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ParrotInsider #6: 5 steps to create a brand ambassador program with EarlyParrot

referral programs EarlyParrot

A brand ambassador campaign is a great way to make some noise about your company. Providing such a program can be a low-cost method to introduce your brand to more potential customers. 

To make the most of this marketing method, you should get to know what a brand ambassador program is exactly, who is a brand ambassador, and what are the types of such roles. We will cover all of these aspects in this article. 

Let’s spend a minute discussing the basis of your program before we get started. What is it and how does it work?  

What is a brand ambassador program?

Brand ambassador programs usually have one specific goal, such as increasing sales. To achieve the desired goal, ambassadors promote the brand or products among their followers. Promotion can be made on both online channels (e.g. social media) and offline (e.g. events). In order to increase the chances of success of the program, both channels are often used. Most brand ambassador programs invitation-only; the smaller the company, the more likely this is to be the case. As a result, it is much easier to reach a niche audience. Brand ambassadors are typically involved with brands for a long time, since a long-term relationship with a company is important in convincing consumers that the ambassador genuinely uses the brand’s products.

To start it right, you need to know who can be a potential brand ambassador. It could be a happy customer, an influencer, or even an employee. Furthermore, you should have a marketing plan before you go live with the program.

Why you should start an brand ambassador program

Brand ambassadors can do so much good for your company. They can provide a sense of community or simply improve your marketing communication. There are dozens of reasons why you should try such programs, so below are just a few. 

#1 Brand ambassadors take care of your content 

Most ambassadors use social media accounts as their main channel of communication with followers. They publish pieces of content related to your company and build brand awareness

They also post unique content like blog posts or online reviews, creating a buzz about you. Ambassadors can go the extra mile and interact with their followers. Moreover, they can motivate an active audience to provide user-generated content. This may be a great way to achieve your business goal, as almost 80% of people say that user-generated content highly influences their purchasing decisions.

#2 Brand ambassadors  expand a company’s reach

Content that you publish on your company’s social media profiles or website is only seen by its audience, but you can reach even twice as many people when you use brand ambassadors. This means you can reach a variety of people without retargeting. 

Even if an ambassador has a small audience, it still can be profitable for you. Their followers may not have heard of or been interested in your brand before, but they may become your future customers when they find out about it from their favorite blogger. Nevertheless, thanks to an ambassadors’ recommendation, the seed is sown and new, potential customers are on the horizon.

#3 Brand ambassadors provide you with constructive feedback

They use your products and know them inside and out, so they can be your brand’s biggest advocates but also harshest critics. It is very common that brand ambassadors are the first users of your products, so they can provide some information and help you improve items before their official launch. 

Keeping ambassadors in the feedback loop can prevent you from many common mistakes, which might be small but still significant for the end-users. This will help with improving your brand’s user experience. 

#4 Involving brand ambassadors is cost-effective 

Providing a brand ambassador program won’t burn a hole in your pocket, there are no hidden costs. You just need to find the right candidates, handle the communication, and establish the terms. You should focus on clarifying your demands – the types of social media content or blog posts, etc. Setting time frames and providing marketing materials are also crucial. Your ambassadors should have access to ready-made materials, otherwise it will be difficult for them to provide decent content.

Basically the main cost here is ambassador commission, but it could be part of a trade too. You need to set the financial aspects very clearly – there are many options to choose from like PPS, PPC, and more. 

To track ambassadors’ performance and have an overview of their work, you should use the right software, such as PPC dashboards or referral marketing tools. It will be a great help when it comes to monitoring your ambassador’s campaigns. EarlyParrot gives you access to them via its dashboard. Referral marketing is the main purpose of this tool, but it can also be used for ambassadors who are considered to be like such programs.

With this software, you can cover the following aspects of your program:

  • quick and easy program design process
  • communication with your ambassadors
  • monitoring performance and key metrics of each ambassador and campaign
  • quick redesigning your campaigns

You can implement this tool into your site in minutes; it works with most existing platforms and apps. Moreover, if you operate on a non-English speaking market, the good news is that EarlyParrot handles such languages as Greek, Spanish, Italian, German, and French. If you wish to try it out, there is a free trial available. 

How to create a brand ambassador program from scratch?

There are several stages of creating such a program. Below we will cover a few of the most important steps, but you should also consider such aspects as:

  • Main and secondary marketing channels
  • Tools that you and your ambassadors will need, 
  • Plan to blend ambassador marketing into your overall strategy

Keep these three factors in mind while reading the guidelines below.  

Step 1: choose your goal

You have probably seen this step in many guides, but it is crucial for keeping your program on track. You must know what you want to achieve in order to set your requirements clearly and run a successful program. The most popular goals of brand ambassador campaigns are connected with:

Once you decide what you want to achieve, you can move onto the next step. 

Step 2: describe your ideal brand ambassador

It is a similar situation to the goal rule. You need to know what you want, otherwise it may be hard to find it. Before you start looking for a potential ambassador, you need to establish a few aspects such as their niche, preferable channels, follower/subscriber thresholds, and other campaigns that they participate in. Below you’ll find some popular types of ambassadors:. 

  1. Affiliate brand ambassador – they promote your products among their own social network. For example, they publish a positive review of your item on their personal blog and add an affiliate link in the post content. Thanks to such links, you will be able to track how the campaign is going. In this collaboration, you need to keep affiliates encouraged, and incentives are a good way to do so. To keep them motivated, you can offer them, e.g., higher commissions per sale after reaching a given number of transactions. 
  2. Customer brand ambassador – in other words, a referral program or word-of-mouth marketing. Here, EarlyParrot should be your go-to. With this tool, you will be able to create such a program in a flash. You can establish basically everything – goals, incentives and their details, communication pages, and even branded referral links. This type of program relies on your existing customers’ relationships with their close ones to whom they recommend your products and share their links. If ambassadors’ friends or family members clink on these links and perform the desired action, a referral is complete and rewards will be earnt. 
  3. Employee brand ambassadors – this is a very close company-ambassador relationship. Your employees can promote your brand and will probably put their whole hearts into it, since company performance earns them money. Employees can spread the word about you and your products, which will sound more natural and less salesy than, e.g., influencer recommendations. It can work on the same principles as a referral program, but instead of discount codes you can offer higher salaries to those employees. This should positively impact employee engagement too. And, to be frank, you can even identify such an opportunity during the recruitment process – you can use AI recruiting solutions to verify the potential for brand and employee advocacy in early stages.

Now it is time to start searching.

Step 3: search for and choose your ambassadors

You can start your journey by searching for ambassadors manually, i.e., via dedicated hashtags. Type in a hashtag and check out posts including it. In this way, you will be able to have a complete overview of influencers in a given industry and it will therefore be easier to compare them with one another. 

You can also check out social media influencers’ platforms. This is a more efficient way because you gather information about each potential ambassador in one place. It is also a good idea to provide an ambassador application form on your website. Perhaps the perfect candidate will visit your website someday?

If you choose to use a referral program or turn your employees into ambassadors, this step won’t take you long. In the first case, referrers will find themselves. With employees, you can choose the most suitable ones or encourage everyone to be your brand advocates. 

Once you choose your potential candidates, you need to compare them with your ideal ambassador. This will allow you to select the best option.  

Step 4: it’s time to work

Choose who you want to cooperate with, get in touch with them, agree the terms, and let your ambassador campaign begin. All contract terms should be clear, and you should be upfront with your demands. 

Once you establish all your terms and conditions, you can start to work together. It’s then crucial to keep track of the program’s performance (with EarlyParrot) and communicate with your ambassadors if some aspects need improvement. 

Step 5: recognise the best ambassadors

Good cooperation means that if somebody is doing a great job, you should recognize and reward them. Ambassadors’ marketing efforts should be recognised. As a reward, you can offer them a free item, gift card, make an online certificate, or money (which would probably be their preferred option). Depending on the type of your programs you can shuffle such awards, but you still have to be sure that everyone from your ambassador team who has done an extraordinary job is appreciated.

All of these steps will help you with providing a successful brand ambassador program. You should give it a try with EarlyParrot!

Find your brand ambassador

Establishing a brand ambassador program is a great way to increase brand awareness and to improve your brand’s image. 

Whatever your business goals, by using this short but comprehensive guide you will be able to create an effective ambassador program that will last a lifetime and bring you countless new, loyal customers.

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