and fans) of a Company on a single, pervasive web and mobile platform to connect and engage with the Brand anywhere, anytime
- Creates a trusted and transparent communication channel for the Company / Brand with its internal and external workforce
- Empowers employees and partners to gain knowledge on Companys initiatives, industry / market trends, competitor information, product and service innovations
- Provides access to Brand content in terms of marketing campaigns, job campaigns, product campaigns, blogs, learning content and external market information
- Leverages its employees to express their ideas and opinions as thought leadership and knowledge content
- Encourages employees, partners, customers and fans as Brand Advocates to amplify content through their social and communication networks and become micro-influencers to the Brand
- Facilitates personal branding of its employees on social media – employee branding
- Enables Social Selling, Social Hiring and Brand Amplification initiatives through Advocates
- Listens to the expressions of employees, partners on content, opinions
- Recognizes, gamifies and rewards advocates for supporting the Brand
- Improves employee engagement, retention and satisfaction
- Improves work place culture and engagement across line-of-business teams
How does SOCXO do this?
SOCXO has been one of the early entrants and strong contenders in the content and advocacy marketing landscape. Most of the current platforms in the Advocacy Marketing space have only been addressing the needs of marketers in terms of content distribution or internal workplace communication needs.
However, SOCXO has differentiated itself by satisfying not only the needs of the marketers in a Company, it has enabled them and other line-of-business teams such as PR, HR, Sales, Product and the Leadership to continuously engage with their stakeholders through multiple interventional and engagement applications to keep the employees connected with the Brand and the Company.
SOCXO aims to provide a simple and differentiated offering along with a strong customer on-boarding and success management system to implement advocacy marketing and engagement across each Brand.
Besides helping Companies to amplify their Brand Content on Social Media through their brand advocates, SOCXO helps Companies to amplify their Employees and create personal branding on the Social Media as well.
SOCXO is a leader in promoting the concept of advocacy marketing in India and a recent entrant in the US with over 25 Brands as customers within a span of one year of launching its offering in 2017.
SOCXOs Product Features and Differentiators
- Content Creation and Discovery – In order to eliminate the constant challenge of creating and identifying fresh content, SOCXO offers the capabilities to auto-fetch and publish brand content from blogs, social media pages, and other feeds, filter that content, and add content recommendations.
- Content Moderation and Publishing – By intelligent content moderation, Brands can ensure that it adheres to the communication policies and offer relevant / knowledgeable content to its employees, partners and customers. Content Administrators can set filters to automatically publish content to its users using Content calendars and set content expiry to remove them off the shelf. Advocate Users can set schedules to share content into their respective Social Media pages.
- Gamification and Rewards – Built-in gamification assigns points to user activity on the platform for creating, publishing and sharing content, engaging on internal apps. Leader boards and Badges enable marketers to award and recognize advocates who are active and contribute towards brand advocacy and engagement. Reward creation and redemption feature to allow administrators to incentivize employee engagement with brand content.
- Analytics and Engagement – Distinctive analytics data from all social media channels on content and user engagements, including lead generation, pageviews, sessions and interaction metrics. Integration with Google Analytics as well as key reporting on trending content, most shared content and most active user tags.
- Branded Mobile Apps – SOCXO offers unique and individual branded mobile apps to each Brand to personalize the feel of the app for its Advocates (Users)
While other platform players focus only on content sharing as a key function of their product, SOCXOs strong belief is that engaged employees are the best advocates. Towards that, SOCXO is creating a complimentary mix of value-added features to satisfy the gamut of objectives of advocacy marketing.
Besides the fundamental aspect of sharing and measuring brand content, SOCXO offers strong employee engagement functions, lead magnet features and data-driven cognitive insights to keep the brand advocates connected with the Brand and the Platform through Micro-Service Applications:
- SOCXOs unique programmatic content discovery using semantic keywords helps to fetch and filter brand related content automatically from the web in real-time – thereby reducing the effort to search for fresh content every day
- Opinion polls and survey micro-apps provide real-time participation and continuous feedback from advocates
- Employee experience measurement to get insights on employee engagement and satisfaction
- Integration with Learning Content Management Systems and CRMs
- Built-in Lead Generation and Call-To-Action plug-ins on content amplification of brand / relevant content to external sites
- Tracking and Measurement of all Lead Generation Campaigns
- Cognitive Analytics of User and Content engagement to personalize content
SOCXO Performance-Based Pricing
SOCXO is the only advocacy marketing platform which offers a performance-based pricing model, rather than a user-based pricing which is considered an unmeasurable cost by marketers. SOCXOs unique pay-per-share model is clearly aligned with the expected activity and outcome of User behaviour on the platform, which is to share brand content into their Social Media networks.
Marketers have long adopted unit metrics and performance pricing for content marketing in terms of Cost per Impression, Cost per Click and Cost per Lead etc. SOCXOs pricing model provides the flexibility on marketing budgets with value based pricing, which allows marketers to see ROI and value out of SOCXO towards their objectives in advocacy marketing.
Advocacy as a concept and marketing phenomenon is poised to gain major visibility and traction among Brands and Agencies in 2018. Advocacy Marketing has found its space in the Content Marketing space juxtaposed to Email, Search and Social Media Marketing and will play an important role as an alternative channel to contribute, promote and amplify content through organic, trusted and authentic means.
SOCXO, with its differentiated SaaS and Mobile platform, is keen to support Brands who are eager to leverage it.
This research stems from a survey of 165 marketing, commerce and supply chain executives, and 12 deep-dive interviews with executives who reveal the ways they are rethinking their engagement strategy.