Are you looking for new ways to reach your target consumers through marketing strategies?
You’ve likely found that traditional advertising avenues are becoming less effective as consumers are more and more ad-blind. But, as marketers, we always have to be innovative and on the lookout for new and effective strategies.
That’s where building a network of brand ambassadors comes in. 90% of consumers read online reviews before making a decision to purchase a product. Don’t you want your brand to be the brand that is exposed to your target consumers?
The concept of brand ambassadors is quite simple. It’s an army of people who like your brand and are willing to post about your brand online. Through blog posts and social media, ambassadors may be an untapped market that you’ve yet to explore.
Are you ready to build a brand ambassador program? Then keep reading because with this post we will equip you with everything you need to know so that you can activate a brand ambassador strategy today.
Why you need brand ambassadors
Consumers don’t want to hear from brands, they want to hear from their peers. In fact, 84% of consumers will take action based on recommendations from people they know.
The reason why this strategy is so effective is that it is rooted in authenticity. Consumers can read through the lines and know when a post is forced or the person writing it isn’t being sincere. So, brand ambassadors can provide the authentic word of mouth marketing that perks the interest of their friends and family and elicits real results.
Think of it like a cocktail party. Do you trust someone who spouts off how great they are? Or do you trust an acquaintance to talk about how good a person is. Apply this to how consumers want to hear about brands. They don’t want to hear from your brand nor do they trust your brand. They want to hear from their peers AKA brand ambassadors.
What makes a good brand ambassador?
First and foremost, all of your brand ambassadors should genuinely love your brand. If they’re happy and passionate about your brand, then they are going to produce amazing content.
Brand ambassadors can be anyone, after all, the average person has 400 followers on social media so scaling your ambassador program can get your brand in front of many people.
The bottom line is that a good brand ambassador loves your brand and is willing to post about their experience with the brand on social media channels.
How to identify brand ambassadors
Identifying these happy consumers is pretty easy so you can start the identification process today.
One way is to team up with your client services team and find out from them who your happy consumers are. They’ll have a great pulse on who will make a great brand ambassador.
Another way to identify an ideal brand ambassador is to survey all of your consumers on their experience with your brand.
Lastly, you can email all of your customers and invite them to your brand ambassador program.
These strategies will get you on your way to building up your network of brand ambassadors.
Customers as ambassadors
Customers are an untapped resource for many brands. Your happy customers already love your brand and can share their experience on social media channels.
To get customers to post about your brand and the products they own, sometimes it takes a little incentivizing. This can come in the form of monetary rewards, a percentage of sales, a large brand discount, or free products from your brand.
To activate, organize, and reward your customers as brand ambassadors, there are tools like CrewFire which allow you to scale this strategy.
Influencers are people with a strong online presence who haven’t been introduced to your brand yet. They are trusted by their followers and post about brands for a fee.
Be sure to identify and recruit influencers who fit in your niche and their strong social following could mean sales for your brand.
When working with influencers, be sure to educate them well about your brand and send them your best products for them to photograph for their posts.
Depending on the reach of an influencer, their prices can range from $200 for a post to $5,000 for a post – so budget accordingly.
There are a plethora of influencer marketing tools to choose from like GroupHigh.
What can brand ambassadors accomplish?
Brand ambassadors can achieve many goals for your brand. Their authentic brand and product recommendations go a long way including:
- Content for your brand’s social media channels
- Brand awareness
- Testimonials for your website
- Quotes and pictures for your marketing materials
Giving creative freedom
For the recommendations of your brand ambassadors to come across as authentic you want to give them creative freedom so they can post in a way that will resonate with their audience.
Of course, you can give them guidance and educate them a little more about your brand but the goal is to not be too controlling when it comes to what they post.
A brand ambassador knows what is going to go over well with their followers so trust them to do a good and sincere job representing your brand.
Nurturing your network of brand ambassadors
To keep your brand ambassadors happy and posting about your brand, your brand ambassador network needs to be nurtured. Since this form of marketing is so cost-effective, nurturing should be a priority.
A few ways to nurture your network of brand ambassadors includes:
- Sending thank you emails or handwritten cards
- Sending them free products from your brand periodically
- Giving them “inside information” about your brand so they feel special and in the know
- Sharing their posts on your brand’s social media channels
- Surveying them on things they would like to see from your brand ambassador program
Keep in mind that just a little bit can go a long way and keep those brand recommendations coming in.
Measuring your program
As is the case with all of your other marketing strategies, you’ll want to measure your brand ambassador program. Set KPI’s before you begin so that you will be set up for success. A few metrics to consider are:
- Social engagement
- Traffic to your website
- Number of pieces of earned media
Brand ambassadors can talk about your brand in ways that you can’t yourself without turning potential customers off. Consumers trust peer reviews so you want as many of these types of reviews circulating the internet as you can get.
Stay organized and develop strategies for identifying ambassadors, rewarding them and tracking the effectiveness of your program.
Don’t forget to nurture your brand ambassadors and consider tools to help you scale this strategy.
Are brand ambassadors part of your marketing strategy? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!
This article first appeared in knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu
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