Integrating an ambassador program into your strategy can be game changing for brands. We’ve written about how brand advocacy can help promote your business – it’s no secret that brand ambassadors are a proven way to spread your brands message, start conversations and build a highly engaged audience. Brands have everything to gain from working with ambassadors, from authenticity through to genuine leads.
By investing in a brand ambassador program a business can streamline processes and make collaboration simple. A good program can allow brands to focus on business and ambassadors to spend time creating great content. A bad program can lead to poor communication and blown-out budgets. Like any decision some strategic planning and forward thinking goes a long way but the process doesn’t have to be time-consuming or arduous.
Here are 5 easy steps you can take to create an effective ambassador program for your brand:
1. Define your Objectives and know your Brand Purpose
Before building a brand ambassador program it is important to define objectives and understand what it is that you want to achieve. All good strategic decisions should be in line with business goals and brand purpose. Spending time aligning objectives and goals allows business leaders to be very deliberate with the creation of the brand ambassador program and ensure it has tangible and relevant outcomes for your business.
Having a clear objective is also essential to measurement – how can you measure the effectiveness of a program if you do not know what you are measuring? For example consider if your brand is looking to increase awareness, create more content, generate leads or build an engaged online community. Once you define what is important you can measure outcomes accordingly.
Lastly you need to determine incentives. What is your budget for each campaign, how will payment be exchanged and so on. By working registering with a program like YTAO we can simplify the process and guide you through an easy ongoing relationship.
2. Identify your Ambassadors
The next step is identifying what kind of ambassadors you want to work with. There are many types of ambassadors out there. If you’re lost between micro-ambassadors and macro-ambassadors, we have a handy guide for identifying which one is right for your brand. First, consider who your customers are. What are their interests? Where are your ideal customers spending time online? Which platforms do they engage with? What do they care about?
Once you define these things you can understand who might resonate with your audience.
Another important step is making sure that ambassadors align with core brand values and how your business is positioned in market. Think of a brand ambassador as a living embodiment of your company. If an ambassador is genuinely aligned with your brand values than they will be more passionate and excited about your products and become the ultimate evangelist for your brand.
3. Connect with Ambassadors
Once you have a defined objective mapped out and you know what sort of ambassador you would like to work with, the next step is connecting with ambassadors. This is often the most time consuming step as it involves compiling a list of potential ambassadors and manually reaching out on social media or via email and then negotiating the exchange. This can also competitive as potential ambassadors are often bombarded by different brands.
A way to simplify this step is to work with programs like YTAO who actively connect brands with a trusted community of ambassadors and advocates. The hard work of sourcing reputable and reliable talent is already done. Programs and tools like these make it easy to generate on-demand campaigns that measurably meet your business goals within your nominated budget.
4. Have guidelines or campaign brief
Once you have engaged your ambassadors it is time to prepare for a campaign. It is really important ensure that communication is clear and having a guideline or a brief can save both parties a lot of time. Written guidelines can likewise mitigate any risk of confusion. In the guideline you can outline your expectations of content, timeline, brand objectives and goals, detailed information about your brand and products, outline tags and hashtags and any legal or corporate considerations. Once you have a template in place the development of campaigns becomes easy.
An ambassador can reference the guidelines and feel confident and empowered to create independently. It is important to have trust in ambassadors and encourage creativity and independence. Think of guidelines as a useful tool to ensure that everyone is on the same page but remember that working with an ambassador is a collaboration and trust that they know their audience.
5. Measure your results and give feedback
Once your campaign has launched you can then measure its success with data. Be specific, remember to reference your goals often and understand what it is that you are measuring. Like any marketing campaign, it takes time to get right and the proof is in the data. By measuring campaigns you can give feedback and figure out what can be improved or where content might be lacking. It is also crucially important to give feedback about what has been done well and what does work. Make ambassadors feel excited and motivated and will be rewarded by more fantastic content.
Creating an ambassador program can be highly worthwhile for marketing teams and brands if executed properly. Ambassadors bring enthusiasm and creativity in the quest to tell the world about your brand. They create authentic content that resonates and can breath freshness into a marketing strategy. With a little foresight brands can approach the task of an ambassador program in a very intentional and effective way to drive real results.