Why Do You Need A Brand Ambassador Program?
In a very social marketplace, the concept of utilizing brand ambassadors has become much more important in the constant struggle of creating buzz, increasing your brand’s reach and driving traffic towards engagement which is why you need a brand ambassador program.
Today we are going to review the idea of crafting an actual program along with tips for being successful.
While some people might think getting brand ambassadors is rather easy, the smart money is on developing your own program tailored to your business needs. After all, ambassadors are often just people with free time who like your business or products and they have a limited life cycle before they move onto other things.
There is a need to have a program in place to recruit new ambassadors as well as leveraging them for maximum results.
Why do Brand Ambassadors Rock?
For anyone from a startup to an established brand, building buzz is not easy. For those with larger budgets it is much more manageable, but still takes a considerable amount of time, effort and creativity to get and then keep the ball rolling.
That is why many businesses have successfully turned to brand ambassadors, customers who voluntarily promote your brand, to do some of the heavy lifting.
Generally speaking a brand ambassador is someone who simply likes or loves your products or services. This enjoyment of your brand as a consumer leads them to promote you via blogs, tweets, and other social media outlets. Most of the time, these people are right in the middle of your target demographic and generally match the type of ideology behind your business, which makes them the perfect type of person to promote you.
They work for free, generally are very socially active with a far-reaching social profile, and best of all aren’t afraid to use it. In many ways they are like a mythical unicorn or a winning lottery ticket; too good to be true.
Yet they are out there, helping promote other brands. So…why not yours?
Tips for Launching a BA Army
- Have a Goal – With any program it works best to have a basic goal of what you want to accomplish such as finding 10 great brand ambassadors that will continue to promote your brand’s vision. Don’t make the mistake of trying to equate this directly into money, because you can’t, but instead focus on what you can control such as the number of existing user you want to convert into ambassadors.
- Decide on a Structure – There needs to be some structure and criteria to the program. How will someone be considered qualified to be a brand ambassador? Is this something other people can earn? Will there be different levels? Think of Yelp reviewers as a good example where people can earn Elite status and the accompanying perks. What will you call your ambassadors? How will you promote the initiative? You also want to determine how you can measure the success of what they are doing such as ways to track their social productivity. Also you should have an idea of how inactive someone will need to be before you look to replace them.
- Craft a Lifestyle – What is the ideology behind who you are and what is the lifestyle that goes with it? Go-Pro is out in the world tasting adventure. Nike is all about fitness. What is your brand’s lifestyle and how can you utilize ambassadors to showcase your products or services in that lifestyle? You want people that are part of your lifestyle or mission.
- Create Minor Guidelines – These should be considered more ‘code of conduct’ rather than anything else because you need to give a good deal of control and creative allowance to your ambassadors. However, since you have given them this distinction you need to ensure they understand the level of conduct you will hold them to.
- Create a Benefit Structure – There needs to be some level of benefits for an ambassador to want to spend more time doing what they are already doing. This structure will easily change over time, but it needs a starting point. Swag items are a great as people like free things. Badges, activities, parties, early notification or access to products, special sales, pre-sales, product testing or anything else you can think of can payback those who are basically working for recognition. Keep rewarding those who work the hardest.
- Plan Features – With the idea of recognition, you need to plan ways to feature your ambassadors. A monthly spotlight on your website reflected on social media, a platform to blog, guest posting, etc are all good ideas. You want to showcase and promote them as well so they will continue doing the same for you.
- Always Look to Improve – Check out other ambassador plans, ask ambassadors for new ideas or perk options, find new ways to increase your community, etc. Your plan should be fluid and ever-changing as social media is rather fluid and ever-changing.
The bottom line is that brand ambassadors are a great idea to help promote you brand. You need a brand ambassador program, because much like a business plan or any other program, they are much more effective when considered, written down and then executed.