One of the most effective ways to promote your brand on social media is through word of mouth recommendations, and companies with successful brand ambassador programs are some of the most effective you will find.
In fact, the very reason we love social media so much is because we feel like it is not the company hitting us with unrelenting one-way advertising. It is our friends, colleagues and peers who are talking about their favourite brands and indirectly recommending them to us.
That was part of the reason we recently wrote ‘why your business needs to be online’, because we saw so many companies missing out on this fantastic opportunity.
Keep reading for more.
1,413 words – approx reading time 11 minutes (the time it takes to learn how to put on a bow tie)
Whether you are brand new to social media, or have been around for a while and have a new product or service to offer, it is common to want to get the word out there. And of course, after many, many posts, photos, videos and podcasts, it is not long before everyone is sick of hearing the message and stops listening.
Thankfully, there is a better way.
Realise the power and influence of Brand Ambassadors!
As soon as your product or service is announced, it is not just you doing all the work, nor is it ‘the company’ flooding the Internet with endless propaganda.
It is now ‘your team‘ who are becoming influencers for you, telling their friends, family and followers all about this latest offering. And the next thing you know, the Internet is filled with a variety of blogs, Facebook and Instagram updates, and the like, all talking about and sharing details about you and your new announcement.
Existing Content Generation
Your Brand Ambassadors should have been chosen in part because they fit your brand, and they are already known for producing similar regular-quality content to their existing audience. They are trusted and liked by their audience who listen to them through whatever form of content they produce.
Whether it is a daily blog post, a weekly video, a regular podcast, or other social media content, they already have an established presence in the market you are trying to market to. It may be a specific singular market, such as women’s makeup products, or a wider market such as our Lifestyle-themed channel which incorporates a larger variety of topics including:
- Digital Marketing
- Health & Beauty
- Fitness & Nutrition
- Food & Recipes
- Photography & Art
- Wine Reviews & News
- Travel & Lifestyle
- House & Garden
- Pets, and
- Family & Parenting.
Your Secret Weapon
Brand Ambassadors are largely unpaid, and take on the role to initially to add endorsement to their own site or business. Paid advertising offers sometimes follow if this brings success and recognition. However, more and more companies are realizing the important role these ‘volunteers’ play in providing visibility and credibility to their own brand, and are starting to offer a greater range of benefits to their growing band of ‘secret weapons’.
Those benefits might be in the form of free items of promotional clothing, bonuses, and of course some financial payment upon sales of goods or services through their promotional activities. And once enthused, these guys will truly be your secret weapon as they come across social media at the more personal level, humanizing your brand in a way that you cannot.
They are not some faceless conglomerate shouting ‘Buy Me‘ to the masses, but regular girls and guys interacting with their online community about a product or service they believe in, and in a way you cannot.
There is something ‘normal’ about a friend posting a photo on social media wearing a brand T-shirt at the beach on a summer’s day. Perhaps he and his girl are just out for a swim and picnic by the waves, and they post the message, ‘wish you could be here.’ The photo is cute, the message makes us want to join them for a swim, and we probably don’t even pay any conscious attention to the hashtag ‘#yourcompanyname.’
That single post can generate more income for your company than a hundred paid ads on Facebook or one of the other social media channels. And why? Because we trust that person. We follow their account, we engage with them, and most of all, we LISTEN to them.
Personal recommendations on social media are gold!
Effortless Marketing (well, almost)
Just think how little work was involved in creating sales from the above example. You didn’t need a makeup or camera crew. No one had to edit and publish the photos for you, and there was no direct cost involved. You gained publicity, credibility and sales all through the efforts of a few key Brand Ambassadors, just living their lives and sharing their activities on social media.
Now of course, there was some indirect cost and effort involved in locating these people in the first place, and signing them up to promote your brand. And there is the ongoing support role you need to play to keep them ‘selling’ your brand. But compared to the additional dollars it would have cost to create the same amount of publicity and sales directly, I think you can see it is well worth it.
Is your job over as soon as you have signed up a Brand Ambassador? Of course not. We hope that you can now see the important role you have in fostering and growing this tremendous relationship into the future.
In fact, if it was done correctly, you should:
- already have invested considerable effort in ensuring the Brand Ambassadors chosen are a good fit for your brand, and have a good understanding of your expectations, rewards and payment
- ensure that an open line of communication exists, so that they can provide feedback and suggestions as needed – and know that someone is listening to, and acting on their feedback
- provide all they need to promote your brand from Day One. This might include quick turnaround of all legal/financial paperwork, premade banners ready to go for their website, ongoing campaigns to promote your business objectives, low-key photos and video they can use on their social media channels, as well as free promotional products.
Please do not see your Brand Ambassadors as a means of making money or covering your marketing costs by charging them to sign up with you, or expect them to buy your promotional products. You are asking them to promote YOUR brand, and if your marketing costs do not permit the small cost involved in having Brand Ambassadors, then you might need to rethink your marketing objectives.
You should be carefully seeking out these quality influencers, doing your due diligence, and then doing all in your power to assist and support them in marketing your brand.
You should not:
- charge them an Admin fee to sign up
- expect them to buy your products to get started
- make empty promises of listening to their suggestions, providing future promotional products, or simple website banners.
Over the years, we have had some great relationships with brands we have worked with, and some that, well, were not so good. Your professionalism as a quality brand really comes through when dealing with would-be Brand Ambassadors.
Most of us have been through a bad experience or two, and now can be quite blunt about OUR requirements, and what we would expect from you if this relationship is to work, and be a win-win situation for both.
So if you think a website or social media channel could be a good fit for your business, then seek them out by all means.
But be prepared to be upfront, honest, professional and genuine in the process. And who knows, you may just be able to work together with your new Brand Ambassador and enjoy many years of good fortune in the world of social media and digital marketing.
We hope you found ‘Why You Need To Read This If Your Business Needs Brand Ambassadors?’ helpful.
Please drop us a comment below and let us know what you think, and please subscribe, if you haven’t already, so we can keep you updated in the future.
And if you are looking for other great posts to help you with your business or digital marketing, make sure you check out: ‘Why your customer insights are so valuable.’
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
ONLINE FASHION STORE
Empowering people to live a healthy, authentic and fulfilling, personal and business life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure. We provide relevant links in each post to services or products of relevance to that topic. Many are unpaid links, while others may be affiliate links. They are included because of their relevance above all else.
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