One of the chapters in our new eBook, Content Supply Chain, deals with building a diverse mix of content amplification channels. Paid, Owned, mass social and earned media all play a role in content channel strategy.

Today the definition of earned media has expanded to include the social assets of consumers and other stakeholders. The mass social outlets of consumers and customers are one of the most powerful media channels. These spread word-of-mouth among family, friends and followers and drive the network effect that is so important in growing content equity. Making it “easy to care” and “easy to share” is key to success when trying to tap the personal networks of your customers and brand advocates. There are tools such as SocialToaster, Gigya and JanRain that make the sharing easier, but the passion must be born out of positive experience or a wonderful and useful piece of content that just screams “share me.”

Winning real estate on the Facebook pages of customer advocates or scoring a tweet that includes a link to a brand’s content carries the implied endorsement of the sender. In addition to creating content that people want to share, it is important to include content amplification requests when engaging customer and employee advocates or ambassadors.

In order for this to succeed, brands need to have invested the time and resources to build and nurture an advocate base. Here’s a few factoids gleaned from a variety of sources that show why this matters.

  • Seventy percent more likely to be seen as a reliable source of information.
  • Increase conversions by 166 percent through content amplification and referrals.
  • Reduce cost of overall product support by ≥ 60 percent.
  • Fifty percent more likely to create content that influences a purchase.
  • Eighty-three percent more likely to share information.

Advocates will, of course, do more for the brands they love than just being a content channel. Smart segmentation of this high value group is essential to maximize their roles and contributions. How are you using advocates to socialize your content?