Brand ambassador

Brand ambassadors: 5 steps to success

Brand ambassadors are a great marketing tool for any business looking to harness the power of word of mouth (WOM) recommendations.

Having influential brand evangelists onside can provide additional support in critical areas such as driving sales and building trust or credibility and that is why they are a marketing strategy essential. And it is a lot easier to set up an integrated ambassador programme than you may think.

Step one – find your brand ambassadors
The ideal ambassador is already a ‘super fan’ of your brand, whose reach and influence touches your target market. This person will be respected within the field and have similar values to your business. Do not overlook employees, customers and partners as they are already engaged with your brand and can therefore make excellent ambassadors.

The chances are you already know who the key influencers in your market are and so will have a pretty good idea who you should be aiming for. But, if you are starting from scratch, it might be useful to make use of the many social media monitoring tools to identify who the movers and shakers within your sector are. This will enable a shortlist of potential ambassadors to be compiled for further investigation.

Step two – how can we maximise influence?

Working out how best you can work with your chosen ambassador to maximise his/her influence is the next step.

Typically, an ambassador will promote your brand at every given opportunity, whether that is via social media, traditional media, events, trade shows, networking, or other similar activities. Because the ambassador is already a user of your products, he/she can speak knowledgeably and with enthusiasm, usually without the need for a script. This third-party endorsement is very powerful and will carry enormous weight and add credibility to your brand.

The best ambassadors are the ones that will happily talk about your products for free. Sometimes though a little incentive is needed, for example free product or discounts and this can be agreed upfront.

Step three – the small print

It is common sense to make sure that there is an understanding of what is expected from both parties before the relationship gets underway. This might include volume of activity, which social media channels will be used (theirs or yours, or both), key messaging, timeframes etc.

Step four – providing the content
Create opportunities for your ambassador to promote the brand by offering plenty of content for sharing across various channels. Agree topics to talk about and provide tools such as images, video clips, hashtags, tweets, graphics, etc. which your ambassador can easily make use of.

It is useful to encourage the ambassador to engage with the community by joining in online discussions rather than just ‘liking ‘ content as this will carry more weight. In addition, stagger posts and brand mentions across the timeline to keep the conversation flowing. Budget permitting, it is worth investing in an integrated campaign and blending with other marketing activity if possible, in order maximise impact.

Step five – Brand ambassador versus an influencer – what is the difference?

The terms brand ambassador and influencer are often used interchangeably but there are a few differences to note.
Brand ambassadors are usually authorities in their field (i.e., the field that you are targeting with your brand) and actively use your product already. Ambassadors are good at sharing via WOM and enter an agreement with a long-term relationship in mind.

Typically, an influencer will have a substantial social media following and will promote a product by showing others how to use it. An influencer may not have ever used the product before and will usually only choose to promote something if they actually like it and if it fits in with their own personal brand.

Whereas many brand ambassadors assume little in return for their support, an influencer will expect some sort of payment, whether that be any mix of cash, free products, discounts and special offers for their followers. It is usually a short-term arrangement with an influencer but because of their significant reach, just a couple of brand mentions can be enough to generate a real uplift in sales.

According to research, 92% of people value word of mouth recommendations above traditional advertising. On that basis, isn’t it time to consider adding an ambassador programme to your marketing plans for the year ahead?

Contact Jane Newick on 07907 566773, jane@thewordbox.com to find out how easy it is to set up an ambassador programme for your business.

Contact us

PM HousE, Old PorTsmouTh Road, GuIldford GU3 1LZ

jane@thewordbox.com  0330 043 1951  07907 566 773

PM HousE
Old PorTsmouTh Road
GuIldford GU3 1LZ

jane@thewordbox.com 0330 043 1951  07907 566 773

#JustSayTheWord