This is the third of a three-part series on optimizing brand ambassador programs.
It’s no secret that consumers have fully embraced digital-first interactions over the past year. And it’s no mystery that brand advocates can provide a multiplier effect on digital-first reach for their organizations. Given this, many top marketers now recognize that having a brand ambassador program in place and managing it strategically has never been more critical to success. But as challenges in managing and optimizing these programs remain, leveraging technology is the way forward.
As Greenfly customers can attest, overcoming these obstacles by having the right brand ambassador program management software in place is key. It can make the most of your advocate relationships and ensure your program drives maximum business impact.
Brand Ambassadors Have Never Been More Important
Understandably, the world has become more physically disconnected, leaving brands with fewer opportunities to engage with consumers in person. Social media networks are now the hubs of community connection. Ensuring your brand is part of the discussions there is essential to success.
Brand ambassadors deliver the authenticity that consumers now demand from their online relationships. As your advocates, ambassadors can provide vital connections to consumers. They do this through their real stories and media they create and share for your brand. When the brand can’t be part of the discussion, ambassadors can jump in. They can authentically advocate for your brand better than any other marketing initiative.
Ultimately, brand ambassadors fuel brand love. Their superpower is sharing personal, word-of-mouth recommendations and engaging narratives with their followers and friends. Their passion for your brand organically boosts reach, awareness, engagement and revenue. And they’re self-motivated to build their personal brand, simultaneously creating affinity for the brands they love and support.
Challenges of Managing Ambassador Programs Today
Savvy marketers know that with organic reach declining across social channels, ambassadors provide a better way to amplify their brand today than owned “official” brand channels. These organizations have seen their ambassador programs provide inversely proportional returns. But as their programs grow, they struggle to deliver maximum value and impact, especially as overhead increases. Unfortunately, for many organizations, manual efforts and adding program staff to scale ambassador programs only go so far.
The reality is, many brands are stuck. They’ve got time-consuming manual workflows, inefficient back-and-forth communications, ambassador-created content that doesn’t work, or never-ending cycles of activity tracking. With too much friction, even great programs may never reach their true potential. This is an unfortunate waste of word-of-mouth endorsement and goodwill and loss of brand value.
From our work with top global brands, the following challenges have proven to be the most common:
Lack of Centralized Communications
Many teams struggle to work with ambassadors because they use personal communication tools like email, texts and Slack. One-to-one communication simply doesn’t scale.
Larger programs typically adopt group-based communications tools. They may use cloud storage systems and folders (Box or Dropbox) to share and organize assets and group chat software (Whatsapp or Viber) to communicate. These disparate, decentralized communications methods leave too much to chance, are easily ignored, and counteract scale.
Difficulty Managing Ambassador Requests
Ambassador program leads who work with tens or hundreds of advocates know the truth: Making a request can be easy, but organizing many responses is extremely challenging. Between keeping track of your requests to ambassadors and ensuring they did what they committed to, it can be overwhelming without a robust ambassador management software in place.
Consider a situation where you’ve asked your ambassadors for a one-minute video. Depending on your main communication method, it’s hard to say how many responses you can expect. This is especially true if you used email, since people easily ignore it. For those that do submit media, you can expect to get their files across various channels like text, email or Whatsapp. Even worse, your ambassadors might even post directly to their account — even though you specified a later date for publishing.
Media Creation and Collection Is Complicated
Ambassadors can create the most powerful content for a brand. However, requesting co-created media from your ambassadors has its own set of challenges. Briefs are commonly sent by email with attachments, with or without a script and examples. The ambassador is often left to determine the format and length needed. And they likely get little or late, disparate feedback and direction. Without the right brand ambassador software to make it easy and simple to do, it’s a battle every time.
Activity Tracking Is Very Manual
For program managers, it’s maddening to monitor the basic activities of ambassadors, keep track of campaigns, and ensure things get completed.
You might request your team of ambassadors to create a social post showcasing a new product. But someone on your team will need to go through each ambassador’s four to 12 social media profiles just to see if that post was actually made. Manual tracking is better than nothing. However, with 20 ambassadors, you’ll have to look through 80+ social profiles to see what they published. And that’s just one activity. Scaling your ambassador program past 30 creators can require a team (read: budget you likely don’t have) just to track activities.
No Easy Way To Measure Program Impact
Without the right brand ambassador program management software, it’s difficult to demonstrate brand impact and justify the program budget. If you can’t measure it, how do you know it’s worth the effort and expense?
Suppose 20 ambassadors each have a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram audience of 50,000 followers. That’s potentially a million new customers who probably aren’t following your official brand accounts. And if those 20 ambassadors post about a new product, how many more views, likes, comments and re-shares are you getting?
Tracking social media metrics like this will give you the impressions, reach and engagement metrics you need to show impact. Yet it’s a struggle to do so without the right technology in place. Our latest guide helps you overcome these five common challenges. Download it now to unlock the power of your brand ambassador program.
Why Use Greenfly for Your Brand Ambassador Program Management Software
Having the right brand ambassador software makes your program more effective by reducing manual processes and eliminating additional staff requirements. Automation technology, like Greenfly, enables program managers to do more with less. They can add more ambassadors without adding more work, and measure the program’s impact on the bottom line.
Greenfly is ambassador management software enabling you to collect original and authentic photos and videos from your brand advocates. You can use that media for digital marketing promotions to reach new customers. The platform is the new way to build your brand through digital marketing. Collaborate with brand ambassadors, connect with customers on social media, and promote your brand to new markets with authentic content.
With Greenfly, you can automate the management of dozens or hundreds of ambassadors to support the growth of your brand ambassador programs. Harness their creativity and social reach with the first solution created to help centrally manage them and keep track of their social activity. Ensure every ambassador has branded, on-message media, and collaboratively create media for use in brand promotion.
- Get your brand in front of more consumers, faster.
- Build strong customer relationships through your most loyal supporters’ authentic media.
- Expand your reach without expensive, inauthentic paid influencers.
- Enjoy intellectual property rights on all media.
Ready to Work Smarter and Drive Maximum Business Impact?
At Greenfly, we know how effective brand ambassador program management can be for organizations. Greenfly customers have grown these programs with just a few ambassadors. And they’ve scaled programs harnessing the power of thousands of ambassadors. They’re using a program team, well-defined processes and purpose-built technologies to communicate, create content and distribute it across digital platforms.
Top brands are using the Greenfly brand advocacy platform to power their growing initiatives globally. They’re increasing consumer engagement by 3x to 5x through their most trusted supporters’ personal reach and connections. And they’re watching their brand ambassador programs soar.
We’d love to help your brand ambassador program achieve similar success. Request a personalized demo today.
It’s Time to Prioritize Your Brand Ambassador Program
Get the insights you need to bring it to the next level — and benefit from more authentic content and endorsements from the people who love to love your brand.