We’ve learnt that the best brand ambassadors are people that were customers or fans of a company’s products or services before they signed up as brand advocates. This is an important qualifying factor to take note of because it’s essentially what sets influencer and ambassador marketing apart. Influencers aren’t necessarily always fans or customers of the products and services that they promote online, whereas brand ambassadors almost always are.
It’s for this reason that brand ambassadors are also much easier to retain, as opposed to influencers who tend to jump from one brand to the next. Brand ambassadors are loyal to the brands they represent and will remain an active part of a brand ambassador program for as long as the brand continues to incentivise their participation.
5 Ways to Turn Customers into Brand Ambassadors
Turning your customers, followers, and fans into loyal brand advocates may seem like something that requires an arm and a leg. But we’ve picked up on some of the easiest ways to get people that are passionate about what you do to shout about it online. Let’s take a look at these tactics together.
1. Create a Branded Sign-Up Page
One of the telltale signs that your brand is ready to embark on an ambassador marketing journey is when your fans or customers actually start contacting you directly to ask if they may become advocates for your brand. This shows you that there’s already a natural interest from your customers, followers, and fans in starting up a brand ambassador community, so all you have to do is equip them with the means to do so.
By creating a custom ambassador sign-up page on your company website, you’ll provide your customers and fans with a channel through which they can apply to become one of your brand representatives. In terms of the recruitment process, this method of turning your customers, followers and fans into brand ambassadors almost entirely eliminates the task of having to manually search for potential ambassadors.
Once the sign-up page is live on your site, you can make posts about it on your social media channels to drive awareness of it.
Read our list of additional signs you can look out for that will indicate when your brand is ready to start an ambassador marketing program.
2. Activate Your Existing Customers, Followers & Fans
One important thing we always want brands to understand is that ambassadors shouldn’t be strangers to the companies they represent. What we mean here is that it would be more beneficial for your company to enlist ambassadors from an existing database tied to your brand. In most cases, this database consists of customers that have signed up for your company’s newsletter, for instance or customers that follow you on Instagram.
Activating people from an existing database ensures that you will create an ambassador community for your brand full of people that already support what you do. Their advocacy for your company will therefore come from a place of authenticity, which is something that consumers pick up on. Unlike large-scale influencers that often aren’t familiar with the brands that they promote, ambassadors always care about the brands they represent.
3. Review & Approve Ambassador Applications
To add to the point above, it’s crucial to review and approve your ambassadors in a way that safeguards the values of your brand. Ideally, the lifestyle and online presence of your brand advocates should reflect and align with the ethos of your company.
A thorough review and approval process subsequently helps to maintain an ambassador community of like-minded people and ensures that the people you enlist to be your brand ambassadors will help you to achieve your ambassador marketing goals.
You could also use this process as a way to target specific locations and demographics that will enable you to create an ambassador community for your brand that stretches beyond your home base. The review and approval process is especially useful for brands looking to expand their customer base abroad.
4. Enlist an Unlimited Amount of Ambassadors
When enlisting ambassadors from an existing database made up of your customers, followers, and fans, you are given a plethora of profiles that span across different ages, genders, and locations. This allows you to structure an ambassador community that presents no limits when it comes to things like age and location - nor the amount of people you can enlist to your community.
Naturally, there are filters that you could use if you’d like to recruit ambassadors from a particular region only, but your existing database will first show you a varied group of candidates to consider.
You’ll want to build a hype around your ambassador community from day one so that every single one of your customers wants to apply to become a brand ambassador. To build a buzz, we suggest:
- Giving your community a name, so ambassadors feel like they’re part of your brand family and have a sense of belonging.
- Create a sense of exclusivity. Who doesn’t enjoy being given VIP status? By creating a sense of exclusivity, people will be more curious to become a part of your community (just like Clubhouse did through their invite-only app).
- Be clear on the rewards. Let’s be honest, customers will only really want to sign up to advocate for your brand if they’re gaining something from the experience. Be transparent about how you plan to reward your customers for their online advocacy and sales efforts.
- Provide the right support. You need to provide robust customer support whenever they need your help. With the help of good customer support tools, you can automate it.
UGC images, first: @ainhoamdiaz for Byrokko, second: @carlamont15 for Hunkemoller, cover: @danilas93 for Popsockets
5. Join an Ambassador Marketing Platform
Lastly, we recommend the use of an ambassador marketing platform. Our platform, for example, offers you a single place where you can manage all your ambassador community data, activities, and communication from the ease of your laptop. It also allows an easy sign up to your ambassador program on-the-go with an easy-to-use mobile app.
Think about it this way: if you were to suddenly recruit over 500 brand ambassadors over a period of a month, would you have the time or the staff count to manually sign them up and review their social profiles?
Once up and running, would you have the time to reach out to each person with information on marketing activities you’d like them to engage in, what they could earn for their participation, and how to redeem their rewards? It sounds like a lot of administrative labour, and in most cases it really is.
As a result, the benefits of an efficient ambassador marketing tool are undeniably valuable when saving time and money. Ambassador marketing platforms are additionally valuable because they can also automate a large chunk of the ambassador recruitment and approval process.
We take great pride in our ability to help establish and activate engaging ambassador communities for brands. Our platform offers a centralised location through which brands can incentivise their customers, followers, and fans to perform marketing tasks on social media.
We equip brands with the tools to get their ambassador marketing journey off the ground, and we know precisely when it’s the right time to do so. Book a demo with us to find out more.