Ambassador Marketing: a Great Opportunity for Brands & Influencers
What Are Brand Ambassadors?
As the name suggests, a brand ambassador represents and advertises a brand to their communities. There are 2 main types of ambassadors:
- Official ambassadors: hired and paid to use their visibility for the benefit of the brand. They are mostly hired on fixed term contracts, usually a year. In the industry, brand ambassadors are also referred to as the face of the brand.
- Customer ambassadors: they can become “official” ambassadors for a short period usually during organized campaigns.
As you probably know, modern marketing strategies include using customers as ambassadors of the brand and its reputation. In this age of social networking, consumers have much more power and say. Indeed they can react and give their opinion, good or bad.
Now, having fully satisfied customers is more important than just selling the product. From this shift arose the role of influencers and, more recently, brand ambassadors. And this trend affects all sectors including consumer goods, traveling, cosmetics, fashion, sports and even luxury (although luxury brands tend to rely on stars and celebrities to represent them).
An ambassador is therefore often an influencer who represents both their community and the brand they work for. This allows a brand to gain influence over the influencer’s community. The influencer guarantees the good quality of the brand to their communities. Ambassadors will promote the brand to their communities who will in turn spread the word (if they like the brand).
The company Lush is a good example of a successful brand ambassador campaign. They really used ambassadors and customer ambassadors in a great way. The brand also partnered with several famous influencers, including Vivienne Westwood, a very famous fashion designer. The two teamed up to create an accessory and the ambassador posed with it for social media posts and magazines.
They decided to position themselves as eco-friendly and fighting for the planet, an image reinforced by Mrs. Westwood. This was a great move and customers felt they were doing a good deed for the planet by buying their products.
Starbucks is also a great example because they are the forerunners in turning customers into brand ambassadors. Their wide range of products and the fact that the staff asks customers’ names in order to write it on cups goes a long way in promoting the brand… These little details give a real sense of intimacy and exclusivity.
Customers proudly take their favorite coffee everywhere with them, from public transport to school and work. It’s a genius marketing move! Customers also share pictures of their drinks on social networks using the Starbucks hashtag. The brand reposts the best photos, making customers feeling extra-unique and encouraging people to post more photos to have the chance of having their picture make it to the Starbucks feed.
It’s a win-win type of situation where the brand benefits from the visibility of customer ambassadors. Ambassadors are either compensated or at benefit from the brands’ popularity. As you see, these brands have only good things to say about ambassador marketing.
Are you an influencer and you want to become an ambassador? Are you a brand looking to hire an ambassador? Then this article is for you!
You’re an influencer
Let’s start with influencers and learn how to become an ambassador!
Do you have to be an influencer to become a brand ambassador?
No, in fact ambassadors are not always influencers, even if the distinction between the two is narrow. A well-known influencer will bring their community along for the ride, which is great for the brand. But you can still become an ambassador, even if you have no or few followers (in this case, we talk about nano-influencers or consumer-ambassadors). The job of ambassadors is to correctly represent the brand and its image and to defend its interests.
Are ambassadors paid?
With the exception of very important partnerships or yearly contracts (with image rights and standardised services), ambassadors are rarely paid and don’t receive salaries. Free products and exposure are usually sufficient compensation. But if your relationship with the brand lasts over time and remains positive, it can lead to more.
Tips for becoming a brand ambassador:
1) Understand the brand, its goals and challenges. Find out all you can about the brands you are interested in. Once you get in touch, it’ll be easy to show people you know the brand inside and out. They will love your enthusiasm and will likely think of you as the right person to represent their brand.
2) Contact the brands you selected. Don’t send the same boring message to everyone like a robot! Be original and creative, create a post that will draw their attention. You can also create an “organic” post. Indeed, you can post a review or your opinion on a brand’s product, spontaneously and for free. You can add their hashtag or tag them to get their attention. You will pique the brands interest and they will want to find out more about this influencer who loves their products so much! But don’t overdo it. Don’t publish 15 posts about different products.
3) Be friendly and ensure the sustainability of the relationship with the brand from the get-go. That means every communication with them needs to be positive. Pro tip: listen to their advice, attend brand events to learn more and show your involvement. If you have a good relationship with the brand, it will grow and they will think of you for bigger deals.
4) Manage your social media profile well. Thanks to your partnership, your audience will grow and you’ll need to nurture it. Work on your content to make it as relevant as possible to the brand and its values. Be regular and proactive, without cutting back on quality. Be creative in talking about the brand, so that it doesn’t sound like a product placement or an ad. Build loyalty with your audience, post genuine and authentic reviews of the products the brand sends you. Try to maintain a relationship with your community, so that they feel close to you and are more responsive to what you say.
You’re a brand
As you know from our examples, ambassador marketing is very interesting for brands.
The person who represents your brand will not only help you sell more products (especially those that have been reviewed), but also to expand your brand awareness and boost your reputation. Consumers will trust you more if someone “like them” talks positively about the brand. It is a great way for a small business to grow on social networks, and to further expand its influence and reputation.
Here are some tips on how to recognize and recruit the perfect ambassador for your brand!
1) A good ambassador knows and loves your brand. They may have already talked about it on social media spontaneously, they like your products and share your posts. This will allow you to start a long-term relationship, or to be able to regularly call upon this ambassador for your campaigns.
2) Your ambassador can be an influential person… or not! People who are “unknown” but know your brand very well can give a real boost to your brand and you can give them a lot of exposure. In addition, they will be more willing to work for free in exchange for free products or services. This is something you can do with nano-influencer campaigns.
3) Your ambassador must be involved in the life of your brand. You need to interact and communicate. They can give you advice or feedback on your products or services to improve them. On your side, you can advise them on their posts so that they can grow their communities. The ambassador should also participate in your events, so that you can meet and get to know each other.
Now you can use these tips to find the best ambassador whether for a long-term relationship or for your next marketing campaign.
In addition Influence4You can help you find the best ambassador for your brand!