Want to keep your best advocates motivated to engage with your community and promote your brand? The incentives you offer in your advocate community are vital to keeping motivation high.
But not all rewards are created equal. Generic gift cards aren’t always the answer. Rather, you need meaningful and memorable rewards to recognize your advocates for their contributions, and keep them fired up to participate on an ongoing basis.
In this blog, we’ll give you 4 tips on how to strategically plan your rewards catalogue to inspire advocates to participate in your community.
1. Design a self-perpetuating rewards program
To boost advocate motivation and engagement, create a cyclical rewards program that feeds itself, giving administrators more time in their day. By rewarding advocates with points for their participation, their motivation will increase as they work towards their desired reward. Then, they can use those points to redeem meaningful, trophy-value rewards, which renews and invigorates their motivation once again.
Phase 1: Company communicates desired values, behaviors, and potential rewards.
Phase 2: Advocate is motivated by potential rewards.
Phase 3: Advocate demonstrates desired behaviors.
Phase 4: Advocate is formally recognized.
Phase 5: Advocate redeems a reward.
Phase 6: Advocate is engaged and repeats desired behaviors.
Communication is key in this cycle as it drives advocates to be motivated in Phase 1, propelling them to the next phases. In Phase 4, your communications should clearly show your appreciation and recognize your advocates so they continue through the cycle.
2. Focus on trophy value for meaningful rewards
While many companies still use exclusively cash prizes or gift cards, providing more tangible rewards can create lasting memories. Rewards with trophy value mean that recipients can tie their reward to feeling proud of a professional achievement, reinforcing the motivating behavior.
For example, an advocate who earns Bluetooth headphones, or even a certificate that they can hang up in their office, is more likely to positively associate their reward with your company. The positive reinforcement will compel the advocate to continue demonstrating the desired behaviors to earn additional incentives.
Influitive rewards stellar advocates with an Advocate of the Month poster that they can frame in their office.
3. Leverage the power of choice for maximum impact
No two people are alike, so a one-size-fits-all approach to rewards may not motivate advocates as well as a curated collection of exciting and aspirational rewards. Having choice is a great way to keep advocates motivated as they participate in your program. By introducing choice, advocates can browse the catalogue and select an item that’s meaningful to them. Then, they can work towards earning enough points to redeem the reward.
These rewards can include customized travel experiences or professional perks. They’ll encourage advocates to succeed professionally, foster company loyalty and appreciation, and create lasting memories. A positive user experience related to your rewards program will keep advocates coming back.
4. Reduce administrative burden with a rewards solution provider
A rewards program can require a lot of administrative maintenance, even if you’ve established a self-perpetuating cycle. Admins still have to spend time packaging and mailing gifts. It can also be difficult to find fun but professional rewards, and continually update the catalogue to keep advocates engaged.
Providing rewards options that are experiences or services, such as a ticket to your user conference or a consultation with your services team, can alleviate some admin burden.
Alternatively, partnering with a rewards solution provider, like Gravy, can also save admins much of that time spent on manual labor. With the help of their trained consultants, you create a unique, memorable, and business-appropriate rewards program.
Use your rewards strategy to increase engagement
By following the 4 steps above, you can motivate the advocates in your program and create a more sustainable community.
But remember that motivating advocates isn’t exclusive to the rewards you offer. It takes a good mixture of stuff, access, power, and status (more on that in this blog) to tap into advocate motivation and make your program a rewarding experience.
You can leverage these motivational drivers throughout your program with how you communicate desired values and behaviors, and the type of experience you provide. Always remember that keeping your advocates happy should be your #1 priority because this will lead to immense business value in the long term.
Author: Brandi Neeld, Influitive.
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