Brand ambassadors are one of the most powerful assets any company can use to help grow its following—whether you’re seeking to grow sales or climb to the top of search engine rankings. They are evangelists responsible for executing the most authentic form of marketing: word-of-mouth recommendations. Due to the significance of their contributions, businesses should understand how to reward brand ambassadors.
Studies suggest that more than nine out of ten people rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing often trumping paid advertisements.
“92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.” (NIELSEN)
Paid media, on the other hand, only accounts for 40% of lead generation and traffic. That’s why fostering a positive, reciprocal relationship with your brand ambassadors is absolutely crucial. They are the engine driving your brand’s online reputation, and showing your appreciation for their efforts is vital.
The role may appear simple, but it’s far from it. There’s a significant investment of time and energy into endorsing products authentically and cultivating a trusted following.
Good representatives dedicate countless hours to fostering relationships with their audience, creating trust and loyalty along the way. They more than deserve to be recognized and remunerated for their efforts.
Brand champions play a pivotal role in the success of many online retail ventures. No one excels in grassroots marketing quite like they do.
These representatives establish personal connections with potential customers, working in tandem with the brands they represent to build trust. The resulting benefits are immense and hard to replicate. As such, e-commerce businesses need to express their appreciation to their advocates without hesitation.
The following are the top four forms of appreciation advocates typically seek.
Often, a simple act of recognition can mean more than any other form of appreciation. Recognize their efforts by offering them a shoutout on your social media platforms or website. A public or private ‘thank you’ for their dedication can go a long way.
Monetary benefits are the foundation of many successful programs. Cash or equivalents often form the bedrock of rewards for representatives.
Companies frequently pay a certain percentage or flat fee if a customer is referred to them and ultimately purchases a product or service. Also. many businesses up the ante by increasing their commission once they hit certain milestones.
Offering discounts is an excellent way to show gratitude for their support. Providing these champions with a special code to purchase products at a lower price not only thanks them but also incentivizes them to stay loyal to your company.
One way to do this is by providing a unique discount code that people can use to purchase products at a reduced price. Having them share the discount code with their followers and friends also helps spread the word about the brand.
Another great tactic is providing them with complimentary products for achieving specific goals or reaching certain milestones. It’s vital, however, to tailor these discounts or free products to align with individual preferences and their audience. This increases the likelihood of your items being discussed and shared.
Offering gifts is an enticing way to get people talking about your products. Brands can also show off their products through genuine UGC. At Roster, we provide all the necessary product seeding and rewarding tools to adequately appreciate your brand’s champions and encourage them to promote your products.
With Roster, they can choose the products they like the most, making it easier to create authentic content showcasing your brand. And when representatives can select the products they genuinely love, they’re more likely to be enthusiastic about promoting your brand.
Additionally, brands can track their campaigns, manage inventory, and communicate with their brand reps. The best part? Advocates can choose their products directly from the portal, making the whole process even simpler.
By empowering brand representatives to select their preferred products, companies can inspire them to create and share engaging content. This UGC can help companies extend their reach, increasing brand awareness and building a flourishing community of brand supporters.
Often, those who adore and promote your products value exclusivity as one of the top ways to show appreciations. They want to be the first ones to know about and look at newly launched products and services. They want to receive VIP status at events organized by your brand, and they desire access to exclusive products or services that are not open to the public.
With these categories in mind, evaluate if you appreciate your brand representatives in the way they deserve. Then, consider the potential consequences of not authentically supporting their efforts.
The the perks of being a brand ambassador s suggest a variety of ways to express gratitude and appreciate your brand supporters. Following are three general forms of appreciation capture a wide array of potential benefits
The key is to tailor the appreciation to the brand representatives and their audiences. Improve the chances of the products being shared and talked about by getting creative. Think outside the box
Here are 15 creative ways companies can reward brand ambassadors:
In summary, companies have numerous creative methods to show appreciation or thank their brand representatives. They love receiving cash incentives, exclusive access, recognition, and reduced prices on merchandise. How you show your appreciation will depend on the specific goals and objectives of your program, as well as the preferences and interests of the brand representatives themselves.
One more thing, keep the terms and conditions of rewards clear and easy to understand.
One of the most effective forms of advertising is actually not ads. It’s word of mouth led by a community. While there are not many downsides, some of the most debated and common snags are listed below.
Many brand programs have missed the opportunity to build a tightly-knit community of individuals who are interested in a single subject matter. They grow inorganically, relying on methods or marketing messages that aren’t truly aligned with the brand or its benefits.
The crux of a brand representative’s role is their solid connection with their followers.
Marketing can only hit the bullseye if the target audience has faith in the advocate. The advocate must genuinely be invested in the company’s success. It’s glaringly obvious if they don’t actually use or even like the merchandise. People are quite perceptive and will instantly see through any exaggerated promotion.
If a company requests someone endorse a product that doesn’t seem organic to their genre, it could backfire significantly. The advocate’s followers would quickly pick up on the insincere promotion and lose faith in your brand. For this reason, brands should steer clear of crafting content creation guidelines that are too restrictive or stringent. When it comes to social posts and captions, let your advocates share the real benefits as they perceive them. Create guidelines for captions that offer advocates the flexibility to adapt and tailor them to their audiences.
Trust is vital if a company is going to grant its brand advocates a significant amount of influence. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully pick advocates that are well-suited to the brand’s vision, values, and audience. This requires an understanding of the advocate’s audience and content style. If they don’t align with the brand, their endorsement may come across as forced or inauthentic, which can harm the brand’s reputation.
While brand advocates can have a tremendous impact on a brand’s visibility and sales, it’s important to manage expectations. Advocates are not a magic wand that will solve all of a brand’s problems overnight. Building a strong and effective advocate program takes time and requires a deep understanding of both the entities. Companies need to understand this and avoid putting excessive pressure on their advocates.
Advocates need clarity on their roles, responsibilities, and what they stand to gain. Brands must have a structured program with clear guidelines and systems to reward brand ambassadors. If there’s a lack of structure, the program might become a breeding ground for confusion, miscommunication, and eventually, the people might lose interest.
Brand advocates are the beacons of your brand, helping light the way to greater brand visibility and improved sales. Their efforts shouldn’t go unnoticed. By offering genuine acknowledgment and rewards, you not only motivate them to continue their support but also attract more advocates to your cause.
So, don’t underestimate the power of a simple ‘thank you’, or the impact of a well-structured acknowledgment program. When advocates feel appreciated, they’ll keep shining the light on your brand for everyone to see.
At the end of the day, your advocates are your biggest cheerleaders and deserve to be appreciated. Show them that you value their support and you’ll build a loyal, dedicated team of brand advocates that will help your business thrive in the ever-competitive digital marketplace.
If you’re interested in learning more, we have a great article on how to find brand ambassadors. Roster helps hundreds of industry leaders capitalize on the power of their most devoted supporters, buyers, brand advocates, content providers, and affiliates. Sign up for a demo below to see how Roster can revolutionize your marketing.
It’s just good business. Brand advocates are the beacons of your brand, helping light the way to greater brand visibility and improved sales. Their efforts shouldn’t go unnoticed. Rewarding them through recognition, money, free product, and other incentives is a great way to long-term partnership. But a committed brand ambassador is truly cared for when companies have a robust right platform to manage the relationship.
Learn all the details about how to run a successful program and reward your evangelists – click below.
Here’s to creating a world where gratitude is the norm, and every advocate feels valued for their contribution! Because, remember, without their support, your brand might just be another fish in the sea.