How you decide to reward brand ambassadors will have a major impact on the performance of your team.
The rewards are meant to motivate your ambassadors to participate in tasks as much as possible while having a great experience.
Unappealing rewards will result in low participation rates and super appealing rewards will be too expensive.
So, what is the best way for your brand to compensate brand ambassadors?
To help you make your decision, we made this guide. By the end, you should have a pretty clear idea of what to do next.
Plus, we share our recommended rewards system to maximize performance without breaking the bank.
Let’s get started.
What counts as a brand ambassador?
But first, some clarifications.
When we talk about brand ambassadors we just mean an individual in a long-term partnership with a brand.
This includes creators, influencers, “normal” people, employees, college students, affiliates, athletes, etc.
Basically, if you invite anyone to represent your brand in a positive light through promotional tasks or even just being part of your community on a long-term basis, they are a brand ambassador.
So, this guide will help you decide how you can reward influencers, creators, and everyone else who is part of your ambassador community.
To learn more about ambassador programs, check out this other guide.
Reward brand ambassadors through cash payments
The most straightforward method for paying your ambassadors is through cash.
In exchange for promotional tasks, your ambassadors can get a base reward.
This reward would depend on your budget and goals for your program.
A common example for this would be sending your ambassador community a task like the following:
Please go to our new store location at “example location”, take a picture of yourself with the product and post an Instagram story. In exchange for completing this task, you can get $10.
Or it can be something as simple as:
Post a TikTok doing a tutorial with the product we just launched in exchange for $25.
Make sure you think about the size of your ambassador community, the complexity of the task, and, of course, your budget.
The cash reward has to be enough to motivate people to do the task but without using all of your budgets in case a lot of ambassadors participate.
The benefits of using this compensation method are that your ambassadors have a clear return from their time and also its simplicity, which a lot of people appreciate.
Create a point system to compensate brand ambassadors
A point system is a method where brands give their ambassadors points for completing tasks.
Similarly to cash rewards.
The main difference is that these points could be exchanged for cash or products.
Just like a game.
And that’s why this payment method is so effective at increasing ambassador participation and commitment to your program.
Gamification is something that many ambassador programs use to do just that.
In a way, it makes it more fun for the ambassadors
In addition, it allows ambassadors to choose the reward they like the most, which in turn, will motivate them even more to do promotional tasks.
Setting up a point system is relatively easy.
Your team first needs to decide which rewards to offer. It can be all your products, just a selection, an exclusive experience, cash, or a combination.
Then, think about the cost of each of these rewards and decide how much 1 point is equal to.
Obviously, the easiest way to manage this is that 1 point equals 1 dollar, but you can do it differently.
Finally, think about the tasks you want ambassadors to do.
Easier tasks should give fewer points than more complex ones.
So for example, posting an Instagram story should give fewer points than hosting an in-person event.
After you decide how your point system is going to work, you will need a brand ambassador management platform that helps you keep track of everything, assign points for completed tasks, and fulfill the rewards.
Check out this list to help you decide which creator management platform is the best for you.
Brand ambassador payments through free products
If you did your creator ambassador recruiting following the best practices, your ambassadors will already be fans of your brand.
Which means that giving out free products will be a key motivator of ambassador participation.
Who doesn’t love free products from their favorite brand?
In addition, if your ambassadors have your newest products, they will be more effective at promoting them.
So, how would this work?
It all depends on your tasks and budget.
If you’re planning to have regular tasks for many ambassadors, it wouldn’t make sense to gift a product for each completed task. It would be too expensive.
These are the best way to reward brand ambassadors through free products.
Gifting free products works great as an occasional campaign.
For example, when you just launched a new collection and want to bring as much awareness to it, you can send your ambassadors the free product and ask them to post a few TikToks, Instagram posts, or whatever you want.
By doing so, you’re driving awareness and sales but without giving away too much of your budget.
Another very common way of handling free products as payment is by sending your top ambassadors a package of free products every month and asking for a specific number of tasks they need to complete.
Again, what you include in this package will depend on the number of ambassadors you have and the cost of your products.
If you have 5 top-performing ambassadors you can even send them an expensive package.
But if you want to do this for 1000 ambassadors, it wouldn’t be a great idea to gift $500 packages to each one.
Typical monthly product packages range from $50 to $500.
But of course, you can do less or more.
Another very common method of gifting products is through store credit.
Let’s say you work for an apparel brand. You can give your top ambassadors $100 in store credit and ask them to create a complete outfit.
Once they have chosen the clothes they like the most, they have to create 3 TikToks, 1 Instagram post, and a story talking about the store’s Black Friday discounts, for example.
You can repeat this every month for the best performing ambassadors.
Recommended: Creating a Budget for your ambassador community
Reward brand ambassadors with discounts
Just like with free products, your “fan” ambassadors will appreciate the opportunity to get discounts for their tasks.
This can be a perk that every ambassador gets just for being part of your community or it can be a reward for completing a specific task.
This compensation method is great because you’re not spending too much.
However, you need to keep in mind the types of tasks you will be asking of your ambassadors since a discount is great, but it might not motivate many to do particular tasks.
Offer commissions as payment for ambassadors
In an ambassador program, you can give a commission to your ambassadors for each referral or sale they generate.
Commissions are a win-win because ambassadors can earn as much money as they want if they put in the work, and the brand only has to pay for results.
This type of payment method works great as the only method in a program or as a complement.
We’re seeing a lot of programs doing the usual free product rewards and also giving ambassadors affiliate links or codes as an additional way of earning more rewards.
This way ambassadors are motivated to promote the brand as much as they want.
One way to do this is by giving a base reward for every referral, for example, $10, or a percentage of the sale.
In order to offer this reward, you will need a tool that allows you to generate affiliate links and track purchases.
Offer exclusive perks
Many brand ambassador programs like to offer exclusive perks in addition to other compensation methods.
They do this to give ambassadors a better experience, show appreciation, and increase their commitment and loyalty.
Perks make ambassadors feel like part of a special group, which they are.
And that’s what community is all about.
If you’re not sure what special perks look like, here’s a list with a few examples:
- Early access to new releases
- Mentoring and coaching
- Spotlight on brand’s social media
- Free access to brand events
- Invitation to the brand’s headquarters
Anything that makes ambassadors feel more connected to the brand and the community is an exclusive perk.
Reward top-performing ambassadors with bonuses
Bonuses are a great way to incentivize ambassador participation and increase the overall performance of your team.
Motivate ambassadors to do more promotional tasks by telling them that the top performer(s) of the month will get an additional reward.
This reward can be a cash prize, points, store credit, or whatever you want.
Just try to make it exciting enough so that everyone wants to have it.
You can also offer this to team leaders, in case you have several ambassador teams.
This sense of competition will increase long-term engagement and make it much more fun for the brand ambassadors.
The only thing you need to do is decide the prize and keep track of how many sales/points every everyone generates.
Reward brand ambassadors through a combination of methods
Finally, probably the best way to pay ambassadors is through a combination of the methods we talked about.
The great thing about an ambassador program is that you have the freedom to do whatever you want in order to incentivize ambassadors in a way that makes sense for your brand.
Every method has its benefits and they work together very well to motivate ambassadors and generate a great ROI.
1. Use a point system so ambassadors choose their own rewards for their tasks.
2. Offer a bonus to the people that have the most points or sales at the end of the month.
3. Give your ambassadors affiliate links so they are motivated to promote your brand even more.
4. Give exclusive perks so that ambassadors feel more connected to the program.