Ambassador Marketing Journey: Skirt Sports
For the past 5 years, Skirt Sports has been on an ambassador marketing journey because they want their customers to know one thing: It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you will always be welcomed in the Skirt Sports community. On top of this commitment, Skirt Sports also developed other strategies to achieve success throughout their ambassador marketing journey.
From asking ambassadors about their wants and needs to using ambassadors as models for their products. Skirts Sports has found a way to put their ambassadors at the center of their brand. For example, when you visit their website, Skirt Sport’s ambassadors are the first people you see modeling their products.
At Skirt Sports, ambassadors are also allowed to come and go as they please. If something comes up in life, and an ambassador becomes busy with other things, then Skirt Sports will always leave the door open for their return. With this open door policy, Skirt Sports has witnessed their ambassadors coming back time after time to check in and help promote the brand.
When ambassadors joined the program, Skirt Sports also implemented surveys and focus groups. With ambassadors voicing their opinions, Skirt Sports now creates marketing activities that their ambassadors are truly interested in doing. To show ambassadors that the brand is listening, Skirt Sports created new product lines based on the opinions collected from the focus group.
After seeing this success, the team at BrandChamp decided to sit down with Skirt Sport’s community manager, Noelle Wilson, to learn more about the strategies used. Continue reading to gain insight into these strategies and learn more about what it takes to grow a community of passionate fans, customers, and advocates.
Skirt Sport’s ambassador program started organically.
With only a few bloggers and super fans at the start, Skirt Sports steadily grew their community with the power of inclusiveness and urging ambassadors to refer their friends and family members to join along.
Today at 900 ambassadors strong, Skirt Sports is now hosting their 5th annual ambassador weekend retreat, monthly Sunday runs, and a half marathon to show ambassadors their gratitude and love.
Strategy #1: Create a Hashtag
One of the first strategies implemented in the ambassador program was creating one simple hashtag, #REALwomenmove.
With this hashtag, Skirts Sports could now track ambassador’s social media posts by searching for the hashtag. Using one special hashtag also provides the ambassadors a way to view and get inspired from what other ambassadors are posting.
The message “Real Women Move” also fortified Skirt Sport’s message; It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you will always be welcomed in the Skirt Sport’s community.
Strategy #2: Issue a Survey
Skirt Sports next strategy was to listen to their community of ambassadors. By collecting a feedback survey, Skirt Sports let their ambassador’s know that their voices would be heard.
When the survey came back, the information gathered was used to create marketing activities that ambassadors would complete for rewards and product discounts.
Due to a majority of ambassadors using Facebook. Activities were then customized allowing ambassadors to maintain their current routine of posting photos of themselves being active in their Skirt Sports clothing on Facebook.
By taking their ambassador’s opinion into consideration, Skirt Sports was able to engage their ambassadors with easy activities and provide them the opportunity to immediately contribute to the program.
Skirts Sports also showed care for their ambassador’s needs and wants from the brand by collecting their ambassador’s input for product development. With ambassador’s input, Skirt Sports could now create products that captured their ambassador’s attention while increasing their customer lifetime value.
Strategy #3: Marketing/Sales Activities
With the information from the survey in mind, Skirt Sports then started to create activities for their ambassadors to participate in. The first activity created allowed everyone to participate and was titled “Show us your Skirt Sports” with the instructions of posting #SkirtSports and #SkirtSportsAmbassador in the caption.
By creating a simple activity with specific instructions, Skirt Sports can now reach their ambassador’s authentic audience on social media, increase awareness for the program, and generate more social content.
Another activity inspired by the ambassador survey was the “Show us your Flat Me” activity. For this activity, ambassadors laid out their outfits the night before the race and posted it on Facebook with the hashtag #FlatMe.
With this challenge, Skirt Sports was able to not only get their ambassadors to post once before the race but also once during the race. With the increase in content being posted, Skirt Sports was able to increase both the awareness for their ambassador program and their products.
After implementing these marketing activities, Skirt Sports then turned to sales.
For their first sales activity, ambassadors were asked to promote the Skirt Sports Mother’s Day sale early. The activity was again simple, promote mothers day on social media by using your picture in the Skirt Sports sales flyer provided.
When ambassadors added their own photo, Skirt Sports could now market their Mother’s Day sale with social proof and through an authentic channel via their community of passionate ambassadors.
Strategy #4: Inclusiveness
One of the most important strategies that Skirt Sports learned was to give everyone the opportunity to join their ambassador program. Skirts Sports practiced inclusiveness, or in other words, ambassadors were always welcomed to apply.
The first reason for Skirt Sports inclusiveness strategy was to stand behind their message of welcoming everyone. The second reason was to show their understanding that barriers in life do exist. Skirts Sports knew ambassadors also have full-time responsibilities and it may not be possible to participate. By including everyone and at any time, ambassadors were free to participate at a time that worked best for them.
With this approach, Skirt Sports began seeing ambassadors come back and participate in their program because the ambassadors knew how much the brand valued and appreciated their efforts.
Strategy #5: Rewarding Community
To keep ambassadors engaged, Skirt Sports began incentivizing ambassador participation with rewards. At first, they started with gift cards, free shipping, and product discounts.
The rewards were then given different point totals and in order for an ambassador to claim a reward, they would need to collect points by completing different marketing activities.
As the program scaled, larger incentives were adopted such as sponsored Sunday runs, exclusive product discounts, and the annual ambassador retreat. With events and incentives, Skirt Sports could now create lasting memories and drive engagement with the ambassadors that truly love their brand.
With fair incentives, Skirt Sport’s ambassadors knew that the time they spent away from other responsibilities would be kindly rewarded.
Strategy #6: Recruiting Captains
Utilizing leaders or “captains” is another key strategy that helped Skirt Sports and Noelle save time on managing the hundreds of ambassadors on a daily basis. Instead of fielding all community inquiries, Skirt Sports utilized ambassador captains to mentor new groups of ambassadors, answer questions, and share their product knowledge.
At first, 25 existing community members were recruited as captains based on their social media reach, knowledge of products, and for being an absolute fan. Then as the program grew, the captains took on the responsibility of guiding groups of new ambassadors through the ins and outs of the program.
Captains also became very important focus groups. As captains mentored others, Skirt Sports could then set up focus groups with the captains to gauge what works in the program, ambassador opinions, and the overall morale from the community.
Here are 6 strategies that can help any brand grow a successful ambassador program. With the power of inclusiveness and the willingness to listen to the brand’s passionate fans, Skirt Sports has been able to scale their program from 25 to 900 ambassadors and is driving over 15K+ pieces of social media content.
To hear more about Skirt Sport’s ambassador program and learn about the other strategies used, go here to watch the full video interview.