Influencer and ambassador marketing has taken the world of word-of-mouth marketing digital, and everyone wants in on the action. The question is, how do you know when your brand is actually ready to level up on this new marketing approach?
If you’re eager to learn whether your brand is in the right place to take your brand ambassador or affiliate programme to the next level, look out for the following signs:
1. You Have a Dedicated Community Manager
Maybe you don’t already have a team member who can dedicate at least 4 hours a day to creating a successful ambassador programme, but if you want to start one, we strongly suggest you hire a dedicated community manager. This might seem confusing as ambassador marketing software is supposed to automate things to alleviate time doing manual tasks, but trust us, it still does regardless of hiring someone in!
One thing to note, however, is that you need a person with enough creativity and capacity to consistently be on top of creating, executing and managing ambassador campaigns so that you can maximise their revenue-generating potential.
When getting started you’ll need more time and resources from your community manager to create activation campaigns that’ll entice your existing community of customers, followers and fans to sign up to become your brand ambassadors. You’ll also need time to carefully approve their applications depending on the qualifying criteria you set for your ambassador community.
To achieve maximum ROI with your ambassador marketing programme, it’s worth investing in a top-notch community manager. One of our brands emphasised this in their G2 review, "... if you're going into building an ambassador program, dedicate a team member to handle the platform and regularly check-in!"
2. Your Brand has a Large Enough Community to Engage
You’ll know your brand is ready to double down on an ambassador programme when you have at least 20k followers on Instagram. Your Insta following is one thing, but a much better place to recruit brand ambassadors from is your very own customer database. These are people who already own your product.
Without a decent number of existing community members, you’re just not going to see the sales results you hoped you would, because the key is to activate your own existing community. They already love your product. They’re already loyal to you. Why not make them even more loyal by rewarding them for their sales efforts?
Having less than 20k followers on Instagram offers a fairly quiet community to engage with, so we'd prefer to see brands with thriving communities consisting of lots of customers who genuinely love their products and therefore shout about it online.
It’s no secret that influencers and brand ambassadors are mostly active on social media platforms where images make up a large portion of the content that prospective customers consume. If your customers begin referring to your products as something that’s visually trendy or new and ‘cool’, you may want to think about getting a brand ambassador to share those sentiments to new eyes (their followers).
When it comes to fashion, for example, influencers are the new-age trendsetters. If they endorse your brand online because they like the ‘look’ that you present, chances are a whole group of potential customers will chase the same trend and follow the ambassador’s lead back to you.
By launching an ambassador programme, you’ll be capitalising on this feature.
Looking for ways to activate your customers, followers and fans to become your best salespeople? Click to learn more about 8 tried and tested activation methods from our brands.
3. You Already Run a Rewards or Loyalty Programme
Ever been prompted by a brand to join their exclusive rewards club or loyalty programme? This is a little something we like to think of as a precursor to a fully-fledged ambassador marketing campaign.
A company that already runs these kinds of programmes showcase a familiarity with working alongside existing customers, which is what brand ambassadors in most cases originally start out as.
If you’ve been able to maintain a successful rewards club or loyalty programme, your company is bound to make a success of ambassador marketing. All it takes is formalising the programme a little more concretely, and ambassador software will equip you with the tools to do so.
If you’re itching to automate your ambassador programme by reducing all the manual effort that’s involved in your current situation and really scale, then you’re certainly ready.
4. You’re in a Competitive Industry
Finding a way to stand out among the saturated landscape of the competitive market your eCommerce brand is in can be really tricky. It’s especially difficult if you’ve tried your hand at a number of different marketing strategies, but nothing seems to be working. Our recommendation here is that you give ambassador marketing a go.
Brand ambassadors are often considered niche influential online personalities, because of the tight-knit engagement they share with their smaller community of followers (as opposed to a celeb influencer with a large following). By enlisting a group of niche ambassadors to represent your brand online, you’ll be breaking through the barrier of curated social feeds and saturated market spaces that you wouldn’t have if you’d stuck to traditional print and media ads.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re using the right eCommerce software to integrate with the ambassador software tool of your choice. Popular sites that we integrate with are Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.
If your company is in a place where you’re looking for this kind of "breakthrough" advertising, influencer and ambassador marketing will tactfully fulfil that role.
UGC images, first: @_.aineli.x_ for Popsockets, second: @juunbrnn for Inkbox, cover: @keyyyannna for Inkbox
5. You’re Being Contacted by Fans
Communication between your brand and your fans is incredibly important. It creates a gateway for you to learn what people are thinking about your brand in a personable way, while also giving them the opportunity to contact you if they’re interested in forming a working relationship.
One of the key signs that you’re ready to take on an ambassador programme is when your customers and fans start contacting you privately, asking if they can sign up to become an advocate for your brand. This shows that your fans enjoy your products or services so much that they’d like to help other people discover you.
In a lot of cases, this is how an ambassadorship with a customer, follower or fan normally starts. And it’s a solid sign indicating that you’re ready to adopt a brand ambassador marketing approach.
6. You Have the Means to Navigate Increased Sales
We believe that when brands make $500k+ annual revenue through their online sales, it’s a good indicator they are ready for an ambassador marketing programme. However, once you create a brand ambassador community from your loyal customers, followers and fans, your brand awareness and sales count could double overnight. It’s great to have more interest in your company, but will you be able to handle the pressure that comes with that?
Although there is no guarantee that your sales will skyrocket overnight, the possibility is undoubtedly there. Brand ambassadors are powerful word-of-mouth advocates, and once they’ve latched onto a brand, their followers will do the same. If your company has the capacity to navigate a sudden drastic increase in sales, we’d say you’re in the right place to consider launching an ambassador programme.
At Brandbassador, we help brands turn their most loyal fans, customers, and followers into passionate brand advocates who will in turn generate revenue, UGC, brand awareness and so much more for your brand. If you’d like to learn more about how ambassadors can make a positive impact through advocacy or about the link between brand ambassadors and B Corps, click