Brand ambassador programs are becoming increasingly popular due to their effectiveness at driving brand awareness and sales while being authentic.
It’s not surprising that brands like Lululemon, goPuff, Celsius, and many others have ambassador programs with hundreds of members creating user generated content, driving referrals, providing feedback, and building a brand community.
Whether you already have a brand ambassador program, or are just starting one, a brand ambassador management software will be crucial for effectively managing and scaling.
To help you with your decision, we’ve created this article reviewing the best brand ambassador management software of 2021.
What is brand ambassador management software?
A brand ambassador management software is a tool to help you streamline the different stages of recruiting, setting up, managing, measuring, and scaling an ambassador program.
Not every platform has the same tools, but generally, those are the main goals.
Brands use ambassador management platforms because the processes of recruiting, communicating, managing, tracking, and paying, can get pretty messy if done manually.
This is what manually managing an ambassador program looks like:
When you start an ambassador program, you have to search through social media sites–profile by profile– to find good candidates. Or have an application form on your website which might not get many applications or get too many.
Then, with the help of spreadsheets, you organize the applications and keep track of everyone who has applied to join your program. All while communicating tasks to ambassadors through email, Instagram, Slack, etc.
Once you have selected your ambassadors, you have to welcome and onboard them and hope that they join the team and get engaged. Perhaps you send them a “Welcome Kit”, but it gets mailed back to you because the ambassador moved and forgot to update you about their new info.
Then there are the ambassador tasks — you email or DM the ambassador’s info, but you find yourself following up and using social media listening tools to make sure the tasks get completed…
Finally, you have to track performance because you need to build a business case, but without a platform, it will be impossible to have a clear ROI.
This is where brand ambassador management software comes in.
Brand Ambassador Management Software Features
As we mentioned in the previous point, manually managing and scaling a program ends up being disorganized, time-consuming, and overall, not effective.
So the main point of an ambassador marketing software is to streamline as much as possible to allow you to focus on the strategy.
The key features you should be looking for are:
- Recruiting tools: Everything from finding candidates to onboarding.
- Effective communication: Communication is key, especially when you are managing hundreds of ambassadors.
- Assign ambassador tasks: You need a simple way to assign online and offline tasks to as many ambassadors as you want.
- Track online activities: Ambassadors will be creating a lot of social media content, so you need to measure their impact. Features that give you clear visibility on your ROI are a must.
- Track offline activities: If in-person activities are part of your strategy, you need to be able to track these tasks as well.
- Payment/rewards management: Managing payments can be a pain without a proper system to manage them. Whether it’s cash payments, discounts, or free products.
- Gamification: In a program with multiple ambassadors, giving them a sense of competition will improve your participation rates.
- Integrations: As with any other software, third party integrations improve the experience since you will need to use social media and other platforms for your program.
Do you need brand ambassador software?
Manually managing your brand ambassador program might seem like a good idea at first. In the end, you don’t want to spend on a tool when you are only managing a couple of ambassadors.
However, you will quickly realize that you need tools for a part of the process. Maybe you need a tool to track referrals or a tool to manage payments.
Many brands start like this and end up paying for multiple tools that aren’t specifically made for brand ambassador programs. This makes it just as hard to manage and scale the program effectively.
So if your brand is at this stage, it’s better to get an all-in-one solution. And if you are just starting out, you can use the manual method but have in mind that you will need software if you want to scale.
Now, let’s talk about the best software out there.
SocialLadder is an all-in-one solution specifically built for brand ambassador programs. It allows brands to efficiently streamline every stage of the process of starting and scaling a brand ambassador program.
With SocialLadder, brands can discover candidates, manage ambassador applications, communicate through live chat, assign online and offline tasks, track them, create affiliate/referral links, manage payments, and much more.
The software consists of an admin dashboard that gives a complete view of the program to your team and an app for ambassadors. Where they can easily complete their tasks, communicate, get their payments, and more.
- Ambassador Discovery: Powerful machine learning to analyze your existing customer database and find the right brand ambassadors.
- Application Management: Analyze your applicants, enrich their profiles and manage the recruiting pipeline from start to finish.
- Integration With Social Media: SocialLadder is integrated with Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Shopify, and more.
- Streamline Communication: Collaborate and communicate through live chat, news feeds and content sharing.
- Task Assignment: Bulk assign tasks to coordinate large teams and get real-time analytics.
- Offline Tracking: Track every in-person ambassador task and create hyperlocal awareness.
- Gamification: Boost ambassador participation and engagement by fostering a sense of competition.
- Rewards & Payment: Handle all of the nuances around rewards and compensation, inventory management, cash payouts, points, credits and gift cards.
- Referrals & Conversions: Allow your ambassadors to create affiliate/referral links and track every sale, download, sign up, and more.
- ROI Tracking: Have a clear, measurable ROI for each task and ambassador.
- Reporting: Real-time analytics and customizable reports give your team visibility into the impact on sales & brand awareness.
SocialLadder is the most complete brand ambassador management solution. With features that allow seamless collaboration with influencers and non-influencers for long-term campaigns. Plus, it’s the only platform that supports offline task tracking.
Grin is an influencer marketing platform for eCommerce brands. While it is not specifically made for ambassador programs and lacks features to support them, it has similar capabilities that allow brand ambassador management.
Some of these capabilities include the ability to discover and recruit influencers, communicate with them, manage content, manage influencer payments, among other things.
In addition, Grin offers integrations with major eCommerce platforms, social media, and other apps to provide a good influencer management experience.
- Integrations: Integrations give more power to software and Grin offers integrations that benefit ecommerce brands.
- Influencer recruiting: Similar to other platforms, Grin allows brands to find ideal influencers.
- Payment tracking: Grin also has the capability to make and track payments to influencers from the platform.
- Content management: The platform automatically pulls in influencer content and UGC that you can then download and repurpose.
- Tracking and reporting: Grin helps brands track important metrics such as likes, views and sales.
Grin is a good tool to manage influencer marketing campaigns thanks to its features. If you are planning on short-term campaigns with influencers and your brand is an eCommerce, Grin is worth considering. However, if you are planning on having a long-term brand ambassador program, you might want to look for other software built with brand ambassador management features.
Refersion is an affiliate marketing platform that also allows influencer and brand ambassador management.
Brands can sign up affiliates through an application form and easily invite customers to become part of the program. Then, Refersion uses affiliate links and commissions/gift cards to reward people for bringing in new customers.
Since Refersion specializes in affiliate programs, it doesn’t include features for content management or other forms of payment. However, it’s a good tool for affiliate programs.
- Affiliate signup: People can easily join the program through an application form.
- Conversion management: In the Refersion dashboard it’s very easy to see new sales generated and to approve them.
- Payment management: With Refersion, brands can easily process bulk payments to all their affiliates or send gift cards to their emails.
- Reporting: Refersion offers custom reports to have a complete view on the performance of affiliates.
- Turn customers into affiliates: Brands can automatically send a notification to customers after a purchase asking if they would like to become affiliates. Making it easy for them to join.
Refersion is a powerful platform for affiliate marketing programs. If you are planning on creating an affiliate ambassador program or affiliate influencer program only, Refersion has what you need. On the other hand, it lacks features to take ambassador programs to the next level. Features that other platforms include such as candidate discovery, task assignment, content management, and product rewards.
BrandChamp is an ambassador marketing platform with tools to build and scale brand ambassador programs.
Through integrations with major eCommerce platforms, BrandChamp has the capability of issuing referral links and discount codes for ambassadors to use in their content. Referral links are especially good for ambassador programs because they make tracking easier.
In addition to onboarding, tracking, and user generated content management features, BrandChamp lets you build a custom rewards catalog. So when ambassadors create content, they can choose their own rewards.
- Ambassador portal: Brand ambassadors get a desktop portal where they can participate in the program’s activities.
- Referral tracking: With BrandChamp, brands can track referral links on Amazon, Shopify and WooCommerce sites.
- Automated rewards catalog: Custom rewards are issued automatically to ambassadors, so the payment process is a seamless experience for the ambassador and for the brand.
- UGC collection: You can collect, store, and view user generated content from ambassadors in the platform.
- Real-time analytics: Thanks to the integrations, BrandChamp provides social metrics, sales revenue, and referral sales in real-time with personalized reports.
BrandChamp is a strong brand ambassador management platform with tools created for this type of program. Its customizable features offer a great experience for the brand and the ambassadors as well, especially the custom rewards catalog. This platform helps with almost everything in an ambassador program except finding candidates and tracking offline tasks. It makes the onboarding pretty easy, but you will need another tool to find ambassadors.
BrandBassador is an app-based ambassador management platform for eCommerce brands. Through the BrandBassador app, people can apply to any brand on the platform. Then, the brand can accept or decline the applications.
BrandBassador also has an admin dashboard where brands can assign “missions” to ambassadors in exchange for cash payments, gift cards, or free products. In the admin dashboard, the brand can also track key analytics.
- Ambassador app: Having an app for ambassadors simplifies the process of completing tasks.
- Gamification: BrandBassador also has a gamification aspect with their “missions”, which increases ambassador participation.
- Plug-and-play integrations: BrandBassador offers integrations with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.
- Ambassador applications: BrandBassador makes it easy for ambassadors to apply to any brands they like.
- Rewards management: BrandBassador also simplifies the process of payment management.
BrandBassador offers a round management experience with good features made for brand ambassador programs. Plus, having an app for ambassadors is great for boosting participation. However, the platform doesn’t seem to have any functionality for offline activity tracking. So, if you plan on having any field marketing activities, you will need other tools.
Final considerations for brand ambassador management software
The most successful brand ambassador programs recruit people who are passionate about the brand.
For the most part, it doesn’t matter that they don’t have huge following counts. The important thing is that they care about the brand so that their content feels authentic.
Plus, the ambassador community that you build will also be able to help you improve as a company through feedback.
So when you are considering choosing an ambassador marketing platform, make sure that it allows you to:
- Save time
- Find people who care about your brand
- Effectively communicate with them
- Seamlessly reward ambassador tasks
- Track all the metrics you need