August 26, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Brand Ambassador Program

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Are you looking to attract new customers beyond traditional ad campaigns? Word-of-mouth and influencer marketing are effective strategies to drive sales and grow your customer base. However, if you want to utilize their power more authentically, starting a brand ambassador program can put your business in a better position.

As unfiltered content from millions of everyday influencers continuously grows, building relationships with satisfied customers who can be genuine advocates or ambassadors of your brand becomes increasingly important.

But how do you leverage individual ambassadors to win new customers and earn their trust? Launching your brand ambassador program is the key to working with people who love your products and services. Learn how to start your brand ambassador program with this ultimate guide.

What is a Brand Ambassador Program?

Every successful brand has its advocates. These are the people who know and glorify your products and believe in your brand's values. Many people assume that brand ambassadors are only influencers hired by an organization. But they can be anyone who participates in spreading the word about your brand.

Brand ambassadors share a common love of your company, whether they are loyal customers or passionate followers of your social media accounts. They can have the power to increase brand awareness and influence consumers' purchasing decisions through offline and online word-of-mouth.

However, like any other marketing strategy, you'll need a course of action to handle brand ambassadors and monitor their efforts. This is where creating a brand ambassador program comes into play. It's a powerful marketing campaign that will help standardize your company's work with individual ambassadors who love your products or services.

Note that ambassadors already adore your brand. But having a dedicated program will enable them to promote your brand more effectively. The primary goal of a brand ambassador program is to build temporary or long-term relationships with existing genuine advocates and users of your brand. But more importantly, it formalizes the partnership's details, requirements, and incentives.

By creating content and sharing their personal experiences with your products and services online and offline, brand ambassadors can help spread positive messages about your brand. In return, you can compensate them with free products/services or regular paychecks, depending on the contract or formal agreement.

The Benefits of a Brand Ambassador Program

Being the face of your brand and company culture, ambassadors can show the world more about what you offer. Instead of solely relying on inauthentic influencers, you're setting your brand messaging in the hands of ambassadors with particular targets in mind, such as better brand recognition, reputation, or sales of new products.

But how can your company benefit from having an established brand ambassador program? Discover its advantages by reading on.

Growing your social media presence

Having quality products and services isn't enough. People must also recognize and remember your brand and what you're offering. Without this kind of visibility, your brand can't grow and succeed in the ways you intended it to.

An essential aspect of achieving brand visibility is to maximize the number of people who know your brand and its content, then spread positive word of mouth about it. Although your potential customers are everywhere, almost everyone interacts through social media channels in this digital age. So your target audience expects you to be available on such platforms.

A brand ambassador program can be an effective way to grow your social media presence. It's worth noting that its focus is not on reaching out to new audiences. Most likely, you have an existing marketing campaign for that. Instead, the program aims to create brand retention and brand loyalty.

As your brand ambassadors share positive experiences about your brand on their social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, they can bring attention to your brand and influence people’s perception of your name.

Receiving authentic content sources

With a brand ambassador program, your brand doesn't only obtain direct access to the right demographic. It also helps you receive authentic content sources in advertising your brand. Since brand ambassadors already use and love your product, they can genuinely promote your brand using their perspectives and words. And they may even do so without any prompting.

Whether it's their product reviews, blog articles, or social media posts, ambassadors can create content that highlights your brand. Their sincere love or appreciation of your products or services helps cultivate customers' passion for your products or services. As part of the partnership, you can keep and use the unique and authentic content ambassadors make for your brand.

Building brand trust and credibility

The most valuable aspect of a brand ambassador program is the real narratives of advocates of your products and services. Because of their personal experiences and undeniable love of your brand, ambassadors can provide the genuine connections most consumers crave. They can create trustworthy and persuasive content by telling engaging stories to their family, friends, and followers.

Brand ambassadors' personal, word-of-mouth recommendations are considered one of the most credible sources of information. According to word-of-mouth marketing statistics, 83% of consumers report they either fully or moderately trust the products and services their family, colleagues, and friends recommend.

Additionally, most brand ambassadors don't receive monetary compensation. So they become more credible to other consumers with no financial motivation to share positive reviews about your brand. This also means they can expand your market share even if they don't have a massive audience.

Saving money on marketing efforts

Advertising your products through a brand ambassador program boosts engagement rates with the right consumers. Because brand ambassadors are loyal customers who already adore your brand, their family, friends, and followers are likely to show interest in your product or service.

This is a cost-effective way to increase the likelihood of consumption, repeat purchases, and referral sales. By having a community of ambassadors eager to spread positive word-of-mouth about your existing or new products, you can reach a wider audience for a fraction of the cost of paid advertisement.

Potential brand ambassadors don't have to be expensive superstars. You can work with small media influencers who can target specific niches in your consumer pool. So instead of paying for inauthentic content that doesn't move your target audience, you can save money on paid marketing efforts and generate a better ROI with a brand ambassador program.

Fostering a strong and loyal community

People love to be part of a community. You can establish an emotional connection with your target audience through a brand ambassador program. Ambassadors can bring your brand closer to people who are likely to buy your products and services.

With their meaningful and authentic storytelling, they can help you build a solid and loyal customer base. This association of your brand with a community of advocates can be a powerful marketing tool to create lasting relationships with more passionate consumers.

The Difference Between Brand Ambassadors and Influencers

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Many organizations use influencers and brand ambassadors interchangeably. Although they can fulfill the same primary purpose, key factors determine their differences. Understanding these can help you leverage their corresponding roles more effectively.

Brand Promotion Method

Brand ambassadors endorse your brand through word of mouth. They have already actively used your product or service. Because they're passionate about your brand, they most likely have promoted it before you reach out to them. They're selected based on their existing love for your brand.

Meanwhile, influencers share your brand by showing others how they use your product. But they might not have necessarily used your product or service before. They're usually chosen because of their social media following and capacity to reach wider demographics.

Find out more about influencer-generated content and how it can help your brand in this blog article.

Type and Length of Relationship

Brand ambassadors serve as a representative of your company. They're more likely to coordinate how to present your brand and promote it repeatedly. Since they typically avoid collaborations with brand competitors, they tend to work with you in the long term. However, with influencers, the relationship is often short-term as they may only promote your brand with one or two posts.

Compensation

With brand ambassadors, your products probably already stand out in their eyes before you recruit them. They may recommend your product or service for free because of their commitment to seeing your brand succeed. But this can also depend on what you agreed upon.

On the other hand, influencers always expect to receive incentives to do brand promotion. You'll also need to send them product samples. They may only choose to promote them if they like the product or if it's valuable to their personal brand.

Pro Tip: “To be an influential evangelist for a brand, an ambassador must understand why they are doing what they are doing. So remember to determine the core mission behind your ambassador program before you begin your outreach.”

How To Set Up Your Own Brand Ambassador Program

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to creating an ambassador program for your brand. However, you can set it up with some flexibility. In any case, here's a rundown of how to start your own brand ambassador program.

Structure Your Program Carefully

A successful brand ambassador program has to be carefully put together. While you don't need to micromanage brand ambassadors and craft all their marketing messages, how they promote your brand must be consistent with your company's beliefs and values.

You should clearly set expectations, rules, guidelines, and milestones. For example, you might want to keep their personal voice while they're creating their social media content. You might also want to prevent them from generating negative attention by throwing insults at a competitor. You can also give them the appropriate target hashtags for any given campaign.

Determine Your Core Goals

Ambassadors must know what they need to achieve to be effective promoters of your brand. Note that you can't channel your marketing efforts to obtain the desired results if you don't understand your brand's mission. Before you start your outreach campaign, take the time to determine your core goals.

Most programs revolve around increasing brand visibility. But should you focus on working on general brand awareness or getting the word out about a specific product or service? Whatever your goal is, make it clear to your brand ambassadors.

Look for Your Most Vocal Brand Advocates

You most likely have dedicated advocates of your product or service. Leverage this pool of loyal customers and look for the most vocal ones you can recruit for the program. Some might actively express their love of your brand on social media platforms. They might often like or comment on your posts and share your content online.

However, before you find brand ambassadors outside your company, it might be a good idea to consider internal advocates – your employees. Because they already know your company, employee ambassadors can better position your brand and provide more meaningful testimonials.

Empower Your Brand Ambassadors

Although many brand ambassadors may agree to work for free, it's also important to recognize their efforts and compensate them accordingly. You may not be keen on paying people to do positive reviews for your brand.

However, you must think of ways to empower ambassadors and make them love your brand more. Ensure to design an incentive program that will keep your ambassadors more motivated. The incentives may include free or exclusive first access to your product or service.

You can offer them rewards through discounts or gift cards. You can also give them a monetary commission through an affiliate program. This way, brand ambassadors can earn cash for every person who makes purchases in a tracking link they share with their followers.

Monitor the Progress of Your Program

Like any marketing strategy, you must evaluate what's working and what's not for your brand. Monitor the progress of your brand ambassador program. Are your campaigns hitting the target when it comes to engagement? The goals you set are critical in identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to follow when tracking the performance of your program and its campaigns.

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Examples of Successful Brand Ambassador Programs

Starting your brand ambassador program can be overwhelming. But since it's not a new concept, you can learn from brands with established and successful ambassador programs. You can incorporate their elements and repurpose them for your marketing efforts. Below are some great examples of successful brand ambassador programs you can check out before you launch your own.

  • Yelp: This brand’s program involves a diverse community of writers, photographers, and adventurers whose membership is based on variables like well-written reviews and helpful tips.
  • Red Bull: Their program employs college students, athletes, or individuals who embody the brand's identity of energy and excitement. They create a story and experience about their adrenaline-junkie activities or athletic events.
  • Lululemon: This popular athletic apparel company’s program focuses on yoga instructors and fitness enthusiasts. It supports ambassador charitable projects and initiatives to increase brand loyalty.

Leverage Your Community Marketing With Archive App

Having a community of brand advocates is an excellent way to know more about your customer base and engage them in conversations about your products and services. The best brand ambassadors can increase brand awareness and drive sales with user-generated content.

Leverage this community of passionate and loyal customers to grow your brand successfully. But like every marketing campaign, you need a system to get your desired results. Check out Archive today to make your community content more authentic and fruitful.

Brand ambassador programs are a valuable element of any digital marketing campaign. Visit us at Archive today for more tips on improving social media marketing.

FAQs on Starting a Brand Ambassador Program

How do you incorporate a brand ambassador program into your existing marketing strategy?

When incorporating a brand ambassador program into your existing marketing strategy, aligning the goals with your brand's core message is essential. Take time to evaluate marketing campaigns and identify targets you could not hit. From there, find out which ones are possible to achieve with your brand ambassador program.

How are brand ambassadors paid?

How brand ambassadors are paid depends on the contract or formal agreement with a company. Some may earn a standard annual salary, while others get paid hourly or with a commission for every referral.

Why do people join ambassador programs?

Besides their love of the brand and its product, people join ambassador programs to express their creativity. They may also want to benefit from loyalty programs, free samples, and discounts. Plus, being a brand ambassador can help contribute to their personal and professional skills. Potential employers may find them more attractive when they've helped a brand grow.

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