Editor’s Notes: A few weeks ago, we hosted the first quarterly SocialLadder webinar, How to Effectively Recruit Ambassadors for Your Brand. Natalie Mehra, strategic brand ambassador consultant for SocialLadder and former field marketing manager for Bumble, presented. Natalie was kind enough to provide some top-level overview to publish here on the SocialLadder blog.
If you’d like to watch the full-length webinar to help round out of your understanding, click here or view the embed below.
How to Effectively Recruit Ambassadors for Your Brand
Words by Natalie Mehra
Two weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of hosting a webinar with Danny Herron, Demand Generation Manager at SocialLadder.
We covered a tough topic that many marketing departments are facing today: Ambassador Recruitment.
At this point, we all know that ambassador programs are beneficial. But before diving in, I encourage your team to think through two of the most important elements.
- WHO is your target ambassador?
- And HOW do we speak to them?
Why is Brand Ambassador Recruitment So Important?
I could go on and on about this.
Think about it this way: who do you want to represent your brand?
Interacting with a brand ambassador could be the first time a consumer is
introduced to your brand or product.
Your ambassador becomes the “face of your brand” — even more so than many of the employees at HQ sitting in an office or behind a screen.
Another way to emphasize the importance here is that you are dealing with real people — and asking them to do real things on behalf of your brand. Would you just hire someone at random, without any vetting, to work at the desk next to yours or run your sales department? I don’t think so.
A similar thought process and strategy needs to go into hiring ambassadors for your brand.
Define Your Ideal Brand Ambassador
Would you hire someone at your company without first creating a job description and defining the criteria/qualifications for this position? I didn’t think so.
The more we define who our target ambassador is, the more targeted and successful our recruitment strategies can be. In the long run, by honing in on more specific recruitment criteria, we can guarantee higher engagement and retention of these ambassadors, because they are the right fit for your brand.
It’s a win-win.
Recapping some critical steps to help narrow in your search – I promise this will save you time in the long-run!
Create a Persona: Remember when you studied marketing in school and they asked you to make consumer profiles or personas? The same is true here. We need to know who we are marketing to or recruiting before we can make a plan for how to engage them.
Define Criteria : Are there any specific criteria or qualifications required for your brand or program?
Find examples!: Find a North star and follow it!
Define Your Brand Ambassador Recruitment Strategy
Like anything in life and marketing, brand ambassador recruitment needs a strategy.
Create a timeline and goals for recruitment and clearly communicate these with your team. One thing I cannot emphasize enough is the importance of setting goals and making sure everyone on your team is in the boat, rowing the same direction.
That is the only way to get there!
Take a phased approach to recruitment – what does this mean?
If you have a newer program and you are trying to gain traction, I recommend starting with the “Outbound” tactics. Before jumping into all of the “fancy tactics”… think simple. Who do you have in your network or a single connection away? Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, or coworkers for referrals.
Everyone knows someone you don’t know!
From there, you can move into some more targeted outreach through online research and social media channels
Once your program is up-and-running, it is time to start marketing the program. Current ambassadors are a great way to do so! Have them promote the program to their networks and send quality referrals your way. This is personally my favorite way to find quality ambassadors!
Brand Ambassador Recruitment and Outreach
- Keep it simple
- Stay organized
It’s pretty simple!
Ambassadors will not respond if the message you send is copy and pasted into 1,000 inboxes… ambassadors want to feel like you CHOSE them.
Which, after all of this groundwork, you did!
Keep an Excel sheet (or another project management tool) of prospects and keep them updated with statuses, dates, notes, etc. This keeps things easy for your eye or someone else on your team jumping in to support. You will never regret being organized! This can also help keep you on track to meet those little goals you set earlier!
Post-Recruitment Brand Ambassador Onboarding
I can’t leave you high and dry after giving you the tools to recruit the ambassador. What will you do with them then?!
You wouldn’t hire someone at your office and on their first day just tell them to go “do your job”, right?
Behind recruitment, on-boarding is the second most important element of building a successful ambassador program. As the program scales, we want to make sure your branding stays consistent and we are always putting our best face forward out in the field.
Make sure you have a clearly defined onboarding process and can quickly activate ambassadors once you bring them into your network.
This is the time to really hook them and get them engaged with you, the brand, and even other ambassadors.