Ambassador marketing has proven to be beneficial for businesses across a variety of different industries. This marketing strategy is similar to the widely popular realm of influencer marketing campaigns. Unlike influencers, however, ambassadors commit to working with a company long-term. They’ll integrate your products or services into their daily lives and promote them in the same way that they would recommend a company to a friend. Here’s why you should take advantage of this area of marketing.
1. People trust word-of-mouth marketing over branded content
The world of advertising has changed in recent years. Word-of-mouth marketing generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and 84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising.
Nowadays, most people put the highest level of trust in word-of-mouth recommendations over other forms of marketing. So, if you have ambassadors who have built a lot of trust with their fans, their recommendations can be very valuable.
Bloggers, online stars, and celebrities tend to have a lot of sway over the perceptions of their followers, and a well-planned ambassador marketing campaign can help you get your product in front of 10 million people on social media. And some of those people are sure to give your brand a chance when your carefully chosen ambassadors show their genuine support for your products or services.
In this way, brand ambassadors can have a huge positive impact on your company’s sales.
2. Ambassadors have a vested interest in sharing referrals
Ambassador marketing is a two-way street, which means your chosen ambassadors should benefit too. Companies will typically send their ambassadors free products to try out, so they can then promote their favorites online. If their lives are genuinely improved by your products or services, they’ll be happy, and this will shine through in their social media efforts.
You can also agree on the compensation you’ll pay your ambassadors for shouting about your products over a set amount of time. But, if you really want them to help you make lots of new sales, it can also be worth incentivizing them through an affiliate program with sales-related commission on top of this. This will ensure your ambassadors are given an additional monetary reward whenever they successfully convince someone to purchase your products or services. Providing each ambassador with a unique discount code to share with their fans is a great way to track which purchases map back to which ambassador.
You might have already seen some companies providing referral rewards and affiliate marketing schemes. These schemes aren’t strictly open to brand ambassadors, but they can still provide you with some inspiration for how to incentivize the people you choose to work with.
Colombia-based intimates brand Leonisa offers free membership to its affiliate program, and provides commission to ambassadors based on link clicks and sales.
Sportsman’s Guide’s affiliate ambassador program features a diverse range of "guides" who can choose from one of two commission partnerships and feature links and products from the brand on social media or their personal websites. In turn, these ambassadors make revenue for each sale that originates from their content.
Online shoppers can easily access each guide’s Instagram page and explore their experiences with Sportsman’s Guide’s products.
Of course, ambassadors are typically people who are working with you on more of an official basis, but incorporating a referral or affiliate strategy into your arrangements can help to drive more sales. If an ambassador is going to receive an extra commission every time one of their followers makes a purchase, they’ll try even harder to push your products or services.
3. Ambassadors offer a middle ground between branded and user-generated content
Creating high-quality content can take a lot of time and energy. So, it’s worth ensuring that any agreements you make with brand ambassadors allow you to reuse the content that they create in promoting your products or services. They could provide you with images, written content, testimonials, or even social media content to publish. Brand ambassadors will often be content creators in their own right, so being able to utilize some of their creative prowess for your own marketing materials can be highly beneficial. Using their talent to the fullest can greatly expand your available content marketing resources. Some companies rely heavily on user-generated content, posts already shared by loyal customers on social media, for their online marketing strategy, and you can use ambassador content in a similar way. With an influencer program boasting over 10,000 passionate ambassadors, athletic apparel brand HYLETE also prioritizes re-sharing content from happy customers in HYLETE gear.
HYLETE shares a community post from an Instagram user participating in a TikTok-inspired flexibility challenge while rocking HYLETE apparel.
Whenever you bring a new brand ambassador on board, you should give them some guidelines on what kinds of content you would like them to create so you can share it. For instance, perhaps you have a particular color scheme you use for your brand images, which you would like them to replicate. Provide them with all of the information they’ll need to create high-quality content you’ll be happy to share or use on your own channels.
4. Ambassadors will measurably improve your KPIs
Elementary marketing fact: the more people that know about your business, the more sales you’ll make. Brand ambassadors will all have their own circles and communities of people who might be interested in hearing about your products or services. And, because they will have built trust within these circles, people will be very receptive to their recommendations. This means that whenever one of your ambassadors mentions your products or services, it will help to improve people’s awareness and perception of your brand quite quickly. This can improve your overall brand awareness, but it can also deliver some powerful metrics to let you measure the effect of ambassador programs in real-time.
One of these is the conversion rate: the percentage of interested visitors who make a purchase and become loyal customers. With an affiliate link model, the conversion rate of each brand ambassador can be tracked individually. People are more likely to buy from a company they’re familiar with than one they’ve never heard of. This lends itself to higher conversion rates on links promoted by ambassadors. Additionally, potential customers that you reach through an influencer that they relate to are likely to have a higher brand affinity or general positive association with the brand. This indicator can be measured through exit surveys or post-purchase satisfaction surveys connected to promoted links. It’s also worth noting that recruiting brand ambassadors can be great for your SEO, as it could lead to you building lots of different types of backlinks to your website. When search engines like Google see that a lot of authoritative sites have linked to your website content, they’ll take this as a sign that you’re a trustworthy source of information and will start sending more people your way.
So, while a lot of people focus on recruiting social media stars to promote their products or services, it’s also worth considering bloggers and journalists who are more likely to have their own websites as well. Track your search engine rankings throughout your campaigns, and it’s likely you’ll see them improve. These are just some of the many ways that social media influencers can make or break your business, so make sure to decide in advance what an ambassador marketing campaign means for your organization and how you plan to measure its success.
5. Your brand halo will grow
Every company will have a different idea of what a successful brand ambassador campaign looks like. But, ultimately, you’ll want to forge a strong relationship that’s mutually beneficial, and that helps your business to grow. To give you an idea of what a successful ambassador campaign can look like, let’s take a look at some companies that have gotten it right. Yakima Racks, an outdoor equipment retailer, builds strong relationships with diverse adventurers who use their products. The RackPack, as it is affectionately known, consists of ten people with different passions who are going through different stages of their lives, and using Yakima products along the way. The company promotes their stories and successes as part of an ongoing demonstration of what Yakima products can help you to achieve when put to the test.
Professional snowboarder and RackPack member Robin Van Gyn shares her experience with Yakima’s car rack and how it improves her outdoor adventures.
Growing brand communities with ambassadors
A brand ambassador program could provide the boost your business’s marketing needs. Authentic word-of-mouth recommendations can improve your business’s brand awareness and increase your sales. Depending on the relationships you create with your ambassadors, the arrangement could even give you access to a whole host of high-quality content that’s perfect for promoting your products.
Pixlee [now Emplifi] also has some great tools to help you start your influencer discovery journey and launch your brand’s successful ambassador marketing campaign in no time!
Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.