Word-of-mouth publicity has quickly risen to the top of the toolbox for millennial content marketing.
Sellers realize the value of having respected internet personalities talk about products on their social media accounts and personal blogs.
These internet personalities are also referred to as influencers. They tout brands to a target audience that may be quite passionate and engaged, depending upon the specific influencer and her or his relationship with followers.
Many marketers are now developing focused marketing campaigns with influencers serving as qualified brand ambassadors.
Brand ambassadors are hired by companies to put a face to products. They are meant to embody the company in manners, behavior, attitude, and even appearance.
Such a personalized word-of-mouth program propels high brand awareness among targeted groups of consumers likely to invest in a company’s products or services.
If you are interested in having an ambassador represent your company, here are six effective ways to start a brand ambassador program.
1. Identify Specific Goals for Your Outreach Campaign
You need to set goals first to have a successful brand ambassador program. Define your expectations both within the company and to dedicated advocates for your brand.
Winning influencer marketing campaigns begin with focused and realistic expectations. There are specific things you can do to clarify your expectations to peers and your ambassador community.
- Have regular conversations with brand advocates about expectations (yours and theirs), content creation, posting schedules, and compensation.
- Be realistic and willing to start small.
- Prepare yourself to be comfortable with testing various types of ambassador campaigns.
You cannot get to where you want to go without first establishing a specific route.
2. Let Potential Ambassadors Know You are Hiring
Once you establish goals, advertise to possible brand advocates. Use your website, social media platforms, and newsletters to spread the word. Facebook also has dedicated brand ambassador pages.
Be brief. Explain your brand, its ethos, and your company mission. Provide contact information and some specifics about compensation and expectations. You can also create an application form.
3. Be prepared to Give Up Control
Choose your brand ambassadors carefully because you need to trust them. For them to truly be effective, at some point, you must hand control to them.
Let them advocate for your brand to passionate followers they have collected. To people who care about what they say and respect their opinions—with their own unique panache and style.
By promoting your brand in their own way, brand ambassadors will come across as authentic, which helps your brand.
4. Compensate and Treat Your Most Loyal Devotees
When choosing brand ambassadors as part of a general marketing strategy, keep them motivated. Make sure they stay excited about your brand by rewarding them regularly.
Examples include discount codes, free products, courtesy passes to venues such as national parks, and making donations to charities they choose.
Develop an organized rewards program and advertise it. This helps you keep the loyalty of your current advocates as well as attract new people to your brand ambassador program.
5. Treat Your Brand Ambassadors as Business Peers
When part of your marketing program will be structured around turning over control to brand ambassadors, be sure to treat them with respect as business peers.
Start by listening to them and understanding their goals and expectations as well as your own. The most successful ambassador programs are mutually beneficial.
Yoga clothing company Lululemon has a hugely successful brand ambassador program. As part of its advocate support system, the company offers a dedicated portal for ambassadors to ask questions and share information and experiences.
Lululemon employees moderate and provide answers. Some companies invite brand ambassadors to planning meetings that become focus groups for ambassador input.
6. Think Long-Term Results When Measuring ROI
Investing in a brand ambassador program is speculation on your future success. You may not see an immediate increase in sales. But the priority of these types of campaigns is to build awareness of your products.
People cannot buy from you if they do not know about or understand what you are offering. Giving discount codes to your ambassadors for themselves and their followers can help with measuring ROI.
Starting a brand ambassador program may seem daunting. However, with planning and care when choosing your advocates, you can gain valuable awareness for your brand that could lead to increased sales.
Ambassadors focus on selling your brand to the world. Keep their loyalty, and in the long run, you reward yourself as well as them.