Finding Advocates In The Customer Academy
Most SaaS companies have some type of certification or course program for their users. These educational programs are the perfect place for users to learn how to use your software and get strategy suggestions.
The users who go through these programs are also great future advocates for your company. Any user that is trying to learn more by going through these programs is hoping to succeed; they are becoming internal advocates at their company.
Ari Hoffman of Influitive talks about an advocacy ecosystem that starts with internal advocacy. When someone wants to buy your product, they have to build that internal advocacy. When they have purchased, they are hoping to prove the value of the purchase. They want to take results to their teams, managers, and c-suite.
Your educational programs are very helpful in their endeavors. That internal advocacy is just the first step to becoming your advocate.
From internal advocacy, they move into a success story, and from there, they can grow their personal brand (also known as Inbound Marketing 2.0) while also advocating their success for you.
This is very similar to the nurture/journey community members take when moving from a contributor to an advocate: user> member> contributor> storyteller> advocate. Each step they take is getting closer to your brand.
How to use this
Now that you know your educated customers are great indications of advocacy, it’s time to put this into action.
Your company likely has an LMS, and that LMS keeps track of every registration, logged time, completion, etc. Ask your Education Lead to share a list of customers who have registered.
The more names you have, the better. We’ll segment them from the report.
The low-hanging fruit are the people who have completed certifications or courses in the last 3 months. You’ll start a campaign to guide these people to your community or advocacy program.
Some will want to join the community, and some won’t; that’s always something that happens, but not joining the community doesn’t exclude them from advocacy; you have to keep them on a separate list.
Here’s what you are looking for in the report, in order of the most likely advocates:
- Finished course or certification last 3 months
- Registered for a course and logged some time in last 3 months
- Finished course or cert in last 3-6 months
- Registered and logged some time in last 3-6 months
- Finished 6 months+
- Registered and logged time in last 6-12 months
I don’t recommend going back longer than 12 months unless you really need to activate as many advocates as possible. I always find that having some areas I can revisit for potential advocates is nice.
A lot of LMS programs work in tandem with community software, Influitive, etc. Most work with Zapier, so you can easily take the existing program and have new registrations and certifications to into an ongoing campaign in Marketing.
If not, ask for a monthly report.
Working with the Education Team
When I need another team’s assets, I want to make it beneficial for them to work with me. This is great for the education team because they want to get more people interested in their courses and certifications.
You have advocates that haven’t finished courses, and your program will continue to grow and attract more users; now, you can make sure to include education courses in future campaigns.
When you ask them for a monthly report, you can provide any results you’ve seen by sharing their program through your campaigns, AND/OR you can offer a report of new advocates as well.
What do you think? Are you going to tap into those educational leads?