Brand ambassador programs might be the missing piece of your marketing plan.
Did you know that 88% of consumers trust online reviews from other people as much as they trust recommendations from their friends and family?
This statistic may be surprising to some. However, when you think about the advertising world nowadays, it’s starting to become a logical assumption.
In a world where ads are everywhere you look, standing out of the crowd through your marketing can get challenging. However, there are some marketing strategies, like brand ambassador programs, that can help you raise your brand awareness while establishing your business as a trustworthy entity.
“But what is a brand ambassador?” you might be asking.
Well, we can answer that question for you. In today’s article, we will discuss everything you need to know about brand ambassadors, brand ambassador programs, and five effective ways to successfully run such a program.
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What Is a Brand Ambassador Program?
Brand ambassador programs work by recruiting ambassadors to promote a business through a series of online and offline channels with the goal of increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, and enhancing the credibility of a brand in exchange for different rewards.
Note: Brand ambassador programs are different from influencer marketing campaigns due to the long-term commitment between the brand and the ambassadors. Plus, an ambassador is not necessarily an influencer. Regular customers willing to advocate for a brand can have the status of brand ambassadors.
What Is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is a person that uses their platform to represent and promote your business through channels like social media or even word-of-mouth. They typically are public figures with a larger following and influence that fit your company’s image.
A social media brand ambassador is a specific type of ambassador who uses social media as the main channel to promote a business.
Brand ambassadors can vary from loyal customers and employees to Instagram influencers and even celebrities.
However, when it comes to celebrity endorsements, your company marketing budget must be of notable proportions. Celebrities have large platforms that bring a significant amount of visibility and credibility to a brand but at a higher cost.
We usually see large brands use celebrity endorsements as a way to promote their products and services.
What Does a Brand Ambassador Do?
Many of us heard of brand ambassadors before but didn’t really understand what it actually takes to become one.
So, what does a brand ambassador do?
The responsibilities of a brand ambassador depend from business to business depending on their contract. But generally, they are responsible for the following tasks:
- Generating online word-of-mouth
- Creating online promotional content (social media posts, articles, reviews, etc.)
- Encouraging their audience to interact with the brand
- Sharing content posted by the business
- Hold contests and giveaways
Brand Ambassador Skills
As a brand ambassador, it is not enough to have thousands of followers, you also have to be a creative individual with a great understanding of marketing practices.
Here are some more brand ambassador skills you should look for in an influencer: great communication and relationship-building abilities, leadership skills, and strong selling techniques.
Beyond these brand ambassador skills, you should look for a person that has a professional attitude, is open to feedback, and shows enthusiasm for your brand.
The Benefits of Brand Ambassadors
Now that you know what a brand ambassador is, it’s time to find out why it is so important for businesses to consider them in their marketing strategy.
Here are the benefits of running a brand ambassador program:
- Brand ambassadors humanize your brand
- Brand ambassadors boost your social media presence
- Brand ambassadors can generate more website traffic
- Brand ambassadors can increase your reach
- Brand ambassadors can increase sales
- Brand ambassadors provide credibility
1. Great Brand Ambassadors Humanize Your Brand
If you want your customers to resonate with your business, brand ambassadors are a great way to communicate your company’s values and personality.
Let’s say you own a clothing business for children. You can find a brand ambassador on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. A great tactic would be to aim for a mom with a consistent following on social media or even a successful parenting blog.
As a result of your collaboration, your audience will start to associate her with your company, meaning that her image will become part of your brand.
If your friends indicate the type of person you are, brand ambassadors indicate your business identity and what you stand for as a brand. So you have to pay close attention to the people you choose as your representatives.
But if you have a good brand ambassador program, your customers will start to perceive you differently, your company will become more than a name or a logo, and your brand presence will have a human representation.
2. Brand Ambassadors Boost Your Social Media Presence
Collaborating with a brand ambassador that already has a large follower base will benefit your social media presence because they will redirect their audience towards your online accounts.
This can be achieved through product placements, reviews, and promotional posts about your products and services on their social media platforms. Additionally, you can also repost their content, or even share them on your page to let your audience know more about your brand ambassador.
Their ability to reach a large number of people and connect with their audience is what makes them a valuable addition to your marketing strategy.
3. Brand Ambassadors Can Generate More Website Traffic
The best brand ambassadors also have a blog they use to share knowledge, connect with their audience, and make their online fame a profitable source of income.
Through your partnership, you can request them to provide links from their articles to your money pages, or different blog articles that can be useful to your potential customers. Additionally, you can write a guest post for their blog and use your content to showcase the value you can bring through your products and services.
Even without a blog, brand ambassadors can increase your website traffic by:
- Sharing your articles on social media
- Linking to your products and services
4. Brand Ambassadors Can Increase Your Reach
Through many brand ambassadors, you get to reach groups of people that you haven’t thought about before or explore different new markets more easily. For example, social media influencers often reach a more diverse group of people, it’s not always a homogeneous audience segment. They can vary in age, interests, location, or financial status.
Let’s say you want to make your clothing business international and ship products in France, U.K., and Italy. You could reach out to popular social media influencers from those regions and collaborate with them to raise brand awareness and boost your sales.
If you are not sure where to look for great social media influencers from other states or countries, remember that you can always find brand ambassadors on Instagram, no matter the location. You can use relevant hashtags (e.g., #fashioninfluencer, #fashionmodel, etc.) and location tags (e.g., France, United Kingdom, Italy, etc.) to identify them more easily.
5. Brand Ambassadors Can Increase Sales
Brand ambassadors have a different kind of relationship with their audience than brands do. People connect with public figures because they admire them and even aspire to become more like them.
That is why when an influencer recommends a certain product or service, it usually has a big impact. Their fans want to adjust their lifestyle and live and feel like an influencer. So, they purchase the products they recommend in hopes of achieving that goal.
6. Brand Ambassadors Provide Credibility
Customers are skeptical about brands that they haven’t tried before. In fact, all of us use social media and Google to research before we order products from a certain brand or before we get a haircut at a different salon.
However, when a brand ambassador or even a friend recommends a business, it makes you feel much more confident in investing in their products and services, and it speeds up the buying process.
How to Run a Brand Ambassador Program
To run a successful brand ambassador program, there are five important aspects you should consider. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to create and manage successful ambassador collaborations.
Here is how to run a brand ambassador program in five simple steps:
- Research your brand ambassadors
- Set marketing objectives and KPIs
- Track the results of your brand ambassadors
- Communicate with your brand ambassadors
- Set a reward system
1. Research Your Brand Ambassadors
This is the step that will influence how successful your marketing strategy will be. After all, if the brand ambassador you collaborate with doesn’t speak to an audience relevant to your niche, they will not be able to generate new leads for your business.
Furthermore, make sure to gather all the necessary information about your potential brand ambassadors, such as:
- Industry niche
- Target audience
- Social media following
- Average reach and engagement levels
- Tone of voice
You also want to pay attention to what you find about them online to ensure they don’t have a controversial past that could negatively impact your brand’s image.
To find the most suitable brand ambassador for your brand, you can use platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and more. You can even go through your followers’ list and see what public figures they like.
Another great way to find valuable brand ambassadors is to see who is already recommending your business. If they have a decent following and fit your image, the partnership is almost a guaranteed success.
2. Set Marketing Objectives and KPIs
All the successful brand ambassador programs have one thing in common: clear marketing objectives.
To make it easier to keep track of your progress, you need to set objectives for your brand ambassador program. It will not only help you monitor your strategy, but it will also provide a clear course of action that will lead you to success.
Besides marketing objectives, you should also establish several KPIs that will make it easier for you to track the performance of your brand ambassador program.
For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, your marketing goal will look something like this:
“Gain 100 new followers each month on Instagram in the next six months.”
In this case, your KPI will be the number of monthly new followers.
If you need more inspiration, make sure to check out our practical marketing objective examples. Also, here is a list of marketing KPIs you can use to track your progress:
3. Track the Results of Your Brand Ambassadors
To make a brand ambassador program work, you have to invest resources into monitoring tools and practices that allow you to evaluate your performance and measure the impact each ambassador has on your evolution.
To get an idea about what content initiatives work best, ask your brand ambassadors to provide a report with data about the number of posts, reach, engagement, and any other feedback that they received from their audience. You can also ask your ambassadors to use UTM parameters to make it easier for you to track clicks and traffic from their online content.
4. Communicate with Your Brand Ambassadors
It’s not only important to communicate your expectations from your collaboration, but it’s also necessary to listen to their opinions. After all, they are the ones who know their audience the best.
In addition, they also receive insightful feedback from their followers that you can use to improve your products, services, and your overall marketing efforts. So open up a dialogue that will allow them to freely express themselves.
Here are some great communication practices:
- Provide regular updates: Your brand ambassadors must be aware of your promotions, events, and launches so they can create fresh and relevant content to promote your business.
- Be available: Reply to your brand ambassadors in a timely manner to make sure you come across as professional and also to avoid delaying time-sensitive projects.
- Provide constructive feedback: Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and let your brand ambassadors know about what they need to improve. As a result, they will have all the information they need to provide better results. In addition, you can invite brand ambassadors to communicate their feedback as well. This open communication will turn your partnership into a long-lasting and fruitful collaboration.
5. Set a Reward System
To boost the morale of your brand ambassadors, you have to think of ways to regularly reward them for their accomplishments. These initiatives will make them feel appreciated and motivate them to perform better.
Not to mention that recognizing and rewarding their work will increase the loyalty and commitment they have for your brand.
Rewards don’t have to be expensive. They can vary from financial bonuses and thank you notes to a special feature on your website or social media platforms.
Start Your Own Brand Ambassador Program
Brand ambassador programs are great for using the popularity and credibility of other people to reinforce the benefits of your products and services.
Additionally, you get to expose your brand to audiences that you wouldn’t have managed to reach on your own.
So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to run a successful brand ambassador program, you can start spreading the news about your amazing business.
You got this!