What do brand ambassadors do? They align with great companies and products they love. Together, they form long-term partnerships to grow the brand and spread the word organically.
Are you thinking of becoming a brand ambassador? Fantastic! This is the perfect time.
Maybe you’re a company looking to expand your marketing reach with this form of marketing. Again, woohoo! This is a perfect time to set up an ambassador program.
Regardless of your situation, you need to understand the basic scope of what a brand ambassador does.
Brand marketing is evolving. Many changes happen due to technological advances, but others occur because they are so successful. During the last decade, ecommerce brands have pivoted away from traditional digital ads and focused on peer-to-peer connections, namely brand ambassador marketing. The mass addiction to social media (the technology side) and strategies that work (brand ambassadors) have created an incredible opportunity for individuals.
Before we get into what this person does, let’s define what is a brand ambassador and make sure we’re clear.
A brand ambassador is a person who authentically creates buzz with their network because they genuinely like a company. Ambassadors are often loyal customers and promoters who generate content, awareness and sales for a company.
Does this sound like you?
Now that you understand the definition better, we can unpack the role and talk about the actual work.
This article will focus on the functions and responsibilities. We’ll also discuss what ambassadors do to spread the word, how they interact with their audiences and the companies they work with, the responsibilities they have, how do they work, and whether or not they receive compensation for their efforts.
The foundation of every good brand ambassador program is passionate people who love a particular company or product. Ambassadors work with organizations to bring products, messages and brand awareness to their networks. The exact arrangement is distinct for every company.
What are the responsibilities of a brand ambassador? The scope of involvement ranges quite a bit depending upon the brand and the goals of the program. To understand their primary responsibilities, we looked at 50 companies that use Roster as their all-in-one platform for managing their efforts.
All good advocacy programs empower devoted people to bring products, messages, and brand awareness to their networks.
The number one thing ambassadors do is SHARE. In fact, 98% of all companies we examined specifically highlighted “share” on their ambassador application.
It’s no surprise that this is the primary responsibility. Remember the definition above:
Ambassadors create a brand buzz with their network.
Those with strong social media profiles and plenty of social connections are favored by corporations looking to form brand ambassador programs. To be considered for an ambassadorship role, applicants need to have a personal internet presence. Having profiles on social media sites such as Instagram is critical.
Ambassadors generate buzz and chatter in several significant ways. They spread the word about brands and products they use and love. It’s easy, and friends, family and followers know it’s real and authentic. This word of mouth is way more persuasive than brands running ads.
Case in point, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. (Nielsen)
Here are the audiences and communities companies want their ambassadors to connect with, spread the word to and share news and information with.
Some companies have unique or specialized requests for their ambassadors. Merchandise that might need more explanation or education is prime for advocacy programs. For instance, a health food brand asks that ambassadors spread the good word about actual nutrition and its products.
On, which sells Swiss performance running shoes and clothing, sends all ambassadors’ apparel and shoes. In return, On expects its On Run Crew members to wear the gear during runs, workouts and races. In On’s words,
“The easiest way to share is to wear.”
PNG (Pinnacle Nutrition Group) uses a smart and easy way to spread awareness.
“We ask PNG ambassadors to hold PNG sports bottles at all podium celebrations and apply PNG logos to athletes, helmets, jerseys, or graphics.”
In a very authentic way that’s impossible to replicate, they share their love, experiences, knowledge, and custom discount codes with their individual friends, family and customers.
Once again, in studying how some of the most successful brands work with their ambassadors and uber fans, we found many similarities. The top requirement was to create and share PHOTOS, with 93% of the brands listing this activity on their ambassador application.
Going hand in hand with photos is making and sharing videos. Brands ask for VIDEO creation in 73% of ambassador applications.
Tying for first place at 93% in the share category is creating CONTENT. Essentially, photos are content, so photos probably rank first as the most essential responsibility ambassadors have.
And, of course, they need to share the photographs and content with friends, family and other consumers.
There are many ideas for content. Brands especially ask for these types of photos, videos and content.
As an ambassador, make sure you create and share content that authentically features, showcases and documents how you use the products.
Content that tells a story and connects it to your lifestyle and community is particularly effective.
Coming in at a very close second, brands want ambassadors to ENGAGE. 91% request that ambassadors participate together with them. Engaging comes in a few forms. For instance, 20% of brands want their advocates to participate in campaigns.
If you’re asking “how does being a brand ambassador work?” The answer is, “engage with your friends and family and engage with the brand.”
Tagging and including hashtags is also important. Thirteen percent of brands specifically ask for this activity. As an ambassador, you should always tag brands and include relevant hashtags, even if a brand doesn’t specifically ask you to do this.
Also, all brands expect ambassadors to follow them on all their social media channels.
Since ambassadors are often customers and super fans, they can get an insider’s seat with company execs and product designers. One in every three brands highlights product feedback as both a responsibility and a perk of working closely with the company.
Not only do ambassadors get to spread the word about great brands and products, they also have a unique opportunity to help with product development and innovation. Another enormous benefit for brands is this open dialogue with committed customers and superusers.
At the same time, this opportunity is excellent for individuals as well. People who use products can have ingenious ideas to make them more useful and better. Ambassadors and brands that work together form solid bonds and long-term relationships. As a person wondering what brand ambassadors do, the answer is: they create partnerships.
Sometimes ambassadorships can be employment positions. Companies such as Red Bull, Wilson, PINK, Coca-Cola and dozens more have paid ambassadorships. These roles are akin to part-time jobs.
Salaries also vary widely. Compensation may be nothing, or it can be a portion of referral sales. Influencers with mega audiences demand thousands for posts and endorsements. For paid ambassadorships, individuals will receive an hourly wage. Learn all about paid positions with the Ultimate Guide to Brand Ambassador Salary in the US.
Ambassadors commonly track their working hours themselves and submit them to the company.
Responsibilities for paid ambassadors include:
Again, ambassadors are people who are enthusiastic about a brand and its products. They share this passion with their world of family, friends, followers and consumers.
With genuine interactions, they build company recognition and accelerate sales. These cheerleaders help companies grow with grass-roots marketing through personal connections and trust.
When it comes to understanding what an ambassador does, there is one key thing to remember. Ultimately, a brand ambassador is an extension of the company and, most notably, a long-term ally.