Do you have clients or employees that adore your brand and its product or services? Have you thought about how to create a brand ambassador program with their help?
It is not a secret that brand ambassadorship can be a powerful marketing direction since nobody else can sound as persuasive as a person who has already used brand products and appreciates them greatly.
76% of people admit being more likely to trust the content of ordinary people than one added by brands.
Therefore, it is important to develop a powerful program that will help a company to achieve brand goals with the help of an ambassador. How can you do that? This article offers several tips on how to get an efficient brand ambassador program.
What is a Brand Ambassador Program?
Before you learn more about the program, it is important to understand who a brand ambassador (BA) is. Previously, these were celebrities or other famous people who are known as influencers and get paid for their services. Nowadays, the term has acquired new features since now these are personalities who are passionate about certain brands and promote them with the goal to increase brand awareness and product sales. This person represents a brand from the positive side and encourages other people to try its products or services taking his example.
Who can be an ambassador? In fact, every person who likes a certain brand can take this responsibility, but usually, companies try to hire their employees for this purpose.
The brand ambassador program (BAP) is a number of goals to achieve and activities to perform by the company’s marketing department as well as by an ambassador to increase brand awareness and sales. This program is developed by the company in further cooperation with an ambassador and includes stages to complete to achieve the goals set.
Why should you get an ambassador for your brand? It is predictable that 98% of the company employees use at least one social media platform for their personal use and it allows brands to benefit from that. Moreover, 62% of people tend to trust ambassadors more than an advertisement, so their communication and advice can sound more trustworthy and convincing than other marketing approaches. All these ideas only confirm the necessity to set up a well-thought ambassador program for a brand, but do all brands can take advantage of it? Let’s find out.
How to Find Out if you Need an Ambassador Program
Despite the effectiveness of many ambassador programs, not all businesses can benefit from this marketing approach. In fact, there are industries that are not suitable for social media promotion, first of all. You will agree that machinery, agriculture, chemical production can be hardly found on Instagram or Facebook, so it is important to consider if your brand niche is applicable for social media advertising.
At the same time, even if a company works in a socially friendly niche such as fashion, healthcare, sports, traveling, cooking, it is important to understand whether your business has reached a certain stage in its development. Experts advise introducing brand ambassadors if you face the following changes in your company growth:
- You receive requests from your customers to become company ambassadors;
- There are clients who share the success of using your product line without special incentive for that;
- You have a community of customers you can engage and interact with;
- The amount generated by your store is over $100,000 per month;
- The number of monthly sales in your store exceeds 1,000.
Naturally, a brand should break a certain threshold to be able to move further and think about introducing a program of such a kind. It is not the best option for small businesses and companies whose competitors do not get any ROI from social media marketing.
How to Build a Brand Ambassador Program
When you come to the conclusion that brand ambassadorship can be useful for your company, it is time to understand how to build an efficient program that will bring about the results needed. Experts offer to complete several stages for this purpose.
1. Set key objectives
It is important to understand why you start your brand rep program and what goals you plan to reach thanks to it. Generally, there are 5 possible objectives to consider:
- Social brand awareness for more people to learn about your company;
- Generate backlinks to your official website or certain product;
- Boost sales;
- Develop new content about the company;
- Get more positive reviews.
You should have a clear idea of the goals and figure out how you will evaluate the results of the program. Otherwise, it makes no sense to invest in it.
2. Think about what you are looking for in your ambassador
Before you start searching for the right brand representative, it is necessary to think about what qualities and features this person should have to be the face of your brand. Moreover, you should consider what kind of person will help you to achieve brand goals, first of all. Is it enough for him to be a brand enthusiast who creates eye-catching posts or it should be a professional marketer with the necessary experience in the background? You can think if this person should be authoritative in the niche of your brand or you need more natural posts from brand aficionados.
3. Consider and find personalities for an ambassador vacancy
One of the most important tasks in building this program is to find the best ambassador. Of course, you may force any employee of the company to do this job but it will lack truth and natural feeling. Therefore, it is worth considering all three popular ways of finding company representatives:
- Search on social media platforms (look through your reposts from other people, who expressed affection to your brand, use hashtags, etc.);
- Take advantage of modern tools (trendHERO can help you to find the people who engaged with your content and check their activity and audience);
- Create an application form and announce a vacancy (tell your customers, employees, and ask them to fill out an application form).
When you get a number of potential candidates, you will be able to contact each of them and select the best one from people who agree.
4. Create a brand website
Every ambassador should have a reliable source to offer people who get interested in the brand. It can be an official website or a social media page with much useful information about it. It is important to create it in advance to confirm the significance of your company in a certain niche.
5. Decide acceptable value propositions
Naturally, you will need to plan your compensation or reward to an ambassador. Not all companies can pay a lot of money, so they can provide brand representatives with company free products, free vouchers for buying brand products or let them earn a referral commission.
It is important to develop a budget and discuss it with a potential employee for both parties to be satisfied with the cooperation.
6. Ensure that your brand image is represented positively
When a company hires a social media representative, many people begin to associate the brand with this person. It means that the message of the ambassador should not resonate with the company’s image. In fact, a brand representative should support the main idea of the company and use the same voice and tone that dominates other advertising campaigns. Moreover, it is important to check that the general impression of the brand promoted was positive and involved personal impressions rather than popular marketing phrases.
7. Empower your new employees
It is not enough to find a person who appreciates your brand. You should provide him or her with guidelines and tools on how to create a company image in the right way. It is important to make a content curation an obligation and post only approved content. You should also share the latest news and achievements with your marketers as well as provide help each time they ask for it.
8. Track the program efficiency
When you develop a program, you should already come up with the methods you are going to use to measure its efficiency. It is possible to track metrics of the posts added, analyze the increase in traffic to the website, the number of leads who followed the link provided, etc. There are many analytics tools that can be helpful, so choose the ones important for you and get them before you run your program to be able to see the changes.
9. Build a good relationship with ambassadors
It is important to remember that only a good rapport can make relationships between a company and its employee long-lasting. Moreover, only satisfied representatives sound persuasive so you should take steps towards your employees too. Some people are interested in monetary compensation, others want to get valuable experience or a convincing resume. You should meet the expectations of your representative too and provide assistance each time they require it. Don’t forget to praise and encourage them by recognizing their effort.
10. Ask for feedback
You should have a clear understanding of what is going on around your brand image. Therefore, regular feedback and communication with your marketers are key components of the program’s success.
Building Your Own Team of Influencers
Previously, famous brands selected one celebrity to become a brand ambassador, but now they have taken a little bit different position. It is better to hire several brand representatives including micro and nano-influencers and get a much higher RIO instead. Therefore, there is a tendency to create teams of social media marketers and let them communicate with each other to find the best solutions about the content and other aspects. Moreover, companies hire influencers as their brand ambassadors because they already have a target audience and a certain impact on it, so the results of such programs can be more efficient. It is enough to find several influencers that use company products and feature a high engagement rate and invite them to be brand representatives – their influencer experience will be a great contribution to the marketing program.
Examples Of Successful Ambassador Programs
Many globally renowned companies confirm the efficiency of ambassador programs in their own example. Patagonia provides many celebrities with its gear to promote the company on social media websites, while Dell has attracted over 10K of the company employees to show the advantages of its products to a wider audience on the web. Lululemon company sends its brand clothes to real people who wear it on different events and in various life situations and share their experience online.
There are even more successful brand ambassador programs of some companies known to the public. General Electric has attracted a big number of people who agreed to share positive content about the company. It has even prepared a video course on how to do that more effectively and preserve the right tone of the voice. Moreover, the company always shares links back to other user posts to give its representatives spotlight.
Adobe company has also benefited from the social media presence of its employees (learn more about Adobe Adobe Creative Insider Ambassador Program). The last ones were taught how to represent a company without doing harm to its success and asked to add their own experience of how they feel working in the company. It has led to a significant increase in traffic to the company’s blog.
It is very important to achieve necessary results when you plan a brand ambassador program, therefore following these simple tips can contribute to the success of your plan.
- Check if your business niche is applicable to social media marketing.
- Look through the brand representatives working on your competitors and define their positive features and drawbacks.
- Make your first program simple and measure the results.
- Ask your ambassadors questions to build stronger relationships.
- Motivate and increase the reward if your brand rep brings about additional revenue.
- Give your marketers the spotlight for encouragement.
- Let your brand representative take ownership of the program at some stages.
- Don’t hire people who place personal gain at the top of the list.
- Compare metrics on all stages of the program and make necessary changes if you see regression.
- Schedule check-in calls with updates to be ahead of all the competitors.
Now it is clear who are brand ambassadors, how to find them and what benefit they can bring about to the company. Moreover, now everyone can try to develop his own brand representative program and attract people who will increase brand awareness on different online platforms. However, it is important to remember that not all niches are suitable for such kinds of marketing strategies and it is important to achieve certain heights for a business to select this way of advertising.