It’s no big secret that organic reach continues to decline across social platforms. Fortunately, innovative brand teams have realized that in the age of digital-first interactions, this presents a unique opportunity for building successful brand ambassador programs.
Brand ambassadors wield much influence on social media. Their power is sharing personal, word-of-mouth recommendations and telling engaging stories to their friends and followers. Their love of your brand organically boosts reach, awareness, engagement and revenue.
When you have a successful brand ambassador program, you can overcome the challenge of limited reach from your owned “official” brand channels. Your brand ambassadors have the power to influence consumer opinion and become key to building brand awareness, driving loyalty and increasing sales.
All that said, it’s important to also distinguish that ambassadors aren’t the same as paid influencers. Influencers are typically contracted with brands on a short-term basis and are compensated on a pay-per-transaction model. While influencer marketing may serve short-term needs, it isn’t a good alternative to having a successful brand ambassador program because influencer marketing content often lacks the authenticity consumers now expect. Read more about how brand advocates beat influencers here.
Indicators of Brand Ambassador Program Success
Ambassador programs are a rapidly growing marketing strategy for top brands. However, taking that program to the next level of impact is challenging–especially if you’re still stuck with time-consuming manual workflows, inefficient back and forth communications, ambassador-created content that doesn’t work, or never-ending cycles of activity tracking.
The reality is, it’s inherently difficult to build a successful brand ambassador program particularly when you are trying to scale and manage busy, remote advocates with efficiency. How does one go about measuring success for a branding program?
Based on our work with top global brands, our new guide identifies several ways to unlock the power of your ambassador program. Here are three tactics to get you started on the road to success.
1. Streamlined communication with your brand ambassadors
Many brand teams get stuck trying to work with ambassadors using personal communication tools like email, texts and Slack. One-to-one communication simply doesn’t scale.
Larger brand ambassador programs typically adopt group-based communications tools. However, many-to-many group communications are inefficient, with ‘Replies to All’ or too many direct responses in one person’s inbox.
Having centralized ambassador communications is key to a successful brand ambassador program. Focusing everyone on a single channel or tool that has a mobile app designed for groups (and isn’t email or SMS) keeps communications simple. This way, you can keep conversations shared between marketing team members using the same ‘admin’ alias while keeping individual ambassadors private.
Even better, find a technology where communications and media exchange work together, so ambassadors have a single place to go for media, requests and communications. By making it easier to communicate with your brand advocates (with one place for communication and content sharing), the more your brand ambassador program is set for success.
2. Brand ambassador requests and responses are organized
Ambassador program managers who work with tens or hundreds of people know that the request can be easy, but organizing the myriad of responses is extremely challenging.
If you’ve asked for a one-minute video, you’ll get some responses, and media files will be sent through text, email, Whatsapp, or even posted directly to a social account (even though you designated a later time for publishing). Depending on your channel for communicating with your brand ambassadors, you may only get 20% participation in your campaign. And while this method may be acceptable for a program starting out, this prevents you from scaling a successful brand ambassador program.
Some brands address this organizational challenge by maintaining a spreadsheet and being rigorous about updating the sheet once requests or responses are sent. For many Greenfly customers managing a successful brand ambassador program, our platform keeps a record of your requests and responses to brand ambassadors, tracks when your request was completed, and provides social impact reporting. Request a personalized demo for your brand ambassador program here.
3. Media creation and collection is super easy with straightforward requests
Ambassadors can create some of the most powerful content a brand could ever want.
Gathering ambassadors’ original photos and videos to use in brand promotions provides real authenticity and reduces the expense and hassle of professional shoots.
But without the tools to do it easily, remote media creation and collection is a battle every time. Briefs are usually sent via email with attachments, with or without a script and examples. In many cases, your ambassador is left to determine the format and length needed and gets little or late, disparate feedback and direction.
Program managers know that straightforward requests are key to a successful brand ambassador program. They ensure that every ambassador is sent an easy-to-use media brief including instructions, brand guidelines, prompts, a script, and examples. The more straightforward the requests, the higher the volume and the better the quality of media you’ll be able to collect through your brand ambassador program.
Ready to make your brand ambassador program a success?
As consumers continue to move across digital and social platforms, organic reach decreases, and authentic content becomes more important, the time to invest in building a successful brand ambassador program is now.
Taking steps to implement these three tips will ensure you have a healthy, growing and measurable program. We are confident that when you commit to building a successful brand ambassador program, you can stay ahead of your competition and take up more space in the hearts and minds of younger consumers.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Greenfly can help you increase consumer engagement by 3x to 5x through your most trusted advocates’ personal reach and connections, contact us today.
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