A brand ambassador is someone who promotes your business, helping to increase sales and brand awareness. At the most basic level, brand ambassadors will give your business a shout-out on social media or their blog. You can either hire or recruit ambassadors for your company or provide a way for customers to sign on voluntarily.
Here are five steps to take to start your brand ambassador program:
- Establish realistic goals. Usually, a brand ambassador program focuses more on creating brand awareness than anything else. The sales will come later. Knowing what you want to accomplish with a brand ambassador will help you find the right ambassadors to help meet your needs.
- Develop specific ambassador qualifications. Not everyone should be part of your program. You may want to focus on your customers’ longevity or how much they’ve engaged with your products and services. Or you may look at how much they interact with your social media channels or even how many followers they may have. For example, you may state that a brand ambassador for your company must be a U.S. resident, have a minimum of 10,000 social followers and regularly use your products and services.
- Set brand ambassador policies and guidelines. The difference between working with brand ambassadors instead of social “influencers” is you don’t have to provide too many details about your products and services. Ambassadors know everything about your company. But you should still give ambassadors a style guide with marketing expectations to help you achieve your goals. For example, you may ask them to avoid putting down a competitor as a way to build up your brand. Plus, you want to be clear they’re promoting the right products and hashtags for any given campaign.
- Create incentives and empower your ambassadors. The idea behind brand ambassadors is to create a long-term relationship with them while they continue to promote your company. So you’ll need to offer incentives such as freebies, financial compensation, or reciprocal advertising to keep them engaged. One small business regularly promotes its ambassadors on social channels, helping ambassadors grow their own social presence at no cost. Be sure your ambassadors know the value of working with you.
- Track your progress. You must track what’s working and what’s not – and adjust accordingly. Are you getting the lift you need from ambassador-related hashtags? You can track much of this through your social analytics. Review your results with your ambassadors to share ideas, collaborate on marketing plans and more.
Anything you can do to get people talking about your company without having to spend a lot of dollars on advertising is a huge win. A brand ambassador program allows you to expand upon “word-of-mouth” advertising in new and unique ways. And in the long-run, that leads to better sales and a healthier bottom line.