PR ON THE GO July 22, 2023

Harnessing the Power of Brand Ambassadors: A Playbook for Entrepreneurs

Welcome to the latest feature of PR ON THE GO, where we delve into the dynamic world of entrepreneurship and explore innovative strategies to drive business growth.

In this feature article, we unlock the secrets to building a formidable network of brand ambassadors. Curated by our team of PR and growth experts, this playbook offers invaluable insights into the crucial role brand ambassadors can play for both B2B and consumer brands.

Find practical examples of potential brand ambassador programs, including user-generated content agreements. Explore the enticing incentives to offer brand ambassadors, ranging from payments and affiliate earnings to exclusive content and products.

Get ready to empower your brand and catapult it to new heights through the art of brand ambassadorship!

Let's hear the experts.

How do you build a network of brand ambassadors?

Trenice Brinkley, Two Queens Media

"If you're an entrepreneur seeking to expand your business and reach out to new customers, building a network of brand ambassadors could be a powerful tool. Brand ambassadors are individuals who are enthusiastic about your brand and eager to promote it to their own networks. So how do you build a network of brand ambassadors?

First, identify your ideal brand ambassador by considering factors such as demographics, interests, and social media following. Then, reach out to potential brand ambassadors and offer them something of value in exchange for their advocacy. Provide clear guidelines on what is expected of them, and offer incentives such as payment, affiliate earning potential, or exclusive access to new products.

Finally, measure your results to determine the success of your brand ambassador program by tracking metrics like engagement rates, referral traffic, and sales.

To incentivize brand ambassadors, you have several options. Payment is one, which could be a flat fee or a commission-based system. Another option is to offer affiliate earning potential or exclusive content, such as early access to sales or behind-the-scenes content. Free products or services can also be given to show appreciation for their support. Finding the right incentives will depend on your business and budget, so it's important to strike a balance between affordability and effectiveness."

Brand Ambassadors in B2B and Consumer Brands

Emily Reynolds-Bergh, R Public Relations

"Brand ambassadors play a crucial role in both B2B and consumer brands by representing and promoting the brand to their networks.

For B2B brands, brand ambassadors could be industry experts or influential professionals who endorse the brand's products or services. Consumer brands can engage social media influencers or even passionate customers.

Brand ambassador programs should include clear guidelines, agreements to publish user-generated content, and incentives such as exclusive content, product samples, or affiliate earning potential."

Brand Ambassadors For User-Generated Content

Sudhir Khatwani, The Money Mongers

"In a nutshell, brand ambassadors are your public cheerleaders. For B2B brands, they're often key clients who offer testimonials or share case studies, which highlight your product or service in action. On the consumer side, they're typically happy customers spreading the word about your products, often through social media and word-of-mouth recommendations. This form of genuine, trusted advertising is gold.

One approach to a successful brand ambassador program is to have your ambassadors generate user content. Take GoPro's strategy, for example, which encourages users to create and share videos using their products. It's a powerful way to engage and showcase the product in real-world scenarios. Having a clear framework in place, like an agreement to publish user-generated content, is crucial for maintaining brand integrity and ensuring content quality.

Compensation for brand ambassadors can take many forms. Sure, there's traditional payment, but don't overlook other enticing options like affiliate earnings, exclusive content or product access, and even special experiences. For instance, fitness brand Lululemon offers their ambassadors free products, access to exclusive events, and even professional development opportunities, all of which incentivize long-term ambassadorship."

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"Unpacking" Content

Justin Soleimani, Tumble

"Offering brand ambassadors exclusive new products for unpacking content should be both part of their payment plan and crucial for the overall marketing strategy. Unpacking or ‘haul’ content is a classic influencer marketing strategy where the brand ambassador opens up the exclusive package like a present on camera to be posted on social media. This gets a great deal of brand exposure to the ambassador’s viewers and followers, who will in turn follow the links provided in the video directly to one’s online store.

The more creative and fun the items in the package, the more the ambassador can explain to viewers, and the more excited they will get about the product for themselves."

Start Internally.

Todd Saunders, FlooringStores

"If you want to build a high-quality network of brand ambassadors, start internally. Your existing employees can make excellent unofficial brand ambassadors because they have a close relationship with your organization. Ensure your whole staff knows how to spot your "ideal customer," and encourage them to share your blog posts with their followers.

Another great source of untapped brand ambassadors is your most loyal customers. Those who already love your brand may be more than willing to enter into a brand ambassador program. Requirement-driven programs are often best for small businesses since they give you the most budget control. You can require a certain number of posts per month, for example, for your ambassadors to fulfill their end of the agreement."

Give Content The Human Touch.

Lisa Richards, Candida Diet

"A brand ambassador will use their online platform to create awareness and engagement for your brand while also promoting your products as trustworthy and effective. In most instances, the ambassador will base their content on their own positive experiences with your products, giving such content a human, authentic touch that their followers are responsive to.

Intently analyze your customer support and sales data to find ideal potential ambassadors. Look for customers that have had an incredible experience with your brand before, and have actually spoken about it with others online. Reach out and present them with the opportunity to be a part of your customer advocacy program. Outline how they’ll benefit from joining the program including any monetary or in-kind gifts and rewards."

Exclusive Discounts, Early Access, Referral Programs.

Billy Parker,

"Brand ambassadors can be a great asset to a company. They can help to increase brand awareness, drive sales, and create a strong sense of loyalty among customers. It is important to create a comprehensive agreement with the brand ambassador that outlines the expectations of both parties. This agreement should include the types of content that will be created, the length of the agreement, and the compensation that the brand ambassador will receive. Additionally, it is important to provide incentives for the brand ambassador to remain engaged with the brand.

A great example of a successful brand ambassador program is the one created by the clothing company, Everlane. They created a program that allowed customers to become ambassadors for the company. The ambassadors received exclusive discounts and early access to new products. In addition, Everlane provided ambassadors with a unique referral code that could be used to earn rewards. This program was successful in driving sales and increasing brand loyalty."

Free Product Samples & Personalized Codes

David Cohen, Badais International

"To build a network of brand ambassadors, start by identifying loyal customers, influencers, or individuals passionate about your products. Engage them through personalized outreach, highlighting the benefits of becoming an ambassador. Develop a clear program outline, including guidelines for creating and sharing user-generated content on social media, blogs, or other platforms. Offer incentives such as exclusive discounts, early product access, or even commission-based rewards to motivate and retain ambassadors.

In our recent brand ambassador program, we collaborated with influential gardening bloggers and plant enthusiasts who shared their experiences with our products and showcased our floral arrangements on their channels. By providing them with free product samples and personalized discount codes for their followers, we saw a significant increase in social media mentions, website traffic, and customer engagement. The program not only elevated our brand visibility but also fostered a community of passionate advocates, leading to higher sales and brand loyalty."

Build A Growth Community

Melanie Marten The Coup

"I worked with lifestyle and fitness brands that made brand ambassador programs part of their overall business structure. From the start, they offered shares in the company to, e.g., professional and amateur athletes in return for content. The content came in a specific agreement of, for example, four social media posts per month and a presence at the brand's events. The brand ambassadors were aware that their activity for the brand could increase the value of their shares; therefore, they were highly motivated to spread the word.

When you launch a brand ambassador program, take advantage of the opportunity for community building. Connect your ambassadors within a group and let them get to know each other, constantly share your brand's updates, image material to use, and suggest content they can use."


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