To have great results from your ambassador program, you first need to find brand ambassadors that are perfect for your brand and goals.
You can’t just make anyone a brand ambassador. After all, they represent your brand in a way, so it could actually negatively impact the campaign.
But what makes a good ambassador for your brand? And, how can you find those ideal candidates?
These tasks may seem daunting at first, but we’ve come up with a few tips to help you identify your most passionate customers and turn them into growth drivers. It’s actually easier than you think.
Identify your ambassador profile
Before you find your ideal brand ambassadors, you first need to know what you are looking for. Having a vague idea is not good enough. So take your time to determine what characteristics in a person will get you closer to your marketing goals.
The key to a great ambassador program is to find people who are truly passionate about what you are doing and willing to promote that in their own world. Meaning, current customers who have a connection with your brand.
This is probably the most important characteristic since you want the content they create to be as authentic as possible. People could feel it’s disingenuous and affect your trustworthiness.
Here are a few other factors to consider:
- Are there any quantifiable statistics such as follower count or number of past purchases to take into account?
- Think about the demographics of your brand and that ambassador, do their values align with the brand’s purpose or ethos?
- How do you see those values being portrayed once a relationship between brand and ambassador is established?
- Do you want your ambassadors to focus on driving conversions or awareness?
It’s important to be as specific as possible in creating your ideal ambassador profile so that when the time comes to reach out to potential ambassadors, you can filter candidates based on the goals and expectations you’ve set.
Where to find brand ambassadors
When thinking about where to look for your ideal ambassadors, there are three main places to start your search: your team, your customers, and your fans & followers.
Each of these categories contains real people who wholeheartedly believe in your brand, and who may qualify as excellent ambassadors.
Employees, volunteers, regional managers, and influencers can make great additions to your ambassador community.
They already have a familiarity with how the brand works and what it stands for, so becoming a brand ambassador is a natural transition.
Employee engagement is helpful because of the higher likelihood that the ambassadors will be more reliable, the ROI will increase, and engagement will likely grow as well.
At SocialLadder, we always say that the place to find brand ambassadors is your customer base.
These are the people who already took the first step in supporting your brand, and already know and love your products or services.
Start by looking into who is buying what, and how often. Likely, you will find there are a few standouts who show consistent support and are eager to be more involved with what your brand has to offer.
With SocialLadder’s Discovery Module, you can easily browse through your customer base with enriched data to help you find just the right ambassadors in very little time. Then, you can communicate with them, review applications, and manage their activity from the same platform. This way, scaling is not a manual process involving multiple applications and disorganized email threads consuming your time and resources, so you can focus on the strategy.
Your Fans & Followers
Recommendations are one of the best ways to generate new interest in your brand. Odds are, the people who follow and enjoy your product or social media content would also love to help spread that message even further.
It’s likely that your fans and followers are already posting reviews and other user generated content that promotes your brand in a positive light.
So, look at the people that are mentioning your brand on social media and that follow you. The good thing about this is that you know these candidates are active on social media and are comfortable sharing their opinions about products online.
Reach out to brand ambassadors
Once you’ve identified your ideal ambassador profile and where you will look for your pool of ambassador candidates, next comes the task of reaching out and beginning the process of including those people in your marketing initiatives.
Here are a few examples of ways you can reach out to your brand community to recruit ambassadors:
- Email your employees
- Email existing customers
- Send direct messages on your candidates’ social media
- Comment on your candidates’ social media posts
- Share a post on social media announcing your program
- Create a job posting
Now, you need a method to capture all the ambassadors’ information and organize it. The most common way to do this is by creating an application form on your site. This way, after inviting the candidates to join your program, they can send their information through the form.
You can also do all of this just through email communication and excel sheets if your program is small.
It’s important to remember that customers really do make the best ambassadors. Leverage your existing customer base by identifying & qualifying those that fit your brand voice, and invite them into your ambassador community.
Let potential brand ambassadors find you
Using the previous methods is the best way to find brand ambassadors that are ideal for your campaign. But, there will always be more potential brand ambassadors out there.
Many of them are actively looking to become one for your brand, but if you don’t have a page on your site dedicated to receiving applications, those people won’t get a chance to apply. Take a look at the following example from Celsius.
So, create a landing page for your brand ambassador program with all the information and an application form. This way, people searching on Google for your ambassador program will have a place to learn more.
You can also use this page to redirect the ambassadors that you reached out to.
Then, all you have to do is review the applications and contact the candidates that fit your ideal ambassador profile.
Something to consider is that if your program becomes popular, then you will be receiving a lot of applications. This means you could be spending a lot of time vetting. However, you can always close the application form and open it whenever you decide.
Build your ambassador community
Once your ambassadors have been invited into your community, building a lasting relationship is imperative. Make sure that they have all the necessary information to get started, assign tasks that are easy to complete, communicate consistently, and reward them for supporting your brand.
92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than any kind of advertising. That means that word-of-mouth isn’t just a more cost effective marketing channel, it’s a more authentic marketing channel.
Your biggest fans are already talking about you, so why not steer the conversation from the inside? It’s time to market through your customers, rather than to them, and find the best ambassadors for your brand.
For more tips on identifying and recruiting the best ambassadors for your community, get your free download of SocialLadder’s eBook How To Recruit Top Ambassador Talent To Represent Your Brand. Inside you’ll find tips for identifying top candidates, recruitment strategies, a look into the ambassador workflow, and more.