One of the biggest benefits of relationship marketing is the number of referral sales that a passionate community of ambassadors can contribute to your brand. In order to maximize these referral sales, your ambassador program needs to be empowered with the knowledge, skills and the opportunity to influence as many referrals as possible.
In this video, we’ll look at 4 strategies that you can use to empower your ambassadors and maximize the referral sales that they contribute.
Strategies for Maximizing your Ambassador Referrals:
- Lay foundational awareness
- Drive engagement
- Build a need/affinity
- Sell the need
Maximizing Your Ambassador’s Referral Sales
Before you start your ambassador program, keep reading to get a break down of the 4 strategies for maximizing referral sales and some real-life examples of ambassadors successfully promoting their brand.
Laying Foundational Awareness for Ambassador Referrals
In today’s market place, one thing to remember is that it takes an average consumer around 16-18 times of seeing your brand before they can actually recognize it.
With brand recognition being a key component for sales, the first strategy to maximize your ambassador’s referral sales is to empower your ambassadors to lay a foundational awareness for your brand.
To lay a foundational awareness for your brand, you’ll need to offer activities that reward your ambassadors for creating organic content that meets the following criteria:
- Authentic and created with their audience in mind
- Aligns with your brand’s image/ethos
- Includes your brand via hashtag or tag
By mobilizing your ambassadors to increase awareness, your brand will become more recognizable amongst your ambassador’s friends, family, and followers.
Here is an example of an ambassador who is boosting awareness for Anupaya, a quality goods-travel brand:
Even though the ambassador doesn’t include a product from Anupaya’s collection, he was still able to increase awareness for the brand by tagging Anupaya in the photo, including #anupayaadventure, #anupaya, #pathlesspathfinder in the caption, and creating an image that relates to traveling.
With subtle awareness posts, your ambassadors can increase brand awareness and will have an easier time selling your brand to others in the future.
Driving Engagement through Ambassadors
Once your ambassadors lay the brand’s foundational awareness and increase recognition, it’s now time to create marketing activities that allow your ambassadors to drive engagement for your brand and its products.
In order to drive engagement for your brand, you’ll need ambassadors to create content that features your brand’s products or includes your brand in their personal story.
Some examples of how ambassadors can drive engagement include:
- Sharing a current story on how your brand benefited them
- Tagging your brand anytime it relates to something that they accomplished
- Featuring your brand’s product in their content
Here is an example of a Dude Product’s ambassador who does a great job of driving engagement for Dude Wipes amongst his closest friends and his social media followers.
Notice that the ambassador is not selling the brand but simply showcases the product that he loves, includes the brand hashtags and shows how the brand fits into his daily life.
With this type of content in place, you ambassadors can then begin to prime their audience about the benefit of your brand and its products.
Let’s now move into the next strategy of educating ambassadors about building a need or affinity for your brand.
Have Ambassadors Build a Need or Affinity for your Brand
After engagement is created for your brand and its products, it’s now time to empower your ambassadors to create content that builds or highlights the common needs your brand or products fill.
When building a need, your ambassadors should feature your brand’s products and share how your brand has helped them. When educating your ambassadors, be sure to tell them to create content that highlights how the brand helps them:
- Accomplish their goals
- Achieve a personal record
- Become a better person
With a need established for your products, your ambassadors will then have the authentic evidence to back up their opinion when selling your brand.
Here is a great example of an ambassador from a fitness ambassador program who builds a need for the brand’s products through her personal hobby of playing tennis.
By creating content like the example above, your ambassadors can slowly begin to educate their audience about the benefits your brand provides and why it should be incorporated in other people’s lives.
Selling the need for your brand through Ambassador Referrals
After your ambassadors lay awareness, drive engagement, and build a need, it’s now time to empower them to sell the need that they created for your brand.
A good time for ambassadors to sell the need for your brand is during special events that occur in our daily lives. Some special events include:
- Company Wide Sales
- Company events/milestones
- Product releases
- National something day
If ambassadors don’t lay awareness, drive engagement, and build a need for your brand first, then they will begin to see negative results. With constant selling pitches, your ambassador’s audience members can begin to:
- Unfollow your ambassador
- Lose trust in your ambassador
- Develop Ad blindness for your ambassador’s content
- View your brand negatively
Here is a great example of a Sweet Sweat ambassador that sells the need for the brand after subtly promoting the brand in previous content.
She breaks down the workout, the product she’s been using and the sale that Sweet Sweat is currently running.
With a community of passionate customers following through on these 4 strategies, their audience members can be made aware of your brand and influenced after they witness your ambassador’s story.
After ambassadors sell the need for your brand, be sure to reward your ambassadors appropriately for their contributions!
Go and implement the strategies above step by step to empower you ambassadors with the knowledge on how to contribute as many referrals as possible.
By educating your ambassadors on these best practices you can be sure that they are set up for success instead of being unfollowed or ignored by trying to constantly sell your brand.
It’s a win-win situation, ambassadors earn more rewards with their new knowledge of influencing sales and your brand benefits from the new customers and brand awareness.
If you’re interested in maximizing your ambassador’s referral sales and tracking their contributions, connect with BrandChamp’s relationship marketing team here.