Direct-to-consumer businesses are constantly competing with each other to grow their customer base. It’s ruthless and expensive. A surefire way to spark awareness and get new consumers (before your competitors do) is to get spokespeople talking about you and recommending your products. The strategy is so successful that it has become a formal marketing channel known as “brand ambassador marketing.” It’s powerful and cost effective. Therefore, this article presents best practices for a brand ambassador program template.
Why launch an ambassador program? Today’s market thrives on genuine endorsements and trust. Such an imitative enables companies to harness the authentic voices of their staunch supporters to amplify their message.
At its core, an advocate program template is about consistent collaboration with individual champions. These are the influencers, brand ambassadors, affiliates, pro and athletes, customers, and more. Each resonates deeply with the brand’s ethos. These individuals use their social currency, both online and offline, to drive brand awareness, engagement, and loyalty. In essence, it’s a strategic partnership between a brand and its champions, aiming for organic growth and authentic engagement.
Furthermore, Tapinfluence and Altmeter carried out an online survey involving 1,753 influencers and 102 marketing experts. The purpose was to assess the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and compare promotional strategies.
Marketing this way is, by far, the most successful kind of influencer marketing a company can employ. Sustained partnerships with these brand advocates surpass affiliate links sevenfold and outshine brand-produced content by 50%.
This guide will save you dozens of hours and many headaches when you want to start planning and organizing your strategy. You’ll understand how to determine the roles of your advocates and how they can support your business and message.
We will also cover expectations and the steps to finding new advocates. Not only will you know how to recruit members, but you’ll also learn what comes next. An example is automating a welcome campaign followed by incentives for participation.
This 9-step guide is tailored to streamline your journey into creating and maintaining a robust advocate marketing strategy.
Initiating an advocate program requires clarity of purpose. Visualize your program’s endgame and set a launch date. This date acts as a catalyst, giving you a clear timeline for your program’s rollout.
Embarking on this journey requires a compass. Begin by defining your north star — the overarching intentions and goals. How do you envision success? Is it through bolstered awareness, solidified trust, or skyrocketing sales? Your KPIs (key performance indicators) will be the tangible metrics signaling your success. Your advocates, as pillars of your marketing and sales strategy, should embody these aims.
🤔 Ponder upon these essential aspects:
Perceptions of influencers have changed during the past year. It’s no longer an all-or-nothing proposition for more prominent labels where influencers must have a massive follower base. Attracting huge audiences is much less important than establishing trust with authentic engagement.
Whether it’s celebrities, content creators, employees, industry professionals, or even regular customers – everyone holds potential. Choose your advocate based on the level of influence that aligns best with your needs.
One increasingly common theme is that there is a place for everyone. Instead of creating a single influencer marketing strategy, companies design more inclusive programs that bring all their supporters into the fold. The trend is to make space for all of your brand supporters to participate, from celebrities and mega influencers to customers and micro-influencers.
Think of all the possibilities and levels of influence. Choose the influence type that most closely matches your needs when putting together your program.
Content Creators – Individuals crafting and circulating media such as photos, videos, and blog posts.
Influencers – Social media figures or bloggers with significant followers who promote products/services.
Affiliates – Partners who earn a commission for every sale or click brought about by their marketing efforts.
Employee Advocates – Company staff who promote their organization’s values, products, or services, often through word of mouth or on their personal social media.
Pro Team – Top-tier professionals or experts in a particular field who represent the brand at events, in media, and online.
Industry Professionals – People like coaches, trainers, or teachers who endorse products within their professional communities.
Brand Loyalists – Long-standing customers or fans who genuinely love and promote the brand without always being formally associated.
Brand Ambassadors – Individuals, often with a substantial following, formally recognized by a brand to represent and promote its products or services in a positive light.
Partners – Other businesses or organizations that form mutually beneficial relationships to promote each other’s brands.
Local Champions – Individuals who promote the brand within their local communities, often in person.
Customer Advocates – Everyday consumers who share their positive experiences with the brand, often in exchange for rewards or recognition.
Event Enthusiasts – People who represent the brand at various events, expos, or trade shows.
Micro-Influencers – Individuals with smaller but highly engaged social media audiences who promote products/services in a niche market.
Celebrity Endorsers – High-profile individuals who use their fame to promote a product, often in advertisements or on social media.
Niche Experts – Specialists in a particular field or interest who endorse products related to their expertise.
No two programs are identical. Each is crafted based on its objectives and product offerings. Regardless, it’s vital to outline the roles, duties, and anticipations.
🤔 Consider questions like:
To gain clarity, we’ve analyzed 50 leading organizations that rely on Roster to grasp these expectations better. Uncover the essence in our insightful article: What Does A Brand Ambassador Do? Don’t miss it!
Building mutually beneficial relationships is crucial. While people your champion your brand, ensure you reward their efforts. From product discounts, exclusive access to events, and even potential long-term partnerships, the possibilities for rewards are vast. Often these types of incentives are used in place of a brand ambassador salary.
Although the benefits and perks are limitless, there are 14 general types of rewards. They include: product discounts, free stuff, product seeding, gift cards, prizes, special offers, referral rewards, chance to be featured on website, social media, events and more, sponsorships, new and exclusive products, insider access and product development, live events, virtual events, employment, and long-term partnerships.
Unlock the ultimate treasure trove of rewards tailored for brand ambassadors in our must-read article: Perks of Being a Brand Ambassador. Transform your approach to rewards!
The heart of a successful brand ambassador program is recruiting individuals truly passionate about your brand. Before diving into the detailed steps, consider leveraging advanced tools. For instance, an innovative AI tool can help craft your social media recruitment campaign. Simply input “recruit new brand ambassadors for my company” in the topic field to get started.
Create a streamlined, professional application form for potential ambassadors. This could be a simple form on your website or an email questionnaire. Tools like Roster allow you to design an application form swiftly, storing all applicant information directly in your CRM.
Essential details to capture include:
Ensure your form highlights the roles, responsibilities, and potential rewards.
Hopefully, you have a tool for sending emails. If so, create a few emails to open the communication channel with applicants. Here are the emails you will need.
Application received email
Send a thank you for applying to your ambassador program.
You’re in! A warm welcome outlining responsibilities, rewards, and next steps. Include incentives like discount codes, which is usually expected.
A polite note explaining that they weren’t a fit for this round but encouraging future applications. Thank you, but not a fit. Please try again.
Regular updates about ongoing and upcoming activities and requests are important for your brand ambassador email template.
Enlisting advocates can take a bit of time. (Think marathon, not a sprint.) We suggest that you use multiple touchpoints to attract people to your program.
Leverage your customer base
Often, your existing customers are your brand’s biggest fans. A natural and easy way to grow your program or community is to get customers to become brand ambassadors. Encourage them to take the next step and join your program.
Announce your recruitment on social media platforms, and make it easy for interested individuals to apply by including a direct link to the application form. Also, consider adding a dedicated section or link on your website, perhaps in the footer, directing potential ambassadors to the application.
Send a dedicated email to your customer database and marketing lists about the opportunity to be one of your ambassadors. Regularly featuring the recruitment in newsletters can be an impactful way to remind and attract potential candidates.
Before you can effectively manage your ambassadors, it’s essential to understand their strengths and their audiences. Grouping them by similarities can help tailor strategies for maximum brand reach. By diversifying your community, your brand will appeal to a broader demographic.
🤔 Consider these criteria when categorizing:
As applications arrive, automate your system to confirm receipt and provide a timeline for when they can expect further communication. Once you’ve decided on the selections, ensure timely follow-up emails to both accepted and declined applicants.
The welcome campaign is your first official communication with your newest advocates. Get them excited! You’ll want to check out: Blueprint for an Unforgettable Welcome Campaign.
From the day they join the program, greet the latest advocates. Provide people with information about the program. Let them know their first task or job. Briefly describe the campaign, identify the goals, and what they get for participating.
Engaging with your community is not just a one-time affair. It’s an ongoing commitment that requires regular touchpoints to foster a sense of belonging and purpose. Here’s some ideas for maintaining an open line of communication.
Keep your advocates informed about program alterations, new campaigns, activities, and pivotal brand updates. This ensures they remain aligned with the brand’s direction and goals.
Create avenues to share experiences and seek clarifications. These interactions can provide invaluable insights for both sides. For example, Roster’s portal.
Celebrate achievements and milestones often. Highlighting successes, whether through a social media mention or a personalized note, boosts morale and motivation.
Periodically gauge satisfaction and gather feedback using short surveys. This not only provides valuable insights but also ensures your team feels valued and included.
Through steady and purposeful communication, you can foster a tight-knit community, ensuring a successful collaboration with your representatives.
Effective oversight is crucial to ensuring the success of any program. Here’s how you can strategically manage and monitor your team’s performance.
Establish clear benchmarks to gauge individual contributions. Metrics might include content quality, engagement rates, and inbound traffic.
Schedule periodic meetings to discuss progress, address concerns, and recalibrate strategies. These touchpoints can also serve as motivation boosts for your team.
Leverage software solutions to track and analyze key performance indicators in real-time. These platforms can simplify tasks, from tracking referral revenue to understanding the impact of shared content.
Encourage team members to share their experiences and feedback. Listening can reveal areas for program improvement and further growth opportunities.
Stay flexible. If real-time data suggests a shift in strategy is needed, be ready to adapt. Constant evolution is key to staying relevant and effective.
By maintaining oversight and being responsive to changing dynamics, you can ensure your program’s success and cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with your brand representatives.
Starting your new program from scratch is an enormous job. The purpose of this brand ambassador template is to help shorten your learning curve and provide the process to get you up and running quickly.
It’s common for companies to experiment with marketing initiatives. However, they often become overwhelmed with the tasks and requirements. It doesn’t take long to discover it is too much work for them to maintain and scale.
Managing all the campaign KPIs without an automated solution is messy and tricky. Additionally, things get even more challenging when determining the ROI by hand. The telltale symptoms are two screens with hundreds of windows active and hours spent entering data into an enormous spreadsheet.
Frequently brands are forced to ask influencers to submit screenshots of their social posts and metrics. Not very professional or efficient. Experts like Roster offer specialized software and features that help companies start entirely new ambassador programs in a few days. Also, most brands spend just two or three hours a week managing and scaling their programs. You can see how it works by scheduling a demo. We’d love to chat!