Finding brand ambassadors means looking for people or individuals who love the niche that your brand occupies, but have not come across your products or services just yet. Or, even if they are aware of your product or service, they haven’t had any “close encounters” with it yet.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how you can find brand ambassadors for your company.
Step 1: Identify who your brand ambassador is.
Who is the influencer in your particular field or niche? What are the traits or characteristics that clearly make him qualified to represent your brand. Major brands have no trouble tapping on celebrities as their influencers, and they fit the bill quite nicely. They have a multitude of followers in their various social media accounts, and their widespread exposure practically cements them as individuals with a huge amount of influence.
For niche brands and smaller companies, however, that is just not practical, not to mention unrealistic. For one thing, they could not afford the atmospheric fees that these celebrities will ask, and they will most definitely demand payment. Another is that celebrities rarely allow their names and faces to be attached to smaller brands. They’d much prefer to stick to established global brands.
What should you look for in a brand ambassador?
- A good brand ambassador must be relevant. They must have a substantial reach to your target audience. An organic food company has no business approaching a potential brand ambassador who blogs about travel even if he has more than 100,000 followers online. The results will be better if they chose a food blogger who writes about food – especially healthy foods – even if he only has around 50,000 followers.
- A good brand ambassador must have credibility. As influencers, they should have cultivated a favorable impression. After all, they will be representing your brand, so you would naturally want one that people trust and believe in.
- A good brand ambassador must have good connections. They must have wide networks and many loyal followers.
- A good brand ambassador must be willing to meet you halfway in terms of compensation. Yes, brand ambassadors do it for free. However, you may expect them to ask for some perks once in a while. The two parties must be willing to talk about what they both find reasonable and befitting their relationship.
Step 2: Look for your brand ambassador in the right places.
Influencers can be pretty much anyone, and you will find them pretty much, well, anywhere. But it is one thing to locate brand ambassadors, it is another thing to find the right brand ambassadors for you.
You will find your brand ambassadors in these places.
- Within your own organization. Who will know your brand better than your own people? Look to your employees for potential brand ambassadors. They are actually in the perfect position to represent your products since they are already aware of how the process of coming up with the final output came about. Their loyalty as employees is also an additional motivation to prod them into becoming vocal and active in promoting the brand to customers. Between executives and rank-and-file employees, it has been seen that the latter group has more credibility as brand ambassadors.
- Among your customers. Take a closer look at your customer base, and focus on your most loyal ones. The customers are the end-users of the product or service you offer, so they are the best people to talk about it. Among your customers, you will no doubt find several hardcore fans or frequent users of your products. In fact, they love it so much that they will talk about it every chance they get, in any platform. They are the perfect brand ambassadors.
Most brand ambassadors today can be found online, primarily because that is their milieu. That is where they have established a presence and gained the following that you hope to attract to your brand.
Bloggers have a lot of power, and they know it. With a single blog post, the most influential bloggers can sway a lot of people and even reverse public opinion. That makes them excellent brand ambassadors. Look for blogs that talk about your products, or similar products. You can even search blogs based on trends currently making waves in the industry that your business belongs in. For example, a shoe manufacturer will look for fashion blogs, especially fashion bloggers that highlight footwear in their blogs. On the other hand, a company that sells organic food will turn to food blogs and even fitness-centric blogs.
Social networking services are also good places to search for influencers. Examples include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, to name a few. Usually, businesses start by watching a follower of their brand. They will take careful note of what that follower said about the product or the brand a whole, and observe the reaction of other followers to what they have stated. This requires more than a little research, since there is a need to track their social activities as well as that of those they have a regular interaction with online.
Step 3: Give them a taste of your products.
Once you have identified and found your potential influencer, you should send them a few products or perform your primary service for their review or consideration. This applies whether they are already loyal consumers or are completely new to your brand.
Loyal consumers of your product or services will appreciate the “freebies” once they receive them, further reinforcing your case towards convincing them to become your brand ambassador. In fact, you’d probably have very little trouble getting them on board.
In the case of new customers, giving them samples will introduce your brand to them and, if they like what they have been given, you can follow it up until such time that they finally agree to promote your products.
Step 4: Generate goodwill and maintain a good relationship with your brand ambassador.
If you hope to have an easier time finding brand ambassadors, you should know how to take care of them first. The relationship between a brand and its ambassador has a symbiotic nature. They are doing something for your business, so the business has to return the favor and do something for them, too.
While it is strictly not a salary, monetary incentives may be given to brand ambassadors. Frequently, however, businesses give its brand ambassadors the actual product that they are promoting.
Taking care of your brand ambassador will ensure that they will stay with you – and your brand – for a very long time. It will also attract other brand ambassadors, thus giving you more options.
As your ambassadors are promoting you, you should also promote them. This can be done by giving them credit, such that they gain a reputation of being an expert about your product or service. If you have upcoming promotions or new products, let them be the first to know. Talk about them and acknowledge them in your own social media platforms so you can also help them gain more following.
Having a brand ambassador program is considered to be one of the best marketing strategies that a business can employ. When you find the right ambassador for your brand and you take care of them properly, you will be directly impacting your company’s revenue and profit goals.