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Tips & Guides — 25 Apr 2022
How to Find
for Your Brand
Brand ambassadors offer companies a way to maintain market share and drive innovation in an ultra competitive marketplace. From customer and employee ambassadors to affiliates and more, companies are keen to form partnerships with advocates for their brand.
Social media has changed the way we create and consume content. However, one thing has always remained the same: Consumers trust other consumers far more than they trust brands.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, brand trust is the second most important purchasing factor for brands. Earned media is far more effective than advertising with nearly seven in 10 people saying they avoid advertising altogether. Trust is won through personal experience (59%), earned media (44%), and peer conversation (39%).
A brand ambassador (aka a brand advocate) is someone who speaks positively about your brand. They’re often happy customers and always your number one fans; keen to go that extra mile to give your company a shout out.
They share their experiences of your products and services via world of mouth marketing and they’re the first to “like” you on social media—providing others with social proof that they can buy from you in confidence.
More and more companies are coming to see that brand ambassadors provide them with the best form of advertising. That’s why brand ambassador partnerships are now becoming popular company-wide initiatives. Having a brand ambassador program in place can give your company a much-needed boost in terms of both increased reach and sales.
Ambassador programs are official forms of collaboration between ambassadors and brands.
They’re often invite-only and the program details and legalizes the relationship between the parties. That includes the perks, such as free products for the ambassador.
Affiliate brand ambassadors promote products and services on their own platforms, whether that’s on social media or on their own websites. They’ll have a unique affiliate link that clearly attributes sales of your product or service to them.
In exchange, they receive a commission for every completed purchase. Many companies offer tiered incentives so that the more sales an affiliate makes, the higher their commission.
If you’re thinking about running your own affiliate program, or looking for a way to run your program more efficiently, it might be worth considering a partner marketing platform. And migrating to one is simpler than you’d think.
Affise allows you to import partners and all related data in a couple of clicks, so migrating to our platform wouldn’t take long. Additionally, our platform lets you automatically notify affiliates about the moving via email.
Brand ambassadors provide an extra pair of hands when it comes to marketing your business.
They come in many forms and guises including:
Customers are some of the best brand ambassadors, because they aren’t affiliated to your company, making their support the most genuine and influential.
Generating customer brand ambassadors who can spread the word about you gives you an authentic, boots-on-the-ground campaign that’s often highly successful. Customers are more cost-effective than garnering traditional endorsements, too, as you don’t have to pay them outright for their support.
Employee brand ambassadors know everything there is to know about your business and this insider knowledge makes them powerful advocates.
As an employee brand ambassador, members of the team can share posts on social networks, write articles about the brand, and showcase products. Through their positive reviews and referrals, ambassadors not only validate the company’s products and services but also the firm itself as a place to work.
Charities and other types of organization affiliated with your brand can also help positively influence purchasing decisions.
At first glance a brand ambassador looks very similar to an influencer. However, there are some important differences between them.
In general, ambassadors have a lengthier relationship with companies. Influencers are more likely to be part of a one-off or multi-post campaign, while ambassadors may work with a company for months or longer.
Not all brand ambassadors are paid, either, which you can’t necessarily say about influencers.
It’s not always easy to identify effective and trustworthy partners for your ambassador program or for any other partnership for that matter.
Here, however, are some tried and tested ways of identifying and connecting with potential ambassadors.
Consider sending everyone on your email list information about your ambassador program. Alternatively, select a group of people that appear to interact frequently with your emails (those that open, click, and share them). The fact that they’re already interacting with your brand regularly, marks them out as potential ambassadors.
Once you’ve identified some likely ambassadors, ask them to fill in an application form to kickstart their ambassador onboarding.
Interactions that take place offline are often good places to identify and recruit potential ambassadors. Ask customers face-to-face when they’re in your physical store, or take advantage of any networking opportunities that occur at events or gatherings.
Social networks are some of the most effective places for recruiting brand ambassadors. Posting on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere you have a presence, that you’re on the lookout for potential ambassadors should get your message out to a target audience of people who could be a great fit for your program.
Check out your mentions and #hashtags to identify the people engaging with your brand most. Use a tool like Sprout Social or Hootsuite to help you search for specific terms/hashtags related to your business.
YouTube is a highly influential platform for spreading the word about your brand, with a global user base of more than two billion people. 70% of people, what’s more, bought from a brand after seeing content on the channel.
YouTubers can provide advocacy to help you promote giveaways or contests, or help you get exposure for new product launches—or even simply post videos about how to unpack and use your products.
Bloggers make excellent brand ambassadors. They tend to be present on numerous social channels, so their recommendations spread further than simply their blog space.
A good way to identify brand ambassador candidates is to comb your own data. Cross reference the data on your CRM platform to identify who spends the most with you. You can then check out their presence on social media to see if there might be a potential for a partnership.
Software programs are also available to help you identify your perfect brand ambassador, and save you time tracking mentions of your brand manually. Once you’ve found out who’s talking about you, you can use fully-fledged brand ambassador software to help you reach out to them.
These platforms are built to create and nurture partnerships, and so are invaluable to help you find brand ambassadors. These programs pool together a pre-vetted database and use in-depth analytics to help access metrics including follower size, audience reach, and engagement rates for influencers and affiliates, and more. Using platform filters you can drill down to some top matches.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to developing a brand ambassadorship program, so take a flexible approach when starting yours.
Small businesses may want to maintain just a small circle of ambassadors while larger ones may be seeking to create an army of advocates to win new customers.
No matter what your approach, here are some essential ways to get started finding your brand ambassadors:
Don’t start an ambassador program because everyone else is developing this form of outreach program. Building a brand ambassador program will take time and effort, so you need to know exactly what you expect to get out of the program before commencing.
Your goals could be to:
Most programs are focused on building brand awareness rather than boosting sales per se. So you will need to track metrics relating to mentions, hashtag usage, and follower growth as you’re rolling out your program.
If you’re also seeking to increase sales, you’ll need to tie your brand ambassador campaigns to links that track this specifically, too.
By understanding your end-game before you get started with your ambassador program, your marketers will find it easier to pinpoint ambassadors with the same values that are able to help you reach these goals.
Brands have different criteria for selecting their ambassadors, so don’t try to attract everyone to your program. Having said that there are some general factors to take into consideration when you’re on the look out for advocates:
Most brand ambassadors are at the very least enthusiastic about your brand. They not only love your products, but their passion is easy to see when they’re promoting you.
Adding structure to your ambassador program shows you’re serious about building a long term relationship with these valuable partners. Depending on the type of ambassadors you’re working with (e.g., affiliates), it could be a good idea to establish guidelines for how you expect them to promote your brand.
Once you’ve signed up your first ambassadors it’s a case of keeping them rewarded and motivated.
Some ambassadors may be fine promoting your brand for free, but even so, it’s good practice to show how much you value their efforts with rewards. These don’t have to be expensive or even monetary, it’s more important to capture their imagination and attention. Think store credit, gift cards, and freebies.
Think about what motivates your brand ambassadors and inform them about when they’ll receive—after each post, each month, or each quarter, for instance.
Make them feel extra special by sending them personal thank you notes, giving them the chance to feature on your website, or running competitions to find your “ambassador of the month”. Also make sure you give them a shoutout on social media.
A good way to manage your brand ambassador rewards program is via brand ambassador software. You can use this to clearly state what they need to do to get rewarded and send out rewards automatically once they’ve completed a task. It makes sense to choose a software solution that integrates with the third party programs you already use. Thus, keep an eye on marketplaces that software solutions offer.
Once your ambassador program is up and running, you’ll need to keep track of a multitude of things. This includes the time-consuming task of having to track each ambassador every time they promote your brand, as well all the engagement and feedback received from each program.
This is highly valuable data that you can’t afford to lose, so it’s recommended to use a software analytics tool to help you bring everything together and save yourself valuable time. Here are some important marketing campaign metrics to track:
A brand ambassador tool can help you communicate with your ambassadors, manage all elements of the ambassador program, and help you search for new ambassadors.
Brand ambassadors can play an integral part in sharing word of mouth recommendations about your brand and building trust with potential customers. What’s important is that they’re truly excited about your brand and are keen to see you succeed.
Ambassador marketing is a smart way for brands of all kinds, from ecommerce and manufacturing to colleges and charities, to connect with and develop strong relationships with communities, cost-effectively.
To implement a successful brand ambassador program all you need is a solid strategy and a high quality ambassador marketing software solution.
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