By Laia Cardona, on 7 July 2021
As companies and brands around the world become increasingly aware of the positive impact of effective digital marketing and social media strategies, many chose to include a brand ambassador program in their marketing plan. When implemented correctly, a brand ambassador can help you increase your reach and promote a sense of trust and loyalty in your brand.
In this post, we will break down everything you need to know to design a brand ambassador strategy that helps you build a solid brand identity that consumers connect with. We will look at what a brand ambassador is, what they can do for your business, and what skills you need to look for to get the most from your program and, ultimately, make more sales.
What Is a Brand Ambassador?
If you are new to digital marketing then you may be wondering, what is a brand ambassador?
Put simply, a brand ambassador is the human face of your brand. They perform online and offline actions that represent and promote your company in a positive way, and they serve to build trust and credibility among existing and potential customers.
Brand ambassadors rely on their own established networks and relationships to market your brand through online and word-of-mouth marketing strategies, in line with your established branding and marketing guidelines. This usually includes maintaining a strong social media presence, blogging, and referrals. It can also include attending product launches and relevant events to help your brand reach the largest possible audience.
Ultimately, a brand ambassador’s goal is to recommend your products or services to as many people as possible, increase awareness of your brand, and build relationships with your customers that improve the bottom line of your business.
What a Brand Ambassador Can Do for You
The ultimate goal of a brand ambassador is to represent your brand in a positive way and build trust in your business.
A successful brand ambassador will usually:
- Represent your brand positively through a variety of platforms.
- Create relevant and valuable content (blog posts, product reviews, newsletters, etc.).
- Promote your brand through their own social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
- Participate in online and offline marketing events and campaigns.
- Generate brand awareness through word-of-mouth marketing strategies.
- Serve as a thought leader in their own established online community.
- Provide feedback, insights and recommendations relating to your products and services.
- Communicate with your target audience and build relationships based on trust and credibility.
What Makes a Good Brand Ambassador?
According to Nielsen's 2015 Global Trust in Advertising Report, 83% of surveyed consumers claim that they are more trusting of personal recommendations compared to traditional advertising methods. This statistic alone proves how effective an ambassador can be. You need to find the right brand ambassador though; the recommendations can’t just come from anyone.
The right brand ambassador should share your beliefs and values. They should also have an established online presence and at least a basic understanding of branding and marketing strategies and campaigns. Most importantly, they should be passionate, authentic and a good communicator. This will help them connect with your audience and build a solid reputation.
Here are a few things to look for when you recruit an ambassador to represent your brand.
Your brand ambassador should be passionate about your brand, products, and services. They should effectively communicate with your target audience and generate interest and enthusiasm among existing and potential customers. They should also be passionate about building lasting connections and relationships built on trust and authenticity.
Although this may seem like an obvious skill to possess, we can’t stress enough how important it is. If your brand ambassador doesn’t exude passion and positive vibes, then they are unlikely to elicit an emotional response from your target audience.
As much as you want your brand ambassador to be friendly, passionate, and approachable, you also need them to be professional. They are representing your brand, after all. Just because they are not a direct employee of your company, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t uphold all your values in terms of conduct.
This sense of professionalism should be reflected in all their communications and interactions. Your brand ambassador should be reliable, engaging, informative and well-versed in who you are and what you stand for. They should maintain your high standards and reflect a positive and professional brand through all online and offline networking channels. Any negative behavior will have a direct negative impact on your brand, so make sure you thoroughly vet all potential candidates before taking on an ambassador to represent your brand.
An Established Online Presence
It goes without saying that your brand ambassador MUST have a well-established online presence. This is vital. After all, there’s no point in them promoting your brand online if there’s nobody there to hear them. They should have a solid network of followers who engage with their content on a regular basis.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that they need to be a celebrity with millions of followers. It’s not just about how many people they have in their network - what matters is how much of an influence they have over them. Do they have a credible online presence? Do they post regularly online? Do their followers regularly interact and engage with their posts? Are they consistently available to their followers? Are they authentic, reliable, and communicative? Does their online following match the demographics of your target audience? The more extensive their online presence is, the more of an impact their actions will have on your overall marketing strategy.
Understanding and Appreciation of Marketing
The right candidate doesn’t need to be a marketing guru by any stretch of the imagination. That’s what your marketing manager is for. However, to get the most from your campaigns, you should choose a brand ambassador with at least a basic understanding and appreciation of your marketing strategies and campaigns. They should understand which approaches work best in your sector, and which tactics will elicit the most favorable reaction from followers. At the very least, they should understand how their role will have an impact on your digital marketing strategy, and how what they say influences the quality of referrals they channel to your business.
Authenticity and Trustworthiness
The final thing to look for when searching for your new brand ambassador is authenticity and trustworthiness. The general public is tired and underwhelmed by traditional paid advertising strategies, and they have wised up to clickbait posts and empty promises. You want your brand ambassador to exude authenticity, and you want their followers to believe what they have to say about your brand.
The right candidate should have a genuine appreciation for your brand, products, and services. They should communicate their recommendations in an authentic, believable way. A recommendation means nothing if it comes across as an empty sales pitch.
Ultimately, your brand ambassador should develop relationships with your customers based on trust, credibility, and a genuine appreciation for your products and services. This will help them cement your company as a great brand and secure its long-term success.