Ambassador marketing has become one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, trust, referrals and loyalty. In today’s creator economy, one-time paid partnerships with known talent are becoming a strategy of the past. While this approach can be useful for some brands, the biggest opportunity is certainly to develop deeper connections with influencers.
This is the meaning of ambassador programs. The goal of ambassador or creator programs is to avoid more transactional relationships, and instead develop real relationships with influencers and bring them on board with your brand, and be a real part of your strategies. marketing.
While these programs require more attention and can seem daunting to grow, a good place to start is to seek out influencers who speak positively about your business, whether that’s shouting about your business or recommending a latest purchase to their followers. .
Brand Ambassadors can drive sales, build brand awareness, and help your business build community by increasing its social media presence and engaging with its community of followers. A good brand ambassador is one who is relevant to your brand and has a strong connection with your desired target audience.
Of course, all of your ambassadors should be aligned with the idea of providing a positive and consistent brand experience. But employees, customers, influencers, or business partners who don’t believe in your company’s mission or who share similar values can’t be strong ambassadors.
Social proximity is essential
Leveraging social media first will be more effective because your customers are already there. Considering that 74% of consumers rely on social media for their purchasing decisions, having your brand ambassadors speak highly of your brand or recent products on various social platforms can be hugely beneficial to your business. company.
After all, these types of programs are meant to be engaged on an ongoing basis to drive measurable growth for brands. This means that these are not light switch campaigns, but are still ongoing and generally persistent in nature.
Relationships with creators mean more than just socializing with them, but rather involve giving something back that can be valuable to them. Examples of added value include providing them with greater experiences, the opportunity to participate in content production, participate in new product launches, and being offered exclusive invites to corporate headquarters or access at private events.
It’s a brand’s responsibility to understand what would be a valuable incentive for creators to help them better align with their business.
Despite these clear benefits, only 31% of B2B marketers say they have strong brand ambassador programs, according to Forrester’s Brand and Communications Survey. Direct-to-consumer brands and companies hungry for measurable growth are beginning to give this strategy a chance. Other organizations are missing out on a great opportunity to leverage loyal creators who can speak on their behalf.
A model ambassador program
Viral Nation helped launch and define the strategy for Victoria’s Secret Pink Ambassador Program. The program was created for students to represent a brand that embodies the energy and excitement of college life.
Once they become Ambassadors, designers collaborate with other students on campus by organizing events, organizing marketing campaigns and collaborating with their local Pink stores. This is all aimed at increasing brand awareness among the young target audience of the brand. In return, Ambassadors receive exclusive products and offers, and the opportunity to network with other Pink Ambassadors for the chance to influence future product launches.
Here are some things you need to know to start your own brand ambassador program:
- Identify broader business goals and how ambassadors can play a role in your goals.
- Identify the right persona from those creators who can speak authentically to your audience.
- Identify and create a meaningful incentive model that will appeal to your creators.
- Structure a team and resource plan for building relationships and managing your creators.
And don’t forget to track your creators’ progress to understand which campaigns are succeeding and which may be stronger; which will be beneficial in the long run. And of course, nurture a relationship with your ambassadors to encourage them to be loyal customers and represent your brand well.