Evangelism Marketing: How To Market Your Business Online
Evangelism marketing may be a relatively uncommon term but is often the holy grail of all companies. Marketing as a whole is a complex practice. It’s not just about advertising, it’s also about creating experiences that make your customers feel good and come back for more.
This is easier said than done, but we’ve got you covered with the secrets of a world-renowned expert in this form of marketing who has helped major brands like Apple, Nike and IBM create customer experiences that generate word-of-mouth marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness.
In this post and podcast, you will discover what is required to take your business to the next level by generating loyal fans instead of one-time buyers. By following the recommendations shared you’ll be able to create powerful content that people will love, promote it on social channels where they spend their time, and watch as your brand becomes the industry go-to preference!
Why do most companies struggle or fail with their marketing activities?
Wayne says that he has often seen entrepreneurs often grab anything that passes by and run with it because they’re too busy putting out other fires.
You can’t allow the latest and the greatest platform to dictate where you invest your marketing dollars. If you find yourself doing that, he says he can pretty much guarantee that you’re not getting good results from your marketing.
What is evangelism marketing and why might it be the solution to failing marketing activities?
In Greek, “Evangel” (Gospel) signifies “good news”. To bring the good news is evangelism.
However, because this phrase has Christian roots, it can be used in various fields (especially business/economics).
Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM) is a method of marketing in which clients are so convinced of a product or service that they openly try to convince others to buy and use it (see Wikipedia).
I think that having word of mouth or having a few referrals is a natural by-product of a good business, or good product or a good service.Wayne Mullins
Guy Kawasaki is referred to as the grandfather of customer evangelism by some. Back in 1984, he was a Macintosh evangelist (and protector). He is an author, speaker, influencer, and ambassador for Canva amongst other things. He says it is:
When you convince people to believe in your dream as much as you do.
Marketing, social media, PR, customer service, and sales are all included in certain definitions of “evangelism marketing”. The reality is that being an “evangelist” takes more than 8-10-12 hours a week to be effective. Evangelism is a lifestyle, not a profession.
The difference between pr marketing and evangelism marketing really lies in their definition.
Public relations (PR) is defined as the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company, other organization, or famous person. Evangelism marketing is a lifestyle, not a profession.
On the other hand, an evangelist makes a better world as a result of the product/service they advocate.
Your brand has to be promoted 5-6 days each week. A good evangelist never misses a chance to share the gospel.
That doesn’t mean they have to obsess over it. A successful brand evangelist will always have a side passion. Guy Kawasaki loves hockey, I like basketball and mobile photography, while Richard Branson enjoys extreme sports.
Companies can approach this form of marketing in two ways.
This is the function of brand advocates in companies. Examples include Sangram Vajre, Terminus’ brand evangelist, and Amy Kate Nicholson, Microsoft’s tech evangelist.
Elon Musk is the most crucial advocate for Tesla as is Richard Branson for Virgin and their global image.
Moreover, an evangelist’s mission does not end with the company’s. Like Joe Pulizzi, the evangelist of content marketing, or Gary Vaynerchuk, a huge advocate for the use of social network platforms and the “Hustler” notion.
Clients that advocate their favorite product or brand can be included in this category. Examples of evangelists are Apple users who not only buy the product but also brag about it to their friends and colleagues.
Instagram users are another example. As a result of their passion for visual communication, they were able to develop an unofficial Instagram ambassador network.
Anyone can be an apostle.
These days, anyone may promote a company, industry, or brand.
Evangelism can take several forms, including behavior, social media (since we can now directly communicate with thousands of people), or content posted on a blog or other publishing platform.
Wayne shares his perspective in the video below.
Effective customer evangelism starts with the products.
You may evangelize quality products and services that improve the lives of users.
The quality of the brand is critical to successful evangelizing strategies.
Our daily efforts at Bannersnack include launching new features such as Banner Score (artificial intelligence that helps you create quality banners), Bannersnack Photoshop plugin (a plugin that helps you export your banners from Photoshop to Bannersnack), and Embed Options (the ability to embed your banners on any page of your site with a simple copy/paste)…
Why do we? For our current and future clients that want to maximize their work and be the best, both in terms of customers and competitors.
An evangelist is not a brand ambassador
Just as marketers bring in customers, sellers sell products, and brand ambassadors promote their brands through various promotional techniques, evangelists provide solutions (the good news) to problems that others face.
A brand ambassador’s job has recently evolved to include celebrity branding, which is a short-term, limited strategy that can have significant influence but is also risky for the company.
All businesses that want to do more than just sell should use some form of evangelism in their marketing.
Why is evangelist marketing important?
The advantages of evangelistic marketing lie in the definition. But, are there any underlying reasons why huge businesses use evangelism strategies? Let’s look at the advantages in more detail.
- Advertising that is intended to persuade. The ability of evangelists to spread word of mouth is their first and main asset. Personal advice about a product is more likely to come across as genuine and natural than a web advertisement.
- A support team at no cost to you. Evangelists adore their club if there is one item they adore. They enjoy sharing information inside the group, which reduces stress in your support department.
- More information about and around your product. Your product’s evangelists are likely to write a lot of writing, case studies, and testimonials about it. It’s a great approach to getting the attention of potential customers to your company. Also reducing time on content production for your digital marketing and focusing more resources on product improvement is a fantastic idea.
On their journey to evangelism, businesses face a slew of issues. Several preconditions underpin this type of marketing:
- Customers’ faith in you. Customers jeopardize their own reputation by recommending your goods to others. It should come as no surprise that they will not endorse a potentially dangerous product.
- Value. The object of evangelism is not a commonplace item. Your buyer should be aware of all the advantages of your product, thus you should pay close attention to brand positioning.
- Satisfaction. Customers’ expectations should be met by the goods. Customer satisfaction is essential for turning your customers into true advocates.
How to create a marketing evangelism program for your business?
As a result, we must evaluate all of the processes necessary to recruit your first evangelists, as well as what the term “evangelism marketing” entails. These involve:
Create your own brand.
You need to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) study is beneficial. You’ll also need to come up with mission and vision statements.
Employees can be converted into evangelists.
Your employees have direct contact with your customers. Remember that motivated and empowered staff will almost unconsciously broaden your ideas.
Create a diverse set of brand messages and media marketing.
Concentrate on the emotions evoked by your ideas, whether it’s an Internet advertisement or the product’s packaging. Customers’ senses should be appealed to. Ascertain that all of the customer’s experiences are consistent and sound.
Don’t make promises to your client that you can’t keep.
Your company’s main purpose is to meet and exceed client expectations. Users are likely to be disappointed by overrated products. People who are satisfied with their purchase are more likely to return for another. As a result, you should keep your product’s estimates as accurate as possible.
Invest in customer service and success.
Excellent customer service is essential for retaining customers and reducing worker turnover. Positive and empowered service representatives communicate their positive emotions with consumers, creating a strong emotional bond between them and your company.
Make contact with your client.
Social media allows you to communicate with your customers in a simple and cost-effective manner. Clients will also be able to communicate with one another and share their positive experiences with your product.
The difference between a customer evangelist and a word-of-mouth referral
People who provide word-of-mouth referrals aren’t necessarily true believers, as opposed to customer evangelists. Wayne says having word of mouth or having a few referrals is a natural byproduct of a good business or good product or a good service.
Evangelism marketing is an advanced form of word-of-mouth marketing. But when you create customer evangelists, it takes things to a different level. Because any evangelists by definition, go out into the marketplace, attempting to convert others, to their way of thinking.
Where to invest your resources
Marketing is your ability to attract and keep a customer. To make this type of marketing work a lot of time and effort needs to be spent on furthering a person’s journey. Wayne says the key to keeping a customer is to convert them into evangelists for the product to service, the brand. That’s where you should invest your resources.
The strategy that got Wayne started in his journey of creating customer experiences
<video -Wayne Mullins 7:58>
There is more to it though. To a large extent, it’s about creating internal processes within the business geared towards creating remarkable experiences in the lawn and landscaping space.
Wayne agrees and elaborates in the video below
<video – Wayne Mullins 10:45>
Does it make sense to build out systems and processes around the creation of customer evangelists?
According to Wayne’s own research – 95% of your marketing budget is going to be spent on the attraction side.
If your product barely meets your customer’s expectations you’re not going to create an evangelist for your brand. So you need to at least meet and slightly exceed the expectations.
Mullins suggests a litmus test for any business wherein you can analyze how you are performing against how you think you are performing.
Only 8% believe that they actually got superior service from the same companies. We often assume that we’re meeting expectations when in reality we’re not. The more people you get to know, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to improve your customer service.
And take a sheet of paper and in a middle column put down each point of interaction. Now, beside each point of interaction, whether that’s in person or not, write down what a reasonable customer has the right to expect.
Next, go back through the same list you just went through and on the left-hand side, you’re going to write down what it would take to actually not hit expectations. Now that may seem obvious.
For example, if our customers expect us to answer the phone within five rings, not hitting expectations is anything less than that. But write it down, write down, not hitting expectations would be making the phone ring eight times or 10 times before we pick up the phone. Because what happens is we often assume that we’re hitting we’re meeting expectations when in reality we’re not.
And then the final step is over on the right-hand side go back through every same point of interaction and write down what exceeding expectations look like.
So, again, a reasonable person expects five rings. So if we answered in three rings, that’s exceeding expectations, if the average person expects the package to arrive within a week, we get there in three days, that’s exceeding expectations.
What it takes for customers to become true believers
Wayne suggests we do the following:
- So step one, exceed expectations
- Step two, you have to give them benefits-based language, not a feature-based language.
- And then step three, you have to give them tools that make it easy for them to go share their stories with other people. For example the option to share on social media after a purchase.
An example of what it takes to create true believers
<video -Wayne Mullins 23:50>
Effective marketing is about standing out and a great way to do that is by exceeding expectations.
A customer evangelist activation framework to apply to your business touchpoints
Waynes describes the natural progression framework that he uses in the video below.
<video – Wayne Mullins 28:04 – 32:00>
Wayne offers this caution:
As marketers, we oftentimes demand too much from one individual campaign. In other words, we put a campaign up, and we expect it to take people from strangers all the way to pulling out their wallets and handing us money.
A better way would be to break down the campaigns into some basic parts.
- Number one, what campaign can we run to get strangers to know about us?
- Number two, what campaign can we run to then get those strangers to like us more to become more friendly towards us?
- And then number three, what campaign can we run to build trust with those people?
So whereas before, when we come in and start working with clients, their mindset is, I want the campaign that we’re going to run that’s going to take all these people out here and have them show up at our door or have them pull out their wallet and hand us money. And instead, we step back and say, Okay, let’s break it down into the psychology, the psychology, the actual process that people go through knowing, liking, trusting, then comes out the wallet, then comes the opportunity to create evangelist.
Evangelism marketing examples
Wayne shares examples in the video below:
<Video 32:13 – 36:00>
How to take people from being customers to evangelists?
Wayne shares how he approaches it in the video below.
<video – Wayne Mullins 36:00 – 40:00>
How to get comfortable with your own personality and tone of voice?
Wayne says to be comfortable in who you are, as an organization, you must first understand the vision or where you’re going with the organization.
You must also understand the mission. How are we going to get to that place?
What starts bubbling out of that would be the core values, it would be
what do we stand for?
What are our guard posts along the way, our guardrails along the way to help us get to that destination?
Because it’s out of those things. In other words, out of the core values that arise during that process. It’s those things that give us the language we need. It is out of that language that the voice is found.
“An organization is, in many ways a living breathing organism. It’s this thing that evolves, as the marketplace changes. You change as the world changes, the organization changes. And so your voice will change over time, your voice will resonate differently over time.”
So your product or service in thinking about successful evangelism really stands at the core of the whole process.
Avoiding copycat type of thinking
For assets to be built out you need to avoid the copycat type of thinking. Businesses should get comfortable with who they are, their own unique personalities, and their way of looking at the world as opposed to trying to copy competitors.
Wayne shares his thoughts on this
<video – Wayne Mullins 44:29>
An evangelism marketing strategy for every business
Wayne says we have to be careful that we don’t hold on too closely to what we believe the marketplace wants, instead, stay focused on the problems that we’re trying to solve.
When it comes to your product or service, we often think of product-market fit as where it fits in the market. Instead of product fit, it’s problem market fit, he says.
We need to figure out what market we’re passionate about serving and then figure out how we fit into solving those people’s problems. You then have to match that with your organization’s skill set.
Darcy Rezac defines networking in his book The Frog and Prince: Secrets of Positive Networking to Change Your Life as “discovering what you can do for someone else.” This giving mindset is essential for establishing broad, long-lasting, and trusted connections that will lead others to believe what you have to say about your business. Building on that basis, here’s how you can introduce yourself to additional people:
Get out and meet people
Schmoozing is a physical activity. You won’t be able to accomplish it from your desk, so force yourself to travel about the office, visit other floors and corporate sites, and attend trade exhibits, conventions, seminars, conferences, and cocktail receptions.
Ask and listen.
The discourse is not dominated by good schmoozers. They start it, then stop talking and listen.
Uncover your desires.
You’re a dull person if all you can speak about is your work. Successful schmoozers are passionate about a wide range of topics. One advantage of such interests is that they give more avenues for connecting with others. I’ve established many business relationships via hockey, and many business connections through hockey.
Keep in touch.
Within 24 hours of meeting someone, send an email or make a phone call. Few individuals follow up, therefore those who do stand out as people worth knowing.
E-mail is an important tool. Optimize your subject lines (I like “Enjoyed your book” and “Referred by [someone I know]”), keep your communications short and clear, resend unanswered e-mails as a nudge, and always react within 48 hours.
Make it simple to contact you.
Many people who aspire to be excellent schmoozers fail because they don’t include their mobile phone numbers on their business cards or in the signature box of their e-mails. Don’t make it difficult to connect.
I think there is a karmic scoreboard that keeps account of what you do for others. If you want to be a world-class schmoozer, make sure you have a high score on the scoreboard.
Guy Kawasaki was terrified of public speaking when he first started working at Apple in 1983.
Who would want to be the next Steve Jobs?
However, if you want to be a successful evangelist, you must acquire this talent. Making speeches is an essential element of evangelism because it forces you to build a consistent message and convey it to big groups of people. It took me 20 years to feel at ease onstage. Here’s how I learned not just to survive but also to receive standing ovations:
Provide high-quality material.
It is much simpler to give an excellent speech if you have something to say. If you don’t have anything to say, politely refuse the invitation. If you don’t want to answer no, conduct some study and come up with something fascinating to say. That is around 80% of the struggle.
Leave out the sales pitch.
Don’t waste time marketing yourself or your company or slamming the competitors. The worst speech you can deliver is one that people mistake for a sales pitch.
Tailor the opening three to five minutes of every speech you give to the audience you’re speaking to on that particular day. This will show that you’ve done your research and made an attempt to give a meaningful and unique experience. Make an effort to connect with the audience on a personal level. For example, when I spoke to SC Johnson staff, I showed them images of SC Johnson’s home cleansers in my cupboards.
Concentrate on entertaining.
Many speech trainers will disagree, but they don’t probably talk 50 times a year as I do. According to my belief, the purpose of a speech is to amuse. You may slip in a few pearls of information if folks are entertained. However, if your speech is uninteresting, no amount of knowledge can improve it.
Tell a story.
When making a speech, the greatest way to relax is to share stories—about your youth, your children, your clients, or something you’ve read. When you tell a narrative, you become absorbed in it. You are no longer “delivering a speech.” Good storytellers are good speakers, and great storytellers tell stories that reinforce their point.
Mix with the crowd beforehand.
Increase interest in your success by meeting with your audience before the speech. Speak with them. Allow them to establish eye contact with you, especially those in the first few rows. When you’re on stage, you’ll see their pleasant faces, and your confidence will skyrocket.
What you can control, you should.
If you have a choice, speak up at the start of a gathering and request a small space. A filled room is more likely to listen to you, laugh at your jokes, and follow along with your stories, whereas a sparsely seated audience is more likely to get emotional. It is preferable to have 200 people in a room with 200 seats rather than 500 individuals in a space with 1,000 seats.
Always practice and talk.
To get good at giving a speech, you need to practice it at least 20 times.
Social Media evangelism
Today’s social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, make evangelism quick, easy, and omnipresent, and anybody interested in doing so should take advantage. While schmoozing might put you in front of a few hundred people every year, and speaking engagements can put you in front of the same amount at a few events, social media can put you in front of thousands in a matter of weeks. Here’s how to accomplish this goal:
The primary premise for social media success is simple: share good material, whether you create it or curate it. There are four types of “good stuff”:
What transpired? Example: The US Department of Defense has stated that it is willing to reconsider the position of transgender persons in the military.
What does it imply? Mother Jones discusses why Uruguayan soccer player Luis Suárez’s biting incident during the World Cup was such a major problem in terms of hygiene.
How am I going to do that? CNET, for example, explains how texting 911 works.
What the heck happened? For example, every year to commemorate Easter, two churches in Vrontados, Greece, perform a fake rocket battle.
Make it intriguing.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that their followers just want to read about a specific set of topics. Should I exclusively share entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology stories? Should a Motorola CEO just discuss Motorola-related stories? This would be dull, which does not function well on social media. You should broaden your thinking.
Social media rewards daring, therefore don’t be afraid to express your views and agenda. Take firm stances on problems that concern you, your company, and your consumers. For example, if you believe that more women should be CEOs, share an article that supports your point of view. An American technology leader may be audacious when it comes to matters such as work permits for foreign nationals.
Keep it short.
People make fast judgments and move on if you don’t rapidly pique their attention. In my experience, the sweet spot for curated content postings on Google+ and Facebook is two or three lines, and 100 characters on Twitter. 500 to 1,000 words is the golden spot for generated content.
Be a mensch
A mensch is a compassionate and noble person who always does the right thing. Share other people’s posts, leave thoughtful and encouraging comments, and offer resources and answers. Every article, especially when curating, should include a link that delivers traffic to the source as a gesture of appreciation, allows readers to learn more, and boosts your exposure and popularity among bloggers and websites.
Make it more dramatic.
Every post should include some “eye candy” in the shape of a photo, graphic, or video. Use a bulleted or numbered list if you have more than four paragraphs. When I see paragraph after paragraph of text, I zone out. I’ll buy an e-book if I want to read a novel.
Attempt to entice through headlines.
I’m drawn to blogs with titles like “How to…,” “Top 10…,” or “The Ultimate…” These phrases tell me that something will be practical and valuable.
Make use of hashtags.
Hashtags link posts from individuals all around the world and provide order to an otherwise chaotic ecology. When you add a hashtag to a post, you are notifying others that the post is about a common topic. On Google+, for example, the hashtag #socialmediatips connects posts on social media.
Continue to be active.
By “active,” I mean three to twenty unique (non-repeated) postings each day. That is only a recommendation. You can share more than that as long as your posts are decent. However, if you share one or two bad posts every day, that’s too much. Automation tools like Buffer, Agorapulse, Hootsuite, Post Planner, Sprout Social, Tailwind, and TweetDeck may help you schedule and distribute your content, allowing you to prepare a day’s worth of posts in 30 minutes.
Brand evangelism doesn’t have to be hard
Anyone can be an evangelist but not every brand can be evangelized. Marketing does not have to be complex, or complicated. It’s ourselves that often make it that way. But if you will literally just step back and say –
What are the natural steps that people go through when they make a purchasing decision?
Then break those into individual components and market to each of those components as they move through your buying cycle. That in and of itself will completely transform the results you get from your marketing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of evangelism marketing?
There aren’t any types as such but it can take many forms as we have seen above.
Is evangelism marketing an advanced form of word-of-mouth marketing?
Yes, it is an advanced form of word-of-mouth marketing as this evangelism marketing ppt by Robert Katai shows.
Are brand ambassadors also customer evangelists?
The term brand ambassador is a person who’s proud to say that they’re associated with your brand. An evangelist goes a bit further because an evangelist is out to convert other people.
Wayne says –
you can have different levels of customers, for your organization. You can have customers who will do business with you one time, you can have customers who will do business with you occasionally, you can have customers who will do business with you all the time.
So in that same vein, you can have these different levels of people who are out there sharing on your behalf.
What’s the difference between a product influencer and a product evangelist
A product influencer is someone who promotes a product as a result of a barter agreement between him or her and the firm, which is frequently providing the goods in exchange for a review or other type of promotion. As long as you have credibility and people trust you, as long as you have a base audience that is expanding, you can be sure that someone will come to you for help.
A product evangelist is someone who believes in a product, really respects it, finds it useful, and feels it is worth their time to promote it. He or she may even use the product themselves on a regular basis, sometimes on a daily basis.
An influencer is a generic word that refers to an employee of an embassy, whereas an evangelist is just an ambassador who represents his or her country.
What is product evangelism?
Product evangelism occurs both within and externally. Essentially, it is a never-ending stream of messages, both verbal and written, that communicates WHY a product is valued instead of WHAT the product does or HOW it works
They center the message on the many scenarios (people doing things) in which the product might be helpful, as well as how the product assists people in doing things with less difficulty and more benefit than they would otherwise. Product characteristics serve as evidence of the evangelist’s understanding of the market.
A mix of technical marketing, sales, business development, and communications is used in product evangelism because most technical buyers:
- Dislike being marketed to (even more so than the average person);
- Appreciate technical content and resources
- Are particularly proud of their technology choices
- Enjoy participating in peer communities to discuss emerging technologies.
To educate customers about the technical merits of a product, a product evangelist visits user groups, gives presentations at conferences, communicates with specialists, and participates in peer events.
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About Wayne Mullins
Wayne Mullins is a passionate entrepreneur committed to creating remarkable experiences, and building a team at Ugly Mug Marketing that produces extraordinary results for their clients.
He has been called “the guru’s guru,” as he is regularly called upon for advice from industry-leading CEO’s, New York Times Best Selling Authors, and Silicon Valley startups. He loves helping entrepreneurs challenge their assumptions, create value from places they’ve never looked, and reach goals they never believed possible. He has personally worked with clients in 91 different industries, from 34 states, and 11 countries.
Wayne’s work directly influences more than a quarter-million entrepreneurs annually through his blog, books, and training programs.
In this episode, he shares his insights on what evangelism marketing is and how we can use it to drive growth.
Some topics we discussed include:
- Why do most companies fail with their marketing
- A good number of businesses earn new business through referrals so why not have a well-defined strategy for that end
- What is evangelism marketing
- Who implements evangelism marketing
- How is an evangelism marketing plan developed
- A framework to create evangelists
- Can you improve your systems and processes to aid the creation of customer evangelists
- Does the product stand as the basis of successful evangelism
- Examples of evangelism marketing
- Is a brand ambassador an evangelist
- and much much more …
Listen to the episode
Watch the episode with Wayne
Related links and resources
- Check out Ugly Mug Marketing
- Learn from Maddy Martin – How to Create an Engaging Brand Experience That Actually Drives Growth
- Learn from Sreelesh Pillai – 8+ Ways to Meet Customer Expectations And Exceed Them to Drive Predictable Growth
- Listen to my interview with Alex Price – 5+ Simple Ways to Improve User Experience For Websites That Boosts Growth
- Listen to my interview with Andrew Tarvin – How to Use Humor in Business Communication to Drive Business Results
- Discover more with Jonathon Hensley – How to Craft a Powerful Customer Engagement Strategy for Online Brands
- Get even more inspiration with Sam Shepler – 9 Proven Ways to Create a Successful Customer Driven Marketing Strategy
- Discover powerful entrepreneurial characteristics needed to drive growth
Connect with Wayne
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