Move over mega influencers — brand ambassadors are the new marketing champs!
To be fair, we understand the appeal of collaborating with social media superstars. Influencers have established names. They have clout. They have followers. But, if you ask us, it sounds like influencer marketing is a lot more about the influencers than it is about you.
Are you okay with that? We’re here to tell you, your brand deserves better. If you’ve been relying on influencers, it’s time to switch gears.
We know for a fact that brand ambassadors are the smarter way to go. Ambassador marketing is more effective than influencer marketing at cultivating lasting customer relationships, building brand awareness and increasing revenue. And once you learn more, you won’t look back.
Keep reading to learn three reasons why every brand, including yours, needs a strong brand ambassador program.
1. Authentic Connection
Hopefully this doesn’t hurt your feelings, but a big-time influencer might not care about your brand very much. While they do have the ability to share your products or services with a wide audience, they often won’t have a deep passion for what you do. Usually, you’ll work with an influencer on a one-time campaign. Your collaboration will drive top-of-line revenue for the duration of the campaign, which is great. But, when the campaign ends, your relationship is over.
In other words, your time in front of an influencer’s audience is fleeting. And it’s unlikely that a one-time campaign will convert a significant portion of an influencer’s audience into loyal customers for you.
Brand ambassadors are completely different. They care about your brand and love what you’re all about. How do we know that? They’re already your biggest fans! Every ambassador has literally filled out an application for the opportunity to be your public advocate. (For tips on recruiting the best brand ambassadors, check out this blog post.) They have signed up to support you on a regular basis because they believe in you that much and already use your products or services.
Given this genuine connection, it’s no surprise that return customers, like brand ambassadors, have nearly 300% higher customer lifetime value compared to one-time customers. They drive true bottom-line growth, and, if you manage your ambassador program well, they’ll stick with you for the long haul.
(We’re thrilled to contribute to our clients’ success by making it incredibly simple to manage a brand ambassador program. Our platform is straightforward and easy to use. That said, if customers prefer, we can also take care of the ambassador program management for you!)
More than being loyal customers themselves, brand ambassadors also have the unique ability to bring more business your way. We’ll discuss how below.
2. Brand Awareness
Did you know that 74% of consumers look to social media for buying recommendations before making a purchase? When those consumers search for your brand, do you know what they’ll find? With a brand ambassador program, you can sit back and relax.
Many tasks that brand ambassadors complete as part of their agreed-upon duties involve hyping up your brand and building awareness on your behalf. A few examples include:
- Interacting with your brand’s social media content via likes, comments and shares
- Writing reviews of your products or services
- Posting their own user-generated contended (UGC) featuring your brand
Skirt Sports, a longtime BrandChamp client, does a phenomenal job increasing brand awareness with their ambassador program. So far, they’ve galvanized more than 1,000 brand ambassadors to create more than 70,000 Instagram posts (UGC!). As a result, Instagram is now the brand’s top sales channel!
Kaged Muscle is another BrandChamp client achieving amazing results. With a highly engaged team of 400 brand ambassadors creating thousands of UGC pieces, the supplement brand sees $10,000 a month in referral sales.
Skirt Sports and Kaged Muscle are just two examples of brand ambassadors raising brand awareness and in turn boosting sales. In both of those cases, UGC plays a huge role.
Like many social-savvy companies, we believe that well-executed UGC is pure gold. Of course, the numbers back us up: UGC converts higher than any piece of in-house content a brand creates. Let’s talk about why that’s the case…
3. Brand Trust
So far, we’ve established that a successful brand ambassador program will foster connections with your most engaged customers. And, as a result, your brand ambassadors will share their love of your brand with their networks and bring in more sales.
The next step in the process, and arguably the most important reason why every brand needs an ambassador program, is building brand trust.
The majority of consumers, a whopping 83% of them, trust a personal recommendation over a paid advertisement. In fact, a recommendation from a friend or family member is the #1 factor in purchasing decisions today. Did you catch that? A friend or family member — not an influencer. This is because we trust people we actually know.
Every time a brand ambassador writes a review or posts on social media about your brand, it reinforces your trustworthiness to that ambassadors’ network.
But let’s get out from behind the screen for a moment. That’s where your ambassadors have intrinsic value that extends deeper than a social media post could ever go. They will talk up your brand at happy hour or book club. They’ll tout their love for your brand with people they care about — in person, out there in the real world. It’s word-of-mouth marketing at its most authentic.
Let’s Recap: Why Launch a Brand Ambassador Program?
On the one hand, we’ve got common sense. Of course, your loyal customers are the best people to build brand awareness and trust. You share a genuine connection. They care the most about who you are and what you do.
On the other hand, we’ve got hard facts. All data points to brand ambassadors being excellent drivers of revenue and growth.
A brand ambassador program is a win-win situation because your biggest fans are rewarded for sharing your brand with the world — something they already love to do.
When Should You Get Started?
*Checks calendar* Today!
It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are coming up. Brand ambassadors are crucial in maximizing your holiday revenue, so now is the time to get your program up and running.
If you already have an ambassador program, but want some extra inspiration as we head into fall and winter, check out our free webinar on holiday planning coming up on September 23, 2021.
If you don’t have a brand ambassador program yet, or want to upgrade the one you have now, we’d love to show you what BrandChamp is all about. Request a demo or check out our free resources, including eBooks, case studies and webinars!