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What is a Brand Ambassador and How to Become One_s

Tips & Guides — 25 Apr 2022

How to Become a Brand Ambassador

What is a Brand Ambassador and How to Become One

Here is what a typical day might be for many of us: you are woken up by your smartphone alarm. After hitting the snooze button mistakenly (or not), you manage to rise out of bed. You’ve already got your phone in your hand, and you notice a bunch of notifications.

As you load up Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or one of the many other social media platforms, you start to scroll through the timelines. That getaway in Iceland looks like just what you need–Nomadic Matt is always going to interesting places.

On your way to work, you notice someone on the train wearing a T-shirt advertising a new album from your favorite band. Interesting. You didn’t even know they had been recording new material. 

Now, what do these interactions have in common? They’re both examples of the influence brand ambassadors have on our lives in the modern world. 

Many companies are using platforms like Affise to facilitate eCommerce partnerships and expand their reach. Businesses are also increasingly turning to brand ambassadors as a way to reach their intended audience segments. 

A recent survey found that 75% of respondents allocated a budget for influencer marketing in 2021. You are likely already being influenced by them daily, but did you ever consider becoming a brand ambassador yourself?

What is a brand ambassador?

Brand ambassadors advocate for companies and help them connect with their targeted customer base. These brand advocates share their genuine passion for a company and its products on various channels. This can include social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, as well as blogs and videos on platforms such as YouTube.

Brand ambassadors are a form of word-of-mouth marketing and typically have a large or devoted niche audience. By employing brand ambassadors and influencers, businesses can leverage these connections to acquire instant credibility and expand brand awareness. A recent survey by ReferralRock found that 71% of marketers generate 20% or more of their leads via word-of-mouth marketing.

brand influencer
Source (referralrock.com)

Online vs In-Person brand ambassador

There are two main types of brand ambassadors. Those that work online, and those that advocate in-person.

Online brand ambassadors

These are brand advocates who shout from the rooftops of the digital world. They are influencers who participate in niche online communities built on websites and social media. Generally speaking, they:

  • Have an online presence and following on one or several different platforms
  • Create content like blogs posts, photos, videos, and other things to post online
  • Engage with their audience via social media, websites, and other channels
  • Specialize in a few areas–they are themselves an online brand that they sell to their followers
  • Endorse companies and their products and services online

In-Person brand ambassadors

These brand partners are those that prefer the power of face-to-face interactions. They like to attend large events and host groups of interested consumers. In-person ambassadors tend to:

  • Attend marketing events and large gatherings like seminars, trade shows, and exhibitions to connect with interested people face-to-face
  • Set up and operate stands, tables, or stalls to demonstrate products and answer questions with the public
  • Receive product and ambassador training by attending seminars 
  • Distribute marketing materials like pamphlets, posters, brochures, and stickers
  • Wear branded uniforms or clothing items like T-shirts or hats

Why are brands using brand ambassadors

Brands are increasingly turning to brand ambassadors to facilitate their word-of-mouth marketing efforts. Recently, 90% of companies surveyed by Influencer Marketing Hub believe influencer or ambassador marketing to be effective. Why is this, you ask? 

Well as consumers are shopping more frequently online, they are also becoming gradually immune to more traditional online marketing strategies. Google Research has shown that the median click-through rate (CTR) of ads decreased from 2.5% to 1.55% in Q1 of 2020. Similar trends can be found for display ads. And when it comes to social media, you can expect CTRs as low as 0.22% and 0.86%.

influencer marketing
Source (mediakix.com)

The good news? People might be ignoring your ads but they do listen to other consumers. Here are a few stats to consider:

  • Hubspot found that consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals
  • A Businesswire survey found that 61% of consumers are likely to trust an influencer on social platforms.
  • A 2021 survey found that 38% of consumers rely on influencer reviews for online shopping.

Benefits of becoming a brand ambassador

Brand ambassadors are passionate about the products and companies they support. However, they likely wouldn’t be shouting their love online and in-person as loudly if there weren’t any benefits involved.

Easy to get involved 

It takes time and effort to become a successful brand ambassador. But it doesn’t require a degree or certifications. The main barrier to entry is whether or not you sincerely enjoy a brand and its products, and whether you have a good understanding of online content. Usually, the only cost to an affiliate is a small amount of time. 

Social media platforms are free, and there are plenty of free blogging options with sites like WordPress. Anyone who wants to can take that passion and turn it into advocating on the channels of their choice.

Get free products and swag

As an ambassador, you can expect your beloved partner brands to throw you some freebies. Maybe they want you to use their newest and greatest product and share your experiences with your followers. 

free products

Not only will you get free products like branded merch, but you may also get perks like discounts and limited edition items. Also, you will often get the newest and hottest products early, and even before they go to market! They might even send some merch or gifts that can’t be bought from any stores.

Make money

Once you’ve proven yourself as a true professional, companies will be happy to compensate you for your services. After all, you are generating leads and conversions for them. Many successful brand ambassadors have turned a nice side hustle into a full-time gig. 

Once you get going, sign up for an affiliate or partner network which can help connect you with the best brand partners and advertisers in your niche. The Affise platform features CPAPI data transfer which means partners like you can link up with the best offers as quickly as possible. With Affise, you can filter brands and advertisers by geo, vertical, audience, promotion channels, and other methods to find the best match for you. 

Flexible working hours

As a brand ambassador, you are essentially self-employed. You decide with whom you want to work and when and how you want to work. The world of digital marketing is 24/7 365. Social media, Google, and RSS feeds never sleep, and neither does your audience. 

Content can be created whenever inspiration grabs you. And you never know when a viewer will clink that referral link. Mobile apps make it easy to create posts and engage with your audience when on the move or from anywhere with a connection to the internet. 

There’s something for everyone

brand ambassador
Created by Writer

You can opt for a diverse range of channels and platforms to showcase your skill as an influencer. For example, if you like writing, become an active blogger. If you like being in front of the camera, create a Youtube channel. 

Or if you enjoy public speaking, get into live events and seminars. And if you fancy yourself a bit of a photographer, get on Instagram. Many influencers find themselves doing a little bit of everything. 

Networking opportunities

Becoming a successful brand ambassador isn’t the end of things – it’s the start! When you become an effective and trusted ambassador, It shows you know how to market, communicate, and engage with target audiences.

As you discover new brand partners and engage with your audience, you never know who you will meet. You will likely meet a diverse group of important and interesting people along the way. 

Your experience working with customer engagement teams at professional and respected brands will only increase your value. Should you decide not to quit your day job, your role as an influencer will attract prospective employers looking for a skill set based around word-of-mouth marketing

Necessary requirements for a brand ambassador

We all have brands and companies that we love (or at least trust enough to purchase from). But becoming a brand ambassador isn’t that simple. Certain requirements must be met if you are to claim your stake in the marketing world as an influencer and brand partner.

Become a true fan of the brand

brand sponsored influencer
Source (mediakix.com)

A 2019 study showed just how rapidly the influencer market is growing. Despite all that industry growth, with an ambassadorship, you can’t fake it ‘til you make it! If you feign interest in a company’s products that you are lukewarm about, people will be able to tell. And if you actually dislike the brand, it is nigh impossible to convince even the most gullible of consumers. 

From your favorite brands, find which product or service category that speaks to you. Dig deeper into those products to see what sets them apart. Let your heart guide you to those products and brands that make you scream like a schoolgirl at a Beatles concert. But with that being said, make sure you always give your followers authentic and unbiased product reviews. 

Build an audience base

To become a successful brand ambassador, you will need to turn your sincere affinity and quality content into a loyal following. Beginners should start with niche or specialist brands and work their way up to more mainstream areas to build an audience. What number of followers you will need depends on your niche and the competition.  

Make sure to interact with your fans

Being a brand ambassador isn’t a one-way street. Sure you can create amazing, entertaining, and informative content. But if you ignore DMs, comments, and other interactions, you will find it hard to build up a following. People want to follow engaging influencers. So make sure you engage with them.

Part of attracting an audience means interacting with them as human beings. Don’t talk down or come across as judgemental to your followers. You are there to inform, entertain, and give your honest recommendations. Answer and respond to every comment respectfully. And if you aren’t sure about something, you can always touch base with your brand partners to find the right information. 

Also, be careful you don’t narrow your content and your personal brand too much. People can’t relate to flat and one-dimensional personas. Social media users want to follow someone that they can relate to as someone they would get along with in person. 

interact with fans
Source (slicktext.com)

A recent study found that the way influencers interact with their followers is important to show authenticity for over 27% of respondents. For nearly 24% of those surveyed, insights into an influencer’s personal life show authenticity. Start doing both of these things, and you are already halfway to winning over your followers.

Produce top quality content

You can’t expect to build an audience or get good engagement with lackluster content. Why would anyone want to waste their time reading or watching your content if you didn’t put enough effort into making it original and entertaining? 

Part of making good content also involves variety. Don’t just post the same types of content all of the time. Mix up the format with writing, video, and photos. But also create different types of content such as reviews, previews, comparisons, teasers, and other kinds of content.

Doing market research is due diligence for any marketer looking for success. This case is no different for brand ambassadors. Follow the top influencers in your niche and carefully observe what content they post and how they interact with their followers. 

Use platforms like Sprout Social to follow competitor mentions and the relevant hashtags for your area of expertise. Take good ideas and see how you can improve upon them for yourself. Learn from your competitors’ mistakes and avoid them at all costs.

How to become a brand ambassador

If you meet the main requirements, then you need to follow several steps to become a brand ambassador

Make your social media profile appealing 

social media profile
Source (instagram.com)

Whether you like it or not, as a brand ambassador, you are yourself a “brand.” In the world of influencer marketing, everything starts with social media accounts.  Make your platform profiles appealing and unique. It’s important to clearly define your personal brand of ambassador marketing

Don’t forget to add the most important items including links and promo codes at the top of each social media profile

Build social media engagement

Social media engagement sounds simple at first: create quality social media posts and then engage with your audience and their responses right? The reality is that getting engagement, interactions, and followers takes work.

You will need to research and follow best practices for each social media channel you use. For example, on Instagram, you should create your own unique hashtag. Not only can this help build your brand, but it’ll keep all of your brand ambassador content organized and easily accessible.  

Use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to stay organized so you don’t miss anything. These apps can let you track your mentions on platforms like Twitter. Your social media interactions are lead opportunities you don’t want to miss out on. Social media management platforms can also help you plan and create regularly scheduled content to increase your engagement rates.

Discover brands compatible with you

Take a good long and hard look at your interests and hobbies. Pay attention to what occupies your mind when you’re in the shower or lie awake in bed. These are likely the things most important to you. 

Then look for brands that collide with these passions. Find the brands that make the products you enjoy. And then whittle them down by discovering which brands align with your personality, ethos, and values. This will make the transition to a brand ambassador much easier.

Look for brand opportunities

Once you know what brands you’re compatible with, you need to be on the lookout for partnership opportunities and brand deals. Some brand ambassador programs are advertised on websites and social media channels. Sometimes, opportunities are posted in job ads. Platforms like Affise can be a great place to start when looking for brand partnerships.

brand opportunities

If it’s in-person work you’re looking for, consider exhibitions and trade shows. Some brands even openly recruit college students at job fairs. These can be harder to lock down, but if you sign up for brand newsletters, you will stay in the know. Also, never underestimate the value of a cold email. Simply draft up a nice cover letter and just ask your favorite brands if you can become an advocate for them.

Network with people

Whether, in the virtual or physical realm, you must always be networking. Attend an interesting seminar? Network. Share a brand on Twitter? Network. This line of thought can never leave you. Every interaction and touchpoint is a chance to broaden your horizons and widen your reach. 

Networking will help you gain more relevant followers efficiently. It will also help you discover potential brand opportunities that you would otherwise miss. With a big enough influence sphere, you may find companies will reach out to you to provide samples or even sponsorship.

Work with startups

Look for startups and small businesses to get your foot in the brand ambassador door. As part of a growth strategy, they are likely to take on less experienced ambassadors and micro-influencers with smaller audiences. For startups, any word-of-mouth channel that can connect them to their intended audience is worth a shot. As always, make sure you are compatible with the brand and believe in its products. 

Think like a marketer

As a brand ambassador, you will be joining the world of word-of-mouth marketing and beyond. To be successful, you will need to think like a marketer. That means it’s time to educate yourself. You can sign up for online or offline crash courses on marketing topics and things like SEO. 

marketer

But you really don’t have to get your wallet out to learn marketing basics. Instead, rely on free online sources like marketing blogs, social media channels, and internet forums. Build a firm foundation on digital marketing principles, and you will be on your way to becoming a converting influencer.

Check influencer recruiting platforms

Brand ambassador jobs can come from all angles. You should be actively seeking out those brands you feel most suited to. However, you also don’t want to miss out on compatible partner opportunities you don’t know about.

Wait, you’re thinking “how can we find an opportunity if we don’t know about it?” Simple. Sign up for and make use of partnership platforms. Services like Affise help brands connect with agencies, publishers, influencers, and other partners. These apps can also automate the recruitment and communication process. When it comes to forming partnerships that grow, these companies are the experts. 

brand partnership

They have data and insight like no other. What it means for you is that you will be set up for success. And with each happy brand partner you acquire, you will find it easier to match with another one.

Start affiliate marketing with brands

As a brand ambassador, you will already be selling your brand partner’s products and services. You may be getting freebies or even paid to market to your followers. But while you’re building websites and creating content, you can level up your partnership with performance marketing. 

Affiliate or partner marketing will let you have another outlet for sharing the brands you love and represent. Your brand partners will be happy to add you as an affiliate. It will help them better track the performance of your influencing efforts and reward you accordingly. 

Look for platforms that come with fraud prevention and tracking and attribution to make sure you get paid what you have earned. Forming a marketing partnership with your brands will add another revenue stream to your brand ambassador efforts. 

Affise makes it easy

The Affise platform streamlines the process of connecting brands, advertisers, agencies, and networks. Affise Reach makes finding the right partners for your affiliate marketing program  a breeze. The software connects you with the top brands and saves you time hunting for new offers and advertisers. It makes it easy for you to promote yourself and your marketing skills across a range of global networks. 

partnership

The platform comes with built-in tracking and analytics tools to help each partner get the most out of their affiliate pairing. With just a few clicks, you can see what offers are working and which could use improvement.  

Things to remember once you become a brand ambassador

Once you finally become a brand ambassador all you need to do is watch the followers and the money come in–-just kidding. In reality, becoming a brand ambassador requires continual effort. If you start slacking, you may see followers unsubscribe and your channel will underperform. 

There are several best practices to follow to ensure you aren’t left behind. 

Maintain healthy relationships

Being a brand ambassador means building and nurturing healthy relationships. The companies you are working with are your “partners” and should be treated as such. This means adhering to company guidelines (if any) and keeping your content and interactions as professional as possible. You wouldn’t want a coworker or colleague to give you a bad reputation, so why would you do it with your partner brands? 

Keep an open line of communication with brand partnership liaisons and don’t be afraid to give constructive feedback. If anything, you may be able to sell a company on expanding your role or brand ambassadorship.

social media post
Source (privy.com)

Besides the companies you work with, you will also want to maintain a healthy relationship with your audience. This means responding to comments and replies sincerely. Never resort to name-calling and negativity in public forums. Remember, if you attack one of your followers online, bad PR can easily follow. And the brands you partner with will be pulled into the mud along with your own brand as an influencer

When dealing with negativity and internet trolls, it’s always best to take the high road. Define your communication policies and adhere to them. But when that is not good enough, try to stick to using facts or diffusing the situation with a bit of humor. 

Take time out to single out frequent engagers. You can send your most active followers some free goodies from time to time, or encourage giveaway and contests. Make sure your audience knows you are one of them and lucky to have their attention. 

Use a good camera

The brands you are working with don’t use mediocre quality cameras to depict their product-related content. So why should you?

Besides impressing brand partners, you also need to be wary of the stiff competition in the world today to become an influencer. If you hope to be spotted amongst the crowd of online influencers, you better be using the right tools for the job. A good camera is a necessity to effectively perform the role of brand ambassador.

What constitutes a “good camera?” In many cases, a modern iPhone or Android smartphone will have a camera suitable for many settings. If you are posting while on the move or at live events, these devices are very handy and will get the job done.

business photography
Source (dpreview.com)

But if you are producing video content, you will likely benefit from a camera that is fit for your purpose. The same might go for niche products that require photos in dark places, with fast movement, or need detachable and zoom lenses for closeup shots. 

It all depends on what types of content and products you’re dealing with. It’s mostly common sense with these things, but it doesn’t hurt if you go and spy on your influencer peers to see what types of cameras they are using for their content.

Don’t oversell your product

Remember, people are tired of marketing messages. Especially online, people are constantly being bombarded with ads and having brands sold to them. A survey by Sprout Social recently found that the number one reason people unfollow brands on social media is overpromotion. 

bad brand actions
Source (startupcafedigital.com))

Don’t oversell the products and brands you represent. As an ambassador, consider that you are selling two products. The first product is yourself and the second or your partner brands. 

When a follower hits that signup or subscribe button, that is them signifying their interest in you. That means you need to maintain that interest – if you only focus on product photos, you’ll likely lose them. 

Don’t throw away the well-earned trust of your followers by bombarding them like a salesperson. Instead of only talking, make sure you are doing. Sell the brands you love by sincerely depicting your real-world and everyday use of their products alongside other content. Don’t force things like affiliate links, promo codes, or pricing plans down the throats of your audience.

When it comes to transactional calls to action, low pressure calls like “if you like this, you can buy it here.”  For your own brand, it’s “please like, comment, and subscribe.” For your partners, it’s about showing your audience what the products and services can do for them. Tell them “check this out” or “click this link to find out more.”

Offer things like live Q&As and tutorials to engage with your audience. These types of events will let personality and knowledge shine through. And they will also relate your genuine belief in your partner brands to your followers.

Takeaways

Almost anyone can become a brand ambassador if they really want to. The potential benefits make becoming a brand ambassador a no-brainer. The question is whether or not you are willing to put in the necessary work. It starts with doing your research and following well-established best practices. 

But you can streamline the process by using the power of a platform like Affise with advanced marketing features. Affise can facilitate strong and highly compatible partnerships that will be mutually beneficial to all involved. 

Once you start down the ambassador path, it is up to you to continually hone your craft. You must put in constant effort to grow your following, strengthen your relationships, create new content, and sell yourself. If you keep at it, you might even find yourself quitting your day job and becoming a full-time influencer!

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Affise is a partner marketing platform for brands, advertisers and agencies to scale via all possible performance marketing channels. Synergy of technology and our long standing experience lets you expand your partnerships, automate every step of the campaign lifecycle and make data-driven decisions.

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