Jan 10, 2024
9 MIN READ
Brand ambassadors are not a term alien to consumers. In earlier days, these brand ambassadors were predominantly celebrities. Their fame and public appeal were leveraged to attract attention and credibility to products and brands.
However, there has been a notable shift towards everyday influencers in recent years. This transition is largely driven by a change in consumer trust.
Traditional advertising, often perceived as overly polished and sales-driven, has lost some of its effectiveness. Consumers have become more skeptical of these methods and now tend to place greater trust in peer recommendations.
People are more likely to be influenced by someone they feel is similar to them and who they think is sharing a genuine, personal opinion.
Let's dive deeper and understand who they are and what they do.
What Are Brand Ambassadors?
Brand ambassadors are individuals who promote and represent a brand to build brand awareness and credibility.
A classic example of a celebrity-level brand ambassador is soccer star Lionel Messi. He has been a long-time brand ambassador for Adidas.
An example of a new-age brand ambassador is the beauty influencer Huda Kattan. She is known for her makeup tutorials and promoting various beauty brands. She is the brand ambassador of the cosmetic brand Huda Beauty.
What Do Brand Ambassadors Do?
Brand ambassadors are pivotal in bridging the gap between a brand and its target audience. Their multifaceted activities contribute significantly to a brand's marketing and communication strategies.
Here's a closer look at their key responsibilities.
Creating Authentic Brand Connections:
Brand ambassadors often tell their own stories about using a brand's products or services. These real-life experiences make their endorsements feel more genuine and relatable.
They connect with people by responding to comments, messaging, and meeting in person. This helps form a community that loves the brand.
In other words, ambassadors are like the brand in human form. They make sure everything they say and do matches what the brand stands for.
Enhancing Brand Visibility and Reputation:
They create blogs, social media posts, videos, and photos about the brand. This gets more people to see and know about the brand. You'll also find brand ambassadors at events or product launches.
They work with the brand on advertising efforts, adding their own creative touch to make these campaigns hit home with people.
Driving Sales Through Trust and Credibility:
Ambassadors help sell by showing how products work or giving their honest reviews. This can sway people to buy.
They often have exclusive discounts or offers for their audience. And since they're genuine and trusted, their recommendations can directly lead to sales. Therefore, these offers not only boost sales but also bring in new customers.
Providing Feedback and Insights:
Ambassadors bring back valuable feedback from customers and their own use, giving the brand insights it might not get otherwise.
They also clearly understand market trends. Being active in their areas, they have a good grasp of what's new and what customers want, which is super helpful for the brand's planning.
Just keep in mind that their role goes beyond mere promotion. They are integral in building and maintaining the brand's relationship with its audience. Now that you understand what brand ambassadors do, let's discuss the types of brand ambassadors.
Types of Brand Ambassadors
There are many kinds of brand ambassadors, each with their own special way of working and connecting with people. By understanding these different types, businesses can determine which ambassador best aligns with their brand's audience and marketing objectives.
Following are some of the most common types of brand ambassadors.
Influencers are individuals with significant followings on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. They range from celebrities to niche content creators.
They use their online presence to promote brands through posts, stories, and videos. Their impact lies in their ability to reach a large, often targeted audience quickly.
Why do they matter?
For customers, these influencers seem to be more genuine and easier to relate to than traditional ads. Therefore, influencers sway the buying choices of potential customers. They are particularly good at connecting with younger people who use social media a lot.
These are everyday users of a brand's products or services who genuinely love and recommend them to others.
Customers become ambassadors by sharing their positive experiences with other prospects. This can be through word-of-mouth, social media posts, or reviews on e-commerce platforms.
The reason why they are important is because their advocacy is rooted in genuine satisfaction and trust. This makes their recommendations highly credible and influential among peers.
These ambassadors are thought leaders in their respective fields. For example, an athlete may promote a sports equipment company.
What they do is they endorse products or services that align with their expertise. This is often done by providing in-depth reviews, educational content, or expert opinions.
Their endorsements carry weight due to their knowledge and authority in a specific domain, lending significant credibility to the brands they advocate.
Affiliate ambassadors are people who promote products and get paid a commission for each sale or referral they make. They use affiliate links in their posts that track how many sales they help create.
They are motivated to drive sales and can effectively reach niche markets. Their success is directly measurable, making them a valuable asset for ROI-focused marketing.
These are employees who help promote their company. They share what it's like to work and get involved in company activities. They also talk about their company's products and values online and in real life (like at events).
Why do they matter? Employees provide an authentic and trusted voice, enhancing the brand's image and credibility. Their advocacy can also boost morale and foster a positive corporate culture.
So, How to Find Brand Ambassadors?
Finding the right brand ambassadors for your brand involves careful strategy and execution. Here's how you can go about it:
Step 1: Define the Brand Ambassador
Start by identifying who the ideal influencers in your specific area or niche are. What qualities or characteristics qualify them to represent your brand?
The ideal brand ambassador is relevant to your brand and has a considerable reach within your target group. They are credible, have made a favorable impression as influencers, and have a network of loyal followers.
Step 2: Look in the Right Places
Finding the right ambassadors means looking in the right places:
Within your company:
Your employees know your brand better than anyone else, making them ideal brand ambassadors. Their loyalty as employees motivates them to promote your brand to customers.
Loyal customers make perfect ambassadors as they are end users of your brand and are likely to speak about your brand on various platforms.
You can find potential ambassadors online where they spend their leisure time. Influential bloggers and active users on social media platforms can reach many people and change perceptions of your brand.
Step 3: Offer a Sample of Your Products
After identifying potential influencers, offer them a sample of your products or services. Whether they are already loyal consumers or new to your brand, they will appreciate the gesture, and it can help to cement them as part of your team.
Step 4: Maintain a Good Relationship with the Brand Ambassador
The relationship between a brand and its ambassador is symbiotic. As they contribute to promoting your brand, you should reciprocate with suitable rewards. This doesn't necessarily have to be a salary but can include monetary incentives or bonuses.
Taking care of your brand ambassadors ensures they remain loyal to your brand, attracts other potential ambassadors, and opens up more opportunities.
How to Effectively Work With and Manage Brand Ambassadors?
Working with and managing brand ambassadors requires a strategic approach that fosters mutual respect, understanding, and benefit. The following are some tips for working with them effectively.
Setting Clear Goals and Expectations:
Identify what the brand hopes to achieve with the ambassadors. Is it increased brand awareness, more sales, or a stronger online presence?
Clearly communicate to ambassadors what is expected of them in terms of content creation, frequency of posts, and brand messaging.
Developing a Structured Program:
Make a simple guide that lists the program's rules, what ambassadors should and shouldn't do, and your brand's style. Once you have done that, assign clear roles to each ambassador. While assigning, choose tasks that suit their strengths and the people they reach.
Training and Onboarding:
Give ambassadors easy-to-understand information about your brand's story, values, products, and who you're trying to reach. The better they know about your brand, the better they can tailor their content.
Also, teach them about creating content that your audience will like. This can be anything from how to speak and look to conveying your brand's key messages.
Building Strong Relationships:
Always stay in touch. Keep in regular contact with ambassadors, giving updates and getting their feedback.
Also, try to create a sense of belonging among ambassadors. Try forming special groups or get-togethers to make them feel like they're part of a team.
Monitoring and Measuring Performance:
Setting clear goals will be a good start here. Use easy-to-understand measures like engagement rate, views, and so on to track how well ambassadors are doing. Have regular check-ins now and then to see how they're doing and offer helpful advice.
Legal and Ethical Considerations:
Make sure you have all the legal paperwork, like contracts and privacy agreements, ready and clear for both sides. There are some industry-issued ethical considerations to be done. Therefore, ensure that you are following them.
Be aware of and stick to laws and rules, especially about telling people when content is sponsored.
Compensation and Incentives:
The payment should be decided well in advance and reflect industry standards. Also, decide if you'll pay a set amount, a commission, or a mix of both.
Think about offering special deals, access to events, or other bonuses that fit with your brand and are attractive to ambassadors.
By focusing on these areas, brands can create a robust and effective brand ambassador program that not only promotes the brand but also builds lasting relationships with key influencers and their audiences.
Wrapping up, you might have understood the key role played by brand ambassadors. These folks are key to connecting your brand with people in a real and meaningful way. Whether they're social media influencers, your biggest fans, industry pros, or your team members, each adds something special to your brand's story.
Now, it's not just about picking the right ambassadors; it's about working well with them. So, set up a good plan, train them well, and build a strong relationship with them. This way, they'll truly get what your brand is all about and share it with others.
Also, keep an eye on how they're doing and play by the rules. This keeps your brand looking good and trustworthy. And don't forget, a little thank you, like a reward or payment, can really keep your ambassadors happy and on board with your goals.
With every customer available online, brand ambassadors might be one of the best ways to get your brand noticed. Whether your business is big or small, these ambassadors can help get your brand's message out there.
So, if you're starting out or just looking to improve your brand ambassador program, remember how valuable these people can be. They're not just promoting your brand but building a community of fans around what you do.