How to Create a Successful Brand Ambassador Program in 5 Steps
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Word-of-mouth marketing can do miracles for your brand.
This form of marketing comes across as authentic as it happens through a third party organically. That’s why nearly 91% of consumers believe online reviews and recommendations. And promoting your business through recommendations is completely dependent on a solid brand ambassador program.
Image via BrightLocal
Having a social media brand ambassador program can help you mobilize and sustain recommendations for a long duration. Whether you have a small business or a big one, you should consider implementing a brand ambassador program.
However, before we get into how you can create a brand ambassador program from scratch, let’s try to understand brand ambassadors first.
So, who are brand ambassadors?
They are people who partner with your brand to promote it. Brand ambassadors showcase your brand in a positive light and try to influence how their followers or people close to them perceive it.
Typically, they serve as an extension of your brand and share the same values, ethics, and demeanor as your brand. These qualities make a successful brand ambassador program.
Due to their power to influence brand perception and people’s decisions, they’re great assets for your brand.
But, who can be your brand ambassadors?
For creating a brand ambassador program, you must know who can be your brand ambassadors. They could be your employees, customers, or even influential partners. Whichever the type, your brand ambassador program must outline the qualities of a brand ambassador.
But, doesn’t that make them influencers?
It does, but unlike many influencers, brand ambassadors tend to represent your brand for the long-term while influencers usually have short-term partnerships.
As a result, they tend to understand your brand better and value the relationship they have with you even more. Many of them may agree to work without compensation due to the sheer love for your brand too.
Pro Tip: Build strong bonds with influencers. They can become brand ambassadors for you too.
However, it can be quite challenging to find and manage the right brand ambassadors for your organization. This is where a brand ambassador program can come in handy.
So, what is a brand ambassador program?
It helps you recruit people who are already advocating for your brand and also enables you to formalize your relationships with them.
Through the program, you can officially provide detailed information about your campaigns and key brand messaging to them. At the same time, you can set the guidelines for the partnership as well.
Let’s now take a look at how to create a brand ambassador program for your organization.
How Can You Create a Brand Ambassador Program?
Here’s how to create a brand ambassador program for your brand successfully:
1. Set Goals for Your Brand Ambassador Program
One of the most important steps of launching a brand ambassador program is that of setting your goals. Without knowing what you want to achieve from, you won’t be able to channel your efforts to get the desired results.
The goals that you set will also help you zero-in on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you need to follow to determine the progress of your campaign.
When you set your goals, make sure that they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
Setting such goals helps ensure that they’re attainable within a stipulated time and you’ll be able to measure the success of your program as well.
What should the goals of your brand ambassador marketing be?
Here are some common goals that a successful ambassador program should have:
Build brand awareness: Through the brand ambassador program, you can reach out to a wider audience that connects with your ambassador. This can help augment your brand awareness online.
Improve brand image: Your ambassador’s audience trusts them deeply. When they share positive things about your business, it comes across as a stamp of authenticity. This can build your brand image. Additionally, when they post positive things about your brand, it strengthens your image even further.
Generate sales: One of the most important goals of a brand ambassador program is that of increasing sales, driving conversions, and growing revenue. When your ambassador recommends your brand or products, their followers will likely believe their recommendations and purchase from you.
Customer retention: Your brand ambassador program can also play a major role in customer retention. When people see that your brand’s associated with someone they trust so deeply, they’ll trust your business even further. This might nudge them to keep purchasing from you.
Some other goals that you could have are growing engagement, spreading awareness about a cause your brand cares about, etc.
But it’s not just your goals that matter...
You need to understand the ambassador’s goals, as well.
For example, if your ambassador wants to grow their income through the partnership, it makes sense for you to work with them on an affiliate basis. This will ensure that you’ll get conversions and they’ll get a share of the profits too.
When the ambassador’s goals align with those of your company, they’ll be more likely to put even more effort into your partnership as they’ll be motivated from within.
For example, Miss Lola partners with their ambassadors on an affiliate basis.
Image via Instagram
2. Define Your Ideal Brand Ambassador
Once you’ve defined your goals, the next step to start a brand ambassador program is to begin looking for potential brand ambassadors for your company.
You need to figure out what you’re looking for in a social media brand ambassador. Based on your preferences, there can be a variety of brand ambassadors that you can choose from.
Some of the most popular types are:
a. Niche Ambassadors
Does your brand cater to a specific niche? In that case, you need to look for ambassadors who are authorities in their respective niches.
To find such niche authorities, all you need to do is filter out the ambassadors based on their niche and interests using Fourstarzz Media.
For instance, here’s how you can find beauty brand ambassadors.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
b. Brand Loyalists
If your brand already has a few passionate existing customers then they are great potential ambassadors. This is because they are happy customers and already love your brand and would likely want to associate with it to promote it even further. Making them brand ambassadors is a great way of taking customer loyalty to the next level.
To look for them, you can use the hashtag search offered by our platform. Just key in your brand’s hashtag and the platform will show you a list of influencers who use it.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
c. Target Audience Blenders
These brand ambassadors can reach your target audience with ease. They are a part of your target audience and can blend in easily among them.
Typically, they are nano- or micro-influencers who have few followers but they can easily influence those in their circles.
To find them, you can just filter the ambassadors based on their follower size on our platform. You can also filter the influencers based on your audience’s interests.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
Employee brand ambassadors are great because they already work for your brand. As a result, their word is of great importance.
In fact, people care about what your employees have to say about your brand. You can also reach out to their families and friends through such a program as 83% of Americans say that a recommendation from their close ones makes them more likely to purchase from the brand.
You should also take your target audience into account while defining the best brand ambassador for your program. After all, they should be people who your audience looks up to. Additionally, you should define the values you want your brand ambassadors should match those of your brand.
3. Search for Brand Ambassadors
One of the most important parts of starting a brand ambassador program is finding potential ambassadors. You need to vet each of them carefully as all ambassadors represent your brand.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can do so:
a. Search for Them Manually
The most basic way of discovering brand ambassadors is through social media searches. All you need to do is search for people who post regularly about your brand.
However, if you’re just starting out or are a small business, it’s likely that you won’t have a well-developed follower base online. In such a situation, you might need to look for people who are posting regularly in your niche.
You can find people by searching for industry-specific hashtags on social media platforms. The search will show you a list of posts that have incorporated the particular hashtag.
Instagram, especially, will bring up a list of the top posts with the hashtag. Many of the people who’ve created those posts may be influential and these are the profiles you need to check out.
Go through their profiles carefully to figure out if their tone and values are similar to those of your brand. Based on your analysis, you can reach out to them to become brand ambassadors.
However, you need to keep in mind:
This process is tedious and time-consuming. It may not be easy to find people, especially because many people may not use the hashtags you’re looking for.
b. Find Them Through Influencer Marketing Platforms
Influencer marketing platforms like Fourstarzz Media can come in very handy when it comes to finding brand ambassadors.
Through our platform, you can search for influencers of all sizes, especially nano- and micro-influencers, across a variety of niches.
Through powerful filters like engagement rates, reach, platforms, and even audience interests, you can find the best brand ambassadors with ease. You can also filter out ambassadors based on social media platforms. Also, if you know the target hashtags of your niche, you can utilize our advanced search and hashtag search options to find relevant ambassadors.
All you need to do is type in the hashtag and select advanced search options based on how you want to find your brand ambassadors (using keywords, hashtags, influencer’s bio, etc.).
Our platform also provides detailed reports of the influencers along with their contact details so that you can figure out if you want to reach out to them.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
c. Create a Web Application Form
Yet another way of successfully finding brand ambassadors for your program is through application forms. These forms can be added to your website, and interested people can apply through them.
Why is this awesome?
It can help you narrow down your search as there will be only a handful of people who’ll go through the process of submitting the forms. From this pool of applicants, you can then select the ones who fit your brand’s objectives well and then start your partnership with them.
Pura Vida has a fashion brand, has a brand ambassador registration form on their website. It clearly outlines all of the requirements and also mentions the advantages of the partnership.
Image via Pura Vida
4. Recognize Your Ambassadors
When you’re starting a brand ambassador program, you need to think of ways you can recognize and reward ambassadors too.
While many of them might agree to work for free, it’s always good to reward them to motivate them.
Here are some of the ways through which you can achieve this:
Partner with them on an affiliate basis and pay them a percentage of the total sales that they drive.
Compensate them based on the number of posts they create for your brand.
Give them discounts or free products to show your appreciation. Some of them may even post about the discount codes or products on their social media accounts. For example, Andalou Naturals sends out free products to its ambassadors to appreciate them.
Image via Instagram
Give them friendly shoutouts through your social media accounts to announce that they’re your brand ambassadors. For example, Foreo gives friendly shoutouts to its brand ambassadors through Instagram Stories.
Image via Instagram
Ambassadors need to be recognized for their hard work. That’s why your program must outline what you’ll do to achieve that.
Sand Cloud has partnered with Stephanie Stein as a brand ambassador. They’ve given her a special discount code that she can share with her followers.
Here’s how she generated content related to it
Image via Instagram
5. Build Long-Term Relationships With the Ambassadors
Unlike short-term influencer marketing collaborations, brand ambassador marketing partnerships are long-term.
That’s why brand-ambassador partnerships are an important part of today’s brand ambassador programs. You must communicate regularly and build a rapport with them.
Keep your communication lines open with them so that they can approach you whenever they feel like it. Additionally, you should maintain complete transparency with them and give them creative control.
Inform them whenever you’re launching a new brand ambassador campaign and make good on your promises as well. Be open to feedback from their end and encourage them by recognizing their marketing effort.
Pro Tip: Building trust can help you improve your brand’s reputation as well. This is especially true when brand ambassadors talk about how much they love working with you.
Ready to Create Your Brand Ambassador Program?
Brand ambassadors can be great assets for your organization and play an instrumental role in growing it too so must ensure you keep them happy.
However, you must know how to create a successful brand ambassador program to leverage them effectively.
Start by figuring out your brand’s specific goals and the best brand ambassadors for your company. Search and reach out to them for the partnership and build a rapport with them.
Keep recognizing their hard work and provide incentives to motivate them. Lastly, maintain transparency and open communication with them to build trust and forge strong bonds.
Do you have any insights or tips to add about running a successful brand ambassador program? Let us know in the comments.
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