Hey yesgirls! Today I’ll be breaking down how to launch a successful brand ambassador program for your business in our latest Be Your Own Publicist series.
Many businesses rely on support from their loyal audience members to amplify awareness and enthusiasm to help drive business goals. By inviting consumers to become part of the company mission as brand ambassadors, your brand’s loyalty and credibility is strengthened.
When you build communities around products or brands, you dream of creating something larger than a product or even larger than a brand name. You want to create deeper impact in people’s lives. There are many ways to start building meaning around your product, but there is really no more effective way than empowering individual brand ambassadors to run with your vision and to better their own lives as a result. That right there is brand ambassador gold.
Okay ladies, now let’s get down to the basics! Here’s how to create a brand ambassador program from scratch:
1. Set goals and define success.
Start by defining what it is that you’re trying to do:
- Do you want to build brand awareness?
- Get more great content for your social media, blog or website?
- Do you want to reach more customers?
Be realistic. Whatever your goals are, you want to make sure they fit with your brand and business goals. Don’t waste time at this stage trying to convert people into users.
2. Decide how the “brand ambassador program” will be structured.
Don’t get too complicated, you should start simple. Before you start choosing your brand ambassadors, thoroughly strategize what your ambassador will look like.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your brand ambassadors called?
- What are your expectations of them?
- What will you offer them?
- How will you choose them?
- Will the program be application or invitation based?
- How will you promote the program?
- How will you measure the success of the program?
3. Create a lifestyle.
Connect around lifestyle and values, not simply the product. The best way to attract brand ambassadors who will genuinely want to endorse your brand is by making them feel like they’re part of your brand’s mission.
For example, Starbucks does not simply sell coffee. It sells a lifestyle. And Starbucks lovers love to discuss, Tweet and Instagram their lattes at every chance they get. Hashtag, #butfirstcoffee.
4. You CAN sit with us.
Now that you have a plan and structure in place, you can begin to select your ambassadors. Choose socially active consumers from your existing follower base. Focus on those who are already saying amazing things about your brand without you asking. In the end, it’s the most passionate people (not just the people with the most Twitter or Instagram followers) that will be your biggest advocates. It’s about quality not quantity – major key.
4. Create rewards benefits.
Reward, reward, reward. This doesn’t mean you have to shower them with gifts every day, but you should show your appreciation regularly in a variety of ways. A little goes a long way!
Based on the type of ambassador, the incentive will be different. Get creative when planning your incentives! The biggest reward for influencers would be receiving brand recognition. As for fans and followers, recognition and rewards would be their key incentive. A few other examples include hosting exclusive events for ambassadors, creating “ambassador only” sales, and discount codes to share with their networks. A mixture of incentives are required to keep the quality of your ambassador performance high.
5. Shout them out!
Yasss! Stand for your brand ambassadors. Feature them. Feature all of them. Give them a spot on your social media, site or blog. Allow them to link this to things like their social media profiles or personal blogs. Trust me – personal recognition can truly be worth a million bucks.
6. Measure the success of the brand ambassador program.
There are a ton of ways to measure the success of the program, including total size of the ambassador community, surveys about from the ambassadors themselves, and more.
Here are some key metrics to put into consideration when measuring the success of your brand ambassador initiative:
- Number of photos and videos shared by brand ambassadors.
- Shares of the content produced/shared by brand ambassadors.
- Influenced clicks – the number of clicks that came in through content sharing by brand ambassadors.
Conversions and Revenue:
- Number of conversions due to content shared by brand ambassadors. This is calculated by the number of conversions that were influenced by ambassador produced content such as their personal photos and videos.
And that’s all there is to it! Not so bad, right? These are just a few of ways brands are connecting with their audiences to become brand ambassadors. In the end, authenticity, access, and respect are factors that make it easy for supporters to continue to spread the good word about the brands they love.