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This post was last updated 3 months ago by Yusuf Odukoya.
In my experience as a marketer, I have seen so many entrepreneurs complain of little to no sales, but by the time we take a closer look, we often find out that only a very few people really know what the brand is about. A brand ambassador program can help to solve this problem in many ways, but only if done right. This is why we have written this article to guide you through every single step of the journey.
I have often said, the success of a business is partly based on its service and mostly based on its level of oversubscription; how many customers you’ve got waiting — ‘Waiting’ being the watchword.
Imbalance is the secret to achieving this. Demand must always outweigh supply.
You should always have more people wanting you than you can actually satisfy, but that can’t happen if people don’t even know you.
There’s a particular time-tested process every business has to go through before it can have clients or customers — It’s called the KLT factor.
And the very first letter in that abbreviation means KNOW.
People have to know that your brand exists before they can become your customers.
So, what’s a brand ambassador program?
A Brand Ambassador Program is a platform via which you, on behalf of your brand, formalises your relationship with a “public figure”, with the primary aim of leveraging their social influence and reach to promote your own brand.
You might want to consider setting up your own brand ambassador program for the following reasons;
- Build brand awareness
- Develop trust with prospects
- Strengthen already built trust with existing clients/customers
- Generate sales, retain customers or attract new ones
- Increase engagement.
So, if you are looking to employ the services of a brand ambassador for your brand, here are the few tips you MUST consider;
1. Set Specific Brand Goals
Dear entrepreneur or CEO. Whatever you don’t measure, you cannot improve.
And nothing helps you measure the progress of a brand ambassador program like setting goals or milestones.
You’d have to first evaluate your stand or position as a business, so as to confirm what you have, where you are, where you want to be, and what it will cost you to get there.
That’ll lead to specific questions like;
- “What do we hope to achieve?”
- “How do we hope to achieve it”
- “How many resources are we ready (not just willing) to invest in this program?”
If you’re new, brand awareness should be your goal.
If you’re losing customers, trust development should be your goal.
It’d be catastrophic for a business to lack a good understanding of, or mix up its goals. Resources would be wasted and regrets would follow.
Worse is, you may never want to try a brand ambassador program again, and that fear alone would be costing you a lot of money — You’d be leaving a lot of it on the table.
2. Develop Your Ideal Customer Avatar (or Buyer Persona)
As mentioned earlier, a brand ambassador program is an amazing marketing strategy that works wonders only when done right.
A Customer Avatar or Buyer Persona is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. This is not a real customer, but an imaginary profile of someone who embodies all the features of your ideal customer.
But first, before you sign that brand ambassador, do you have a buyer persona?
Have you done your research on their demographics, interests, preferred social media platform(s), favourite hangout spots etc.?
Determining your buyer persona is a big step towards selecting the ideal brand ambassador(s) for the program. The next point will throw more light on this.
3. Correctly Select Your Brand Ambassadors
For a successful brand ambassador program, there are 4 major pools I’d strongly advise you to fish from;
- Major Influencers
- Minor Influencers
- Loyal Customers
Major Influencers are those with massive followership whether live, online or on TV like popular thought leaders and niché authorities.
These guys are great for brand awareness campaigns; get the word out, since multitudes is the goal.
You can find them via different influencer marketing platforms.
Minor Influencers are those with strong followership but in smaller circles than the guys we just talked about above.
These guys are preferable when focusing on a trust development campaign.
The difference between them and the major Influencers in your brand ambassadors program, is that, when the major Influencers mention your brand, people try it.
But when these minor influencers recommend your brand, people trust it.
Employees, who I believe are employed, citing their belief in the brand (depicted in their work ethic) as one of the requisites met, should also be part of your brand ambassadors program as one of your brand’s ambassadors.
In fact, every employee should be an automatic brand ambassador
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In short, pick ambassadors as they relate to your brand and its core values.
One big mistake a lot of brands make is to select brand ambassadors based on their amount of followers only.
Whoever is picked as a brand ambassador, becomes the lens through which people perceive the brand.
You can’t be a vegan-friendly retail outlet and pick a well-known meat lover as a brand ambassador just because they have a massive following online. The success, if any, would be short-lived.
“Everybody in a relationship is an influencer” a wise marketer once said, “but the ability to discern which relationships you want to be influenced, determines the success of your brand ambassadors program” I’ll add.
Loyal Customers are those who have shown brand loyalty over time. They are those customers or clients who have chosen to stick to your brand unconditionally.
They are usually the easiest source of referrals to your business, because they compulsively spread your gospel.
Who else could be a better brand ambassador?
They also help with user-generated content such as product testimonials and/or Google My Business reviews.
Read Also: 10 Common Branding Mistakes You Must Avoid
4. Agree On A Compensation Plan And Stick To It
The worse thing that can happen to any brand, is for the same brand ambassadors who proudly endorsed them to unendorse them with testimonies of bad treatment or breach of contract.
Dear stakeholder or entrepreneur, do not, I repeat, do not let that happen to your brand.
Trust me, you do not want to see the impact of such scandals on your brand.
5. Build and Maintain The Relationship
After the brand ambassador program ends, do not burn the bridges!
One of the secrets to a successful brand ambassador program is consistency. Repetition. Continuity.
Influencer marketing strategy is usually a short-term business relationship, but brand ambassador partnerships are usually long-term.
Make the necessary sacrifices to maintain the relationship.
Keep the communication lines open.