When Microsoft launched the ‘All New MSN’ in the spring, they knew they had to get the word out. The company enlisted blogger advocates to drive awareness, shift perception, and amplify the ‘All New MSN’ message, recognizing the value in powering others to tell the brand’s story, especially when generating awareness about a new product. On our recent webinar, Katie Musselman, Marketing Manager for Microsoft MSN and Bing, shared best practices for leveraging advocates for a successful product launch.

Power advocates to create content. When it comes to leveraging advocates to tell the brand’s story, it is not just about distributing and sharing content. Katie explained that at Microsoft, their goal is to inspire blogger advocates to create their own content about the brand. By allowing bloggers to tell their own stories, advocates are able to construct messages that are appropriate for their audience, which makes the messages more credible and powerful. While many brands might see it as risky to give advocates the freedom to tell their own stories, Microsoft recognizes the value in providing advocates with creative freedom and as a result has received lots of unique and high quality advocate-created content.

Repurpose advocate content. Repurposing advocate content on paid and owned channels is a great way to show off and get additional miles out of some of the great advocate content that is created. Did one of your advocates go above and beyond and create a high-quality video? Why not repurpose that ad on your Facebook page or promote it on Twitter. Doing so is a great way to thank advocates and helps build a stronger relationship between the advocate and the brand. Plus, it’s great for the brand because advocate content performs up to 10x better than branded content, according to SocialChorus results.

Build “Always On” relationships with advocates. Microsoft recognizes the value of building lasting relationships with their advocates. They’re not interested in a one-time only transactional approach but rather seek to build relationships and cultivate brand loyalty with advocates. Developing long-term relationships with advocates is much more valuable than having a person with thousands of followers tweet for your brand one time. Plus, it opens up the opportunity to create lifelong customers.

Don’t forget about the people who already love your brand. Happy customers and employees are some of brands’ best advocates. These advocates already know and love your brand and are likely willing to share stories on behalf of the brand. Employees, in particular, can provide unique views and are able to provide expertise that may be extremely valuable especially when launching a new product. Employees and customers have audiences that are unique to the brand which means that not only are they are able to amplify the brand’s message, but they can also help the brand reach new audiences.

Interested in learning more? Check out the webinar slides below. You can also join our Twitter Chat on Thursday, October 3rd where we’ll further discuss the role advocates can play in your next product launch.

Advocate Powered Product Launches from SocialChorusU