Anything worth having takes time. Brand ambassador programs are an incredible way for brands to grow. They allow you to increase engagement with your community of consumers and fans, generate social buzz to keep your brand front-of-mind, and can drive sales and increase your revenue! But they do require a time investment.
Depending on both the size of your program and the way you choose to manage your brand ambassador marketing program, you could be sinking in more time than is worth the return on investment you're receiving. Many brands think of their ROI in terms of money. But your time is worth money as well. Are the results of your ambassador program worth the amount of time you're putting into it?
Maximise engagement and ambassador-generated sales with our free guide: 5 Reasons You Need a Dedicated App for Your Brand Ambassadors.
We help over 550 eCommerce challenger brands manage the time they spend building and maintaining their ambassador marketing programs. Because let's face it. There's "good" time and "bad" time when it comes to running your community.
Ambassador Marketing Time Requirements
How Much Time Should I Spend On My Community?
Ah, jumping straight to the big question, are we? I know everyone wants a straight answer. Something like, X number of hours a day guarantees an insanely successful brand ambassador marketing program! But deep down, you know that's not how it works.
This is, unfortunately, a very subjective answer. Especially if you're managing your ambassador marketing community manually. It depends not only on the number of ambassadors you have but on the number of marketing tasks you send out weekly. If you opt for a manual management system, then your time requirement goes up significantly. You've got to manually track submissions, sales, ambassador applications... everything!
Plus you still need to be researching and planning creative marketing tasks to send out to your ambassadors to keep your community engaged and active. Sound like a lot? When phone accessory brand Casely was manually running their brand ambassador program, they were spending about 4-5 hours a day just on the recruitment and management of their ambassadors.
But what if you used a management platform?
Ambassador marketing management platforms are designed to help you significantly cut down the "bad" time spent on certain tasks that don't need to be done manually. Like sending bulk messages from one platform rather than individual messages to ambassadors on separate social media channels, paying out your ambassadors through our payment partner, and tracking metrics.
When Casely made the switch over to our platform, they cut that 4-5 hours down to 45 minutes, giving them more “good” time to focus on their community - connecting with ambassadors, responding to questions, and creating exciting tasks for their community to continually engage with.
Ambassador marketing management programs help you maximise the time you're spending on growing and activating your community. Spending hours and hours on tasks that can be automated uses up time that could be used engaging with your community, creating activation campaigns and approving applications to grow your community, and coming up with fun ways to activate and reward your ambassadors.
But the question remains, how much time should be spent running your community?
While we can't speak to every management platform, most brands that we work with spend about 3 hours a day during their initial community-building phase. This usually lasts through the first month of working with us. After that, most brands find success with about 2-3 hours a day maintaining and managing their community.
This time is spent sending out any announcements or messages through our bulk messaging system, answering individual questions as promptly as possible to make sure ambassadors' needs are taken care of and they remain engaged and active in the community, approving submissions and applications, and creating regular tasks so that ambassadors can do what they do best - shout about your brand online.
What other reasons are there for choosing an ambassador management platform? Take a look at these reasons why you need ambassador software to grow your eCommerce brand.
How Do Management Platforms Help?
Every management platform is different, but here are some of the best features on our platform that help you reduce the time spent doing administrative tasks.
When you first log into the platform, you land on the main dashboard. This gives you a complete overview of your brand ambassador program. Never again do you have to manually track sales made by ambassadors, revenue, expenditure, number of ambassadors, or engagement rates. Everything is updated for you.
The main dashboard is also where you'll find your ambassador applications. When someone requests to join your ambassador community, you'll see their profile along with follower count, location, engagement rates, and more. From here, you can accept ambassadors who meet your criteria and reject applications from ambassadors who unfortunately are not a great fit for your brand.
Our message centre is the main hub for communicating with your ambassadors. With all of your ambassadors joining you through our app, it's easy to bulk message your entire community or a specific group of ambassadors at once. You can also individually message ambassadors if you need to, but bulk messaging will likely be your main form of communication.
Ambassadors will have questions. You are able to create your own FAQ section to address common questions that ambassadors have regarding your brand ambassador marketing program. Ambassadors can refer to your FAQ when they have any questions, saving everyone time sending and replying to messages. For generic questions about our app, like how to get set up and how to level up, we have an ambassador FAQ page.
Sometimes an ambassador may have a question that isn't in the FAQ. These will have to be answered individually. However, there are some features in the message centre that also reduce the amount of time spent replying.
Links allow you to quickly insert a hyperlink in your message that leads to a particular Mission (our name for the creative marketing tasks you assign your ambassadors), your brand's page, a user's account settings, and any other page on the app. If the issue is with our app for ambassadors and not something you have control over, you can quickly link the ambassador to our support team.
Macros are pre-saved messages for questions you find yourself answering again and again. Rather than having to type out the same answer for 20 ambassadors, or copy and paste from a separate document where you've stored these responses, you can simply select the relevant macro and it will populate in your message.
Tagging helps you organise your messages for personal reference. You can choose the tag's parameters. For example, you may wish to tag all messages that have to do with a particular mission so you remember to follow up once the issue is resolved. You could also use tags to assign messages to specific admins on your account. You have full freedom and customisation of your tags.
This is where you find and manage your community of ambassadors. Searching for particular ambassadors? We have a ton of filters available so you can quickly see all of the ambassadors that fit a certain criteria. Follower count, age, location, engagement rates, gender, and more! We have over 20 standard filters. You can also combine these filters and save them as a custom filter to make referring to specific filters quick and easy. Once you've filtered your ambassadors, you can bulk message everyone in the filter or bulk remove them from your program.
Segmentation allows you to create groups of ambassadors based on anything you like. Many brands create a segment for their top-performing ambassadors, or for ambassadors who own a specific product. Segments give you the opportunity to create missions that are only available for certain ambassadors. You may choose to segment ambassadors who have a knack for photography and create a special Mission for them. You can also offer discount codes that are exclusive to a particular segment.
Sometimes you need to do some spring cleaning in your ambassador community. Perhaps you've required ambassadors to participate in a minimum number of Missions each month, so you now need to remove everyone who has been inactive for a month or more. Or perhaps you've stopped shipping to a country and those ambassadors must be removed from the program. Bulk removal allows you to remove large groups of ambassadors at once. Just filter for the parameters you need, and remove everyone in one fell swoop.
"I can literally create a mission in less than 5 minutes and have multiple ambassadors create content for us within the first hour." - Therese Granström, Safira
The Mission dashboard is where you create all of those exciting marketing tasks that ambassadors can participate in for rewards! Creating Missions from scratch is quick and easy. You can also use our premade Mission templates.
Templates are created by our in-house Customer Success Team. They keep an eye out for trends, and then create templates for you based on their findings. So you get a two-for-one deal: super quick templates for creating Missions, and up-to-date social media marketing trends!
Once a Mission is live, any Missions with pending action items pop up to a separate section at the top so you don't have to search through all of your Missions to find ones that need actions taken.
The Mission dashboard is also where you'll find ambassador submissions - past and present. You can accept or reject current submissions and rewards will automatically be released to the ambassadors without you having to make other arrangements.
If you want to filter through past submissions by type (photo, video, etc.) to find content to use in future marketing campaigns, you can do this back on the main dashboard. As submissions come in, you are able to rate them on a 5-star scale. This makes it incredibly easy to find high-quality UGC later on when looking for content to highlight on your social channels.
As you rate content submitted by an ambassador, the average rating will be applied to the ambassador as a whole. This allows you to later create Missions that are only available to ambassadors that have a particular rating or higher, heightening your chances of receiving top-tier content.
Ongoing, Personal Customer Support
We don't dish advice if we can't take it ourselves. Remember how we said you need to spend the time to make sure your ambassadors' needs are taken care of and questions are answered as promptly as possible? Well, we believe you deserve the same. We understand you may have questions or run into trouble somewhere along the line, so our team of experts make sure to get back to you quickly to solve any potential problems as they arise.
We've put a lot of features into our platform, and are continuing to improve it as we receive feedback. When you first log on, it can be a bit daunting. That's why we make sure you're not left to figure it out on your own. Depending on the package chosen, you're given a full onboarding experience.
You'll meet one-on-one with one of our specialists as we go through all the features that you need to get started. That way, you don't waste time trying to figure things out on your own. The sooner you can navigate the platform, the sooner you can see success!
You're also paired with a member of our Customer Success Team. Your Customer Success Manager is your trusted advisor who will help you get the greatest level of value possible when managing your high-performing community. They will provide advice based on what we've seen brands similar to yours do to succeed, so you don't waste time on tactics that we know aren't profitable.
And if ever you run into a technical issue with our platform, our attentive Support Team is available to get things running smoothly again.
UGC cover image:@sabri.tigerr for Ottasilver. Second image:@carlosdnobrega forMVMT.