Forbes predicts Americans will see 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements every single day this year. That’s over three commercial messages every single minute. With the sheer scale of intrusions, it’s no wonder people simply ignore most ads. Companies are noticing this, too, which is why so many are learning how to set up a brand ambassador program to tap into the enthusiasm of their existing customers.
Setting up an ambassador program makes sense because so many consumers are taking things into their own hands. They research brands and look to others they trust rather than ads. In fact, 82% of consumers proactively seek referrals from peers before making a purchasing decision. (Nielsen)
Every time a friend, family member or colleague shares positive information about a brand, they act as ambassadors. Some of the best companies are monetizing this valuable touchpoint and setting up an ambassador program.
Ambassador programs enlist people who love your brand. These individuals already promote your products and use your merchandise. They are loyal supporters on social media and YouTube. When the latest merchandise releases, ambassadors are first in line.
Managing company advocates through ambassador programs presents tremendous opportunities to build brands while maintaining authenticity. Also, organizations tap into the peer-to-peer influence that affects almost half of all purchasing decisions. (Nielsen)
For example, Salomon launched an ambassador program and reached 23 million people without a single ad. Learn more about Salomon’s successful ambassador program.
As with every marketing practice, you need to begin with the end in mind. Planning, execution and tracking are crucial. Below are five steps to help you learn how to set up a brand ambassador program.
An ambassador program’s primary purpose is to work with the fans who care about your brand. Asking ambassadors to apply makes the arrangement official and conveys your commitment to them.
The application can be a form on your website or a list of questions in an email. Keep the details in a Google Sheet or Excel. If you use a platform like Roster, your recruitment form is automatically generated.
Collect the following information about your ambassadors:
Once you have gathered the basics about your ambassadors, you can chunk them into groups. Ideally, your ambassadors will be different and expand your brand’s reach and influence. A mixed group helps engage with new audiences and communities.
Consider your plans and goals for ambassadors. You can group ambassadors using your organization’s priorities.
One strategy is to divide ambassadors by:
Ambassadors are vital to your brand. They believe in you and love your products. Remember this and treat each ambassador as a committed partner.
Organizations working with ambassadors continually see their sales grow. While people ignore ads, 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations. So, use your ambassadors to spread the word.
Discount links and referral codes are the perfect way for ambassadors to reward their followers and connect efforts to results. Shopify and other e-commerce systems can generate these codes.
Ambassador marketing platforms like Roster provide links and discount codes from one screen. Even better, Roster automatically attaches links to individual ambassadors and tracks results. Motivate your brand champions to spread the word about your business with formal referral rewards that link incentives to promotional activities.
Remember that ambassadors are your allies. They genuinely want and need to engage with their community. Building campaigns that foster engagement with their followers benefits everyone. After launching your program, designing campaigns specifically for ambassadors is super effective.
Since ambassadors are unique, don’t dictate how they implement campaigns. Instead, you should provide ideas, style guidelines, competitions and contests. Give ambassadors plenty of latitude to adapt marketing campaigns to their communities. And don’t forget to include referral codes!
After all the hard work, tracking results is the only way to know how fantastic your program is. Once again, consider the objectives. What activities and metrics measure progress? How often do you need to monitor results?
You can record the data in a spreadsheet and share highlights. Be prepared to spend a substantial amount of time tracking results. You’ll need to find every campaign’s discount code in Shopify and follow each of your ambassadors’ stories and posts. Also, monitor and record post frequency, followers, likes and traffic.
A much faster and easier way to track results is through an ambassador marketing platform such as Roster. Roster’s top-ranked platform combines social listening, a CRM, dashboard, rich user profiles, and integrations to eCommerce, social accounts and email.
Learn how Blendtec drives 10% of new sales through their ambassador program powered by Roster.
With the barrage of commercial messages out there, companies are ditching traditional channels. Savvy marketers are building long-term relationships with devoted consumers by setting up ambassador programs.
Marketing through people who love you instantly expands reach, lowers customer acquisition costs and grows revenue.
Now that you know how to set up a brand ambassador program, are you ready to get started? If so, this blueprint—Launch Your New Brand Ambassador Program & Template—is certain to give you a huge jumpstart.