Ideal Advocate Journey: 4 Stages to Convert Contacts to Loyal Partners
Every piece of communication has the potential to engage a new contact, existing advocate, or referral partner to take the next step with you or shout your cause from the rooftops. At Fervor, we look to the strategy found in the Ideal Advocate Journey to help craft the right messages for the right advocates at the right time, nurturing them into a deeper relationship with your organization.
Who is an Ideal Advocate?
Some may call them clients, stakeholders, or customers who are central to growing your organization. There are 3 common denominators between these advocates who are ideal to pursue a deeper engagement with — not just a particular market segment or demographic, but more meaningful associations that will prove to be worth the relationship investment overtime:
- Personal Connection
- Shared Experience
- Prepared to Share
Once you’ve recognized one or more of these traits in an advocate, it’s time to add them to your Ideal Advocate Journey and plan ways to further your connection.
What is an Ideal Advocate Journey?
People don’t come to an organization as big fans right off the bat. They go through a process that starts with becoming aware that the organization exists and discovering the services they offer, who they help and how. (If you’re familiar with Fervor’s web development process, we consider User Journeys in this regard as we plan how visitors to a website might explore various content and information available.)
Smart marketing tactics can help website visitors, referrals or contacts from anywhere go through this journey more efficiently and effectively. Knowing where your prospects are on their journey lets you craft messages they need to hear. It will also help you determine the best channels to place them, and the media types to present them in.
4 Stages to Nurture Ideal Advocates
STAGE 1: Awareness — Advocates at this stage may be a referral, could have clicked on a paid ad, or done a quick search for an organization like yours. These individuals are likely trying to:
- Identify what their problem really is
- Learn more about their pain points and needs
- Find options to solve the problem they’ve already identified
- Locate organizations with similar passions or interests as their own
STAGE 2: Assessment — Organic search, paid ads from retargeting, or a top-ranking guide or blog may have led these individuals to your website. Or they may have signed up for your monthly enews in stage one. These ideal advocates want to:
- Learn more about what you do
- Consider which of your services could solve their problems best
- Evaluate if you are the right organization or business for them to give to, invest in, or hire
STAGE 3: Activity — By submitting a volunteer form, signing up for a membership, registering for an event, or donating for the first time, ideal advocates progress into more regular engagement where they can:
- Utilize your services to solve their problems
- Support your organization through giving or volunteer work
- Stay up-to-date on your organization or the educational information that helps them on a regular basis
STAGE 4: Advocacy — Although this stage will likely hold the fewest ideal advocates, they are likely your most valuable champions and partners. By nurturing advocates to this level of engagement, they will recruit and refer others to your organization so they can:
- Give their friends and family the same opportunities
- Advance your cause or business like it were their own
This is the value of investing in an Ideal Advocate Journey: by taking the strategy of a Brand Impact Assessment, aligning it with your brand messaging and content strategy, and setting the stage to engage any ideal advocate just when they need it most, nonprofits (or any company) can nurture contacts from potential advocates to loyal, referral marketing partners via any tactic or any channel.