Marketing in a competitive industry means looking for new tools and tactics to give your brand a leg up on the competition. One strategy to exponentially expand your reach is to create a brand ambassador program. By turning your brand’s fans into promoters who can connect with new audiences that your efforts might not otherwise reach, you’ll put word-of-mouth marketing to work for you. Not sure if your brand is ready for an ambassador program? Check out these five signs that may indicate it’s time.
You’ve got an online community
If your company’s social media channels have followings well into the thousands, you’ve amassed enough fans to provide a decent selection of potential ambassadors.
Look within your online community to determine your biggest promoters. You may even want to do some social listening to determine if any of your followers have been actively touting your brand.
In addition, review your customer database to determine who your best customers are, then check out their social media presence on platforms where your target audiences spend the most time.
You currently offer a loyalty program
It’s a natural progression to go from a successful loyalty program to ambassador marketing. After all, the foundation of an ambassador program lies in rewarding your brand loyalists, much like any rewards program you offer to VIP customers.
You may want to search for brand ambassadors within your loyalty program to see if any might be a good match in terms of their social media audience. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because someone loves your brand and is willing to earn extra money (or free products instead of payment), they’ll make a good brand representative.
Review your loyalists’ social media accounts before reaching out to ensure no glaring contrasts to your brand’s values, mission, or appeal.
Fans are asking for it
When your brand is contacted by fans asking if you offer an ambassador program, it’s usually a pretty clear sign that you’re ready to launch one.
Send potential brand ambassadors to a landing page to apply for the position, just as you would with a job interview. This is particularly important as brand ambassadors are customer-facing roles.
You’ve got someone to manage the program
Even if your team plans to use brand ambassador software to automate the program, you need a dedicated person to create, promote, and manage it.
Ideally, this employee will have the time, experience, and skills to carry out multiple tasks to design, market, and run a brand ambassador program. They’ll likely require a chunk of your marketing budget and resources to create the activation campaigns and forms, promote them to your existing customers, review applications, and onboard the first ambassadors.
But you’ll also need someone to serve as a community manager, dedicating several hours a day (or more, at first) to monitor the campaigns and ambassadors after the program kicks off. Having a point person is essential to avoid delays, miscommunication, and problems arising from letting accountability issues fall between the cracks of responsibility.
Your brand can handle a potential increase in sales
Enlisting the help of word-of-mouth advocates means exponentially expanding your reach. And if you’re lucky enough to find ambassadors who are good at promoting your brand, a worst-case scenario could be your e-commerce store crashing from the traffic, your warehouse running out of stock while orders are still coming in, or overwhelming your customer service representatives because your fulfillment center got behind on shipping.
Before you venture into ambassadorships, review all the potential scenarios that could occur.
Do any of these five signs reflect your brand? If so, you may be ready to adopt an ambassador program to expand your reach. With an experienced marketer at the helm, the right advocates promoting your products or services, and a brand ambassador platform to elevate your efforts, like IZEA’s Zuberance, you can reach your goals.