Ambassador Program: Building a Successful Program for Your Brand in 2021
Ask any ecommerce business to name their biggest online challenge(s) and you’ll hear them mention at least one of the top five common issues described below:
How do you create widespread attention for your products and / or service offerings?
How do you build credibility of your brand and business?
How do you develop a consistent online presence?
How do you naturally increase social media presence?
And last, but not least, how do you ensure that all of the above leads to sales without the drain of company resources, ahead of competition?
The answer might surprise you. And, rest assured, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
HINT: 81 percent of customers trust recommendations from friends and family and use them in their decision-making.
Can you see where we are going with this?
This step-by-step guide gives you the tools to build a truly successful and sustainable brand ambassador program.
You’ll discover everything you need to know to make this lucrative marketing channel work for you, create much needed social engagement and content, and produce instant results.
What is a Brand Ambassador Program?
A brand ambassador program is a powerful word-of-mouth marketing strategy that seeks to turn brand advocacy, through passionate and loyal ambassadors, into measurable outcomes such as increased revenue, brand awareness or upselling.
A brand ambassador program effectively puts the reign into ambassadors’ hands to create authentic content for your brand, or its associated products, services, or events. A brand ambassador is someone who has won the trust of your ideal customers. By distributing relevant and meaningful content through social networks they are the connectors between the organization and consumers.
There are four types of brand ambassador programs. These are affiliate marketers, informal brand ambassadors, college ambassadors, and requirements-driven influencers.
Who is a Brand Ambassador?
Recruiting the ideal candidates for your brand ambassador program is crucial to achieve success. Brand ambassadors can be influencers or true fans depending on your company’s needs and goals.
Influencers should embody your brand, demographic, and have a natural affiliation with your ideal target audience.
Keep things purely transactional and pay influencers in fees, free products or services. Plus, ensure content is of high standard and has an overall professional and polished look.
True fans are individuals chosen for their brand loyalty. Companies often forget to turn to their own employees, a natural first step in turning true fans into successful brand ambassadors. What better place to start, then your own employees?
Existing, happy customers are an easy second pick and can offer high-impact influence in smaller networks of friends, family, and colleagues.
While paid transactions are not common, rewards systems and freebies are frequently used. The content produced by true fans should be monitored but not dictated, to allow for authentic and trustworthy results.
3 Powerful Brand Ambassador Marketing Strategies
You may be curious about what marketing strategies these brand ambassadors will use to help strengthen your brand image and increase sales. There are many ambassador marketing strategies that brand ambassadors use. However, these can be broadly categorized into three:
–Social Media – Go beyond the social media fan and find, convince and convert fans or customers to a brand ambassador. Once this is in place build a strong social media strategy to attract more attention.
–Online Reviews – Reviews online are powerful tools to create engagement and boost brand awareness. Involve your brand ambassadors in online reviews.
–Ambassador / Affiliate software – Track and incentivize brand ambassadors with the ease of software specifically designed for this purpose.
How to Create Your Brand Ambassador Program
What makes a brand ambassador program successful? The process of setting up a brand ambassador program can be rather overwhelming. Let alone a successful one.
Based on the best practices of the top 9 brand ambassadors programs, we’ve highlighted the 11 steps that are crucial when starting a program. So, take the time to familiarize yourself with them, as they will help determine your success rate.
–Define your objectives and budget – Pick and outline your ultimate goal, whether this is revenue creation, brand awareness or upselling.
-Identify your superusers – Pick loyal and passionate candidates for your brand ambassador program that understand your brand and are able to drive it.
-Create an incentives or reward structure – Create a multi-level competitive environment where your brand ambassadors are incentivized to produce measurable results.
-Reach out – Pick the right channel and pay attention to the wording of your message.
-Reach in – Don’t forget to include your employees into the brand ambassador program.
–Start small – Build a strong foundation by starting off with a pilot, before venturing into anything large scale.
–Provide resources & material – Marketing content & resources are essential to support your ambassadors in their own creative efforts.
–Monitor but don’t dictate – Track results carefully but allow a degree of flexibility in the content creation process.
-Keep your promises – Honor your agreement and respect deadlines.
–Review the numbers – Review figures and the performance of the pilot program. Adapt where necessary and incorporate aspects into a larger overall marketing strategy.
–Rinse and repeat – After your pilot, scale up and start again.
We’ve covered the top 9 brand ambassador programs. This includes a full review of each program, including the results they produced within a short time.
5 Ways to apply User Generated Content effectively
To build a successful ambassadors program you need content, both for your ambassadors as well as your (potential) customers. A powerful & efficient strategy to achieve this is through User Generated Content (UGC).
UGC consists of anything created by your customers (or followers). Common examples include reviews, testimonials, competition entries, social comments, and blog posts.
We’ve highlighted five steps to build a comprehensive UGC strategy that will trim your workload, produce results, and ensure your ecommerce becomes a valuable source of content.
Engage with negative reviews – Shoppers don’t believe perfect ratings, so engage with negative reviews.
Take votes on your direction – Include the customer into your decision-making. Be careful with this, though. Don’t put something to a vote if you won’t accept the answer
Try selling on the streets – Consider integrating a pop-up shop strategy with your online efforts. Not only will you produce valuable offline UGC that you can post online, but people will mention offline events online.
Interview happy customers – Look for the people who’ve left you great reviews and comments. Interview them in video / audio /podcast format and share.
Collate it on your website – Gather and repackage your UGC on your website, blog to produce dynamic and relatable content quickly.
Brand Ambassador Management Software
A good ambassador program management tool should relieve you of time-consuming work such as identifying, managing, and tracking ambassadors, while giving you excellent analytics and reports.
Look for tools that cover the following:
-An ambassador or influencer directory with detailed profiles
-Multiple outreach channels
-Omnichannel campaign management (from setup to reporting)
-Custom incentives or points tracking
-Real-time dashboards and reporting
-Coupons or gift cards
-Contracts and payment management
-Great customer support
-Developer or technical support
If you want to set yourself apart from competitors online, brand ambassador marketing is an effective and powerful tool. A successful and sustainable brand ambassador program will enable you to:
Create widespread attention for your products and / or service offerings
Build credibility of your brand and business
Develop a consistent online presence
Naturally increase social media presence
Increase sales without the drain of company resources, while staying ahead of competition
Come join our free brand ambassador marketing course today so you too get to experience and discover the tools to build a successful brand ambassador program for your brand.