In the past decade, the e-commerce industry has become increasingly competitive. As a result, companies are employing a creative new strategy to stand out in a sea of 20 million e-commerce stores. Brand Ambassador Programs are marketing campaigns where influencers serve as cheerleaders for a company to help drive sales and improve brand recognition and PR outreach.
Whether it’s filming video tutorials about the product or posting pictures on Instagram, Brand ambassador programs come in many forms. All that really matters is that your ambassadors genuinely use—and love—your product or service. Read on to find out more about this fascinating new marketing strategy!
Benefits of Brand Ambassador Programs
Influencer brand ambassadors serve as the face of a company’s culture. Their main job is to spread a company’s message to a target audience using their social media following and credibility. About 90% of customers say that they trust recommendations from people they know, so brand ambassador programs are essential to your marketing strategy. Here’s why they work.
Most likely, you have an existing marketing strategy in place to reach out to new audiences. Brand ambassador programs take the baton and run with it—these programs focus instead on brand retention. Brand ambassadors are perfect for fostering a loyal community around your brand and, most importantly, maintaining it.
Just like any relationship, longevity matters. Brand ambassador programs last from 6 to 12 months, unlike traditional influencer marketing. The long-term nature of these programs allows for consumer loyalty to grow organically. Aligning your company with credible ambassadors with a large social media following will help grow your company’s social media presence over time.
Although this may seem like a slow process, long-term community building will ensure that your customers are loyal for longer.
Influencer marketing relies heavily on sponsored advertisements and shout-outs, which can be quite costly for growing companies. One benefit of brand ambassador programs is that oftentimes, brand ambassadors will accept gifts and recognition in exchange for their participation.
Not only will this relieve a financial burden, but it will also ensure that your ambassadors are motivated by their love and loyalty for your company. The sincere use of a product or service by a brand ambassador is what makes them valuable, as opposed to media influencers simply motivated by paid opportunities.
Open to All
The beauty of brand ambassador programs is that they target customers from all walks of life. Not only can brand ambassadors themselves come from a diverse pool of influencers, but so can the communities they influence. For this reason, these programs are essential for gaining trust with a wide array of potential customers.
Creates a Community
If you had the option to buy cookies from a grocery store or from your friend, which would you choose? Your friend, right? That’s why cultivating a community around your brand is more important than ever. Brand ambassador programs bring your company closer to their consumers, and the more loyalty people have for your company, the more likely they are to buy your cookies.
What’s more, brand ambassadors don’t have to be huge stars that are expensive to work with. Small media influencers are just as valuable, as they target very specific niches in your consumer pool.
How to Start Your Own Brand Ambassador Program?
Interested in this promising marketing strategy? No worries, you’re covered. Here are some tips on creating a brand ambassador program that sticks.
Structure Your Program Carefully
Gathering charismatic kiddos to talk about your company does not an ambassador program make! Your program needs to be carefully designed to include goals, milestones, rules, and benefits. A well-structured ambassador program will entice potential ambassadors while also giving them clear guidelines for how to bring brand awareness.
Furthermore, you have to decide whether your program is exclusive or inclusive. The benefit of an exclusive program is that ambassadors feel special, and you have a tighter grip on the image you are promoting. On the other hand, an inclusive program helps spread the message faster and to a broader audience.
Establish Your Goals from the Get-Go
Determine the core mission behind your ambassador program before you begin your outreach. In order to be an effective evangelist for your brand, ambassadors need to know why they are doing what they are doing. Is your goal to reach out to a younger target audience? Or maybe you are entering an entirely new industry and need people to know! Whatever it is, make it clear to your ambassadors.
Make Ambassadors Love You
Design an incentive program that truly motivates your ambassadors. Although you don’t want to be a company that pays for positive reviews, you still have to offer your ambassadors something enticing. One of the main ways to do so is by awarding them free access to your service or gifting them merch. You can also spin gift-giving as a part of your marketing strategy by having them be the first to try out new products.
Find Your Most Vocal Supporters
Chances are, your company already has many dedicated followers shouting you out on social networks. Maybe they’re always posting tweets about your products, or maybe they’re constantly commenting on your Instagram Stories. Whatever it may be, take advantage of the existing pool of loyal customers you have and see who you can recruit for your program.
Another great place to find soon-to-be ambassadors is on credible review sites like Yelp. Here, you can engage with satisfied customers and recruit them into an ambassador role.
To better target these potential ambassadors, offer them incentives beyond those of your regular ambassadors. This way, you recognize their brand loyalty, make them feel special, and motivate them to participate with even more gusto!
Brand Ambassador Programs That Work
Before starting your company’s new brand ambassador program, check out some of these success stories for some added inspiration. These stories show how you can creatively tailor your program to your industry and the communities you wish to impact.
This powerhouse energy drink company knows that consumers don’t want to see ads. They take this knowledge and run with it, targeting consumers with content that their 18 to 34-year-old demographic actively seeks. This content is created by their brand ambassador program, The Wings Team. These thrill-seekers embody Red Bull’s high-energy message by posting about their adrenaline-junkie activities and extreme lifestyles.
This program is highly successful due to its ability to connect the coolness of The Wings Team to the product itself: jumping out of planes and drinking red bull? Same thing, basically. In return, The Wings Team gets free Red Bull, an exclusive platform, and incredible publicity.
The video game industry is the largest in the entertainment world and it’s only getting bigger. Xbox stands out because of its incredible brand ambassador program—Ambassador X—which integrates the art of gaming with the influence of social media. Xbox ambassadors help the community improve by answering questions and encouraging users to take advantage of the wide variety of products and services the company offers.
Just like anything else Xbox creates, this program is gamified at its core. Ambassadors are motivated to perform actions to unlock different rewards like merch, hidden game levels, or registration for exclusive gaming competitions. The success of this program has made Xbox a competitive force in the world of gaming and streaming.
An overwhelming force in the athleisure world, this stylish yoga apparel company succeeds in part due to its highly successful and far-reaching brand ambassador program. Lululemon ambassadors are chosen based on location, so they have specific influence over the communities surrounding Lululemon stores. This brand ambassador program is not limited to posting on social media, which is why it stands out. Ambassadors will host free yoga classes in stores, lead running clubs, and organize other activities to endear Lululemon to the local community even more.
When people think of brand ambassador programs, they usually think of retail companies or energy drinks. Never would someone guess that there is a program specifically for the leather-jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding fans of Harley Davidson. In all actuality, however, Harley Davidson is the perfect company for a program like this. They have curated their image to a tee, and they capitalize on that with their HOG ambassador program.
To be a member of the 325,000-member program, you must own a Harley. HOG members are charged with representing the legacy and luxury of the Harley Davidson brand while dishing out advice on bike maintenance and building community. This program thrives because of its ability to foster a community around a shared love for those cherished choppers.
In a time where trust is more important than ever, brand ambassador programs are vital for any digital marketing campaign. Brand ambassador programs are the best way to target new consumers and retain existing ones because they rely on word of mouth credibility instead of flashy advertising. Brand ambassadors genuinely love the products they represent, so create your own program and start spreading the love today!
Business News Daily. 3 Reasons Your Company Could Benefit From a Brand Ambassador Program. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/11023-brand-ambassador-program.html
Duel. 5 Successful Brand Ambassador Program Examples. https://duel.tech/5-successful-ambassador-programs/
Linkedin. 40 Employee Advocacy Statistics To Build A Case For Social Business. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-favourite-employee-advocacy-statistics-sarah-goodall/
Salesforce. How to Start a Successful Ambassador Program for Your Business. https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2016/12/start-ambassador-program.html