How to find brand ambassadors
It’s safe to say that all B2C brands can benefit from finding brand ambassadors with engaged social media audiences — it’s a reliable strategy for increasing sales.
A mountain of research has confirmed that prospective customers pay the most attention to recommendations from friends and family, followed closely by recommendations from customers on your website and from social media influencers they trust.
Brand ambassadors can range from celebrities who promote luxury brands to any person sufficiently passionate about their favorite soft drink to debate the relative merits of Coke vs Pepsi. If a customer is willing to make the case for your brand — and they have an audience that listens to them — they’re a potential brand ambassador.
The forerunners of brand ambassadors were the celebrities who appeared in brand advertisements in the era of mass-market advertising. These days, social media has vastly expanded who can be an effective brand ambassador.
Mega brands pay the superstars of entertainment and sports huge sums to serve as brand ambassadors to promote their products on social media, but countless smaller brands have successfully leveraged micro-influencers.
Brands that are bootstrapping their marketing can build an effective brand ambassador marketing strategy by working with micro-influencers for a fraction of the cost of signing a single celebrity.
Where to look for brand ambassadors
Online retailers cherish every five-star rating they receive from a satisfied customer (and dread every dissatisfied customer airing their complaints online). Everyone who gives your products a glowing review is a potential brand ambassador.
What distinguishes someone who simply gives you a five-star rating from a brand ambassador is the depth of their knowledge about your brand and their willingness to advocate for your products.
Brand ambassadors don’t just use your products and tell people they like them. They learn about your brand and use their knowledge to persuade their online followers to use your products as well.
The ideal brand ambassador is motivated by the sincere desire to recommend their favorite products. Based on that description, the obvious place to seek brand ambassadors is among your own satisfied customers.
Here are a few ways to find them.
A well-maintained customer email list is among the most valuable assets an online retailer has. Someone who has given you their email address is clearly signaling they’re interested in your brand.
You can send an email blast to everyone on your list, telling them that your brand is recruiting brand ambassadors. Alternatively, by cross-referencing your email list with your customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can quickly determine who on your email list is already a steady customer and send a recruiting email to only those who meet specific criteria.
Just because you’re looking for online brand ambassadors doesn’t mean you’re limited to searching for them online. Perhaps your e-commerce business has a brick-and-mortar location, or maybe you participate in trade shows and consumer product expos.
When you’re talking to a customer and your instincts are telling you that they could be a good brand ambassador, just ask them if they’re interested. It’s a pretty flattering request, if you think about it.
This one isn’t too obvious to mention, is it? The same reasoning applies here as when you’re using your email list. Any customer who’s paying attention to your social media accounts is a potential brand ambassador.
Vestique, an online boutique for women’s clothes and accessories with 10 brick-and-mortar stores in the Southeast, has an ongoing brand ambassador recruitment campaign that ties in neatly with its overall marketing and branding image.
Vestique rewards brand ambassadors by giving them discounts on products, a home for their original content, and assistance building their social media followings.
Vestique uses a Jotform brand ambassador application template customized to collect the information they need. Jotform also has brand ambassador contract templates for when you’re ready to seal the deal with someone.
Every customer who has a respectable social media following and a demonstrated interest in your brand is a potential brand ambassador. All you need to do is ask them if they’re interested and be ready when they say yes.