Fri, August 05, 2022
Brand awareness has always been a differentiator in the market.The more well-known and recognisable your brand is, the more this will reflect in consumer sales and reputation. Put simply, if people know who you are and recognise your brand, even if they have not purchased from you before, this will influence their decision-making when it comes to needing your product or service.
Maintaining this brand awareness is a key challenge for many organisations, especially when promoting a new product or service the market doesn’t yet know about. It typically takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand, so being active in getting your brand seen is important. One way companies help to improve product and brand awareness is through the use of brand ambassadors who can become a recognisable element of a brand awareness strategy.
Many may associate a brand ambassador with a celebrity or famous individual helping to promote a product or service. Whilst celebrity branding is still hugely influential and commonplace, it’s not the only approach. With customers seeking authenticity and personalisation in the post-pandemic world, we are seeing brands provide more realism in their brand engagement opportunities to create genuine connections to customers.
Essentially, a brand ambassador today is anyone who can provide positivity around a brand and who is happy to share this information with others, either online or in person. As well as affiliate and influencer brand ambassadors that can help promote your brand to their many followers through social media, you also have customer ambassadors who will advocate for your business, as well as expert ambassadors who provide trust and influence within a certain industry or market.
Influencers/affiliates- These can be celebrities, social media stars, or other well-known individuals who provide a service to help promote your product or service. This can be through more traditional media such as TV and radio advertisements, or via modern digital channels on social media such as Instagram or TikTok. Influencers usually are well known and have a substantial following in the demographic or market your brand wants to connect with. Brands will seek out and pay for influencers to represent them both online and sometimes at events. Affiliates similarly will receive a referral fee or commission from the brands they are helping to promote online.
Experts- depending on your industry, having the professional expertise of a trusted source to help promote your brand can be crucial. An expert ambassador is generally someone who is hugely respected or experienced within a certain industry or niche, who provides expert support for products and services. They can be a leader in their field, such as a scientist or medical professional within the healthcare industry, fitness and wellness professionals, or even prominent figures within the food and drink sector. Every industry has its experts, and they can be approached to provide a brand partnership.
Customers- customer ambassadors can be the most influential on your audience. These are people who have experienced your brand first-hand through buying a product or using your service. These advocates can leave feedback on review sites for other customers to see, or even get involved with your brand ambassador marketing to connect with your customers. Many people prefer to see genuine customers talk about your brand rather than celebrities who are paid to promote your product. It delivers much-needed authenticity and trust.
If a customer trusts your brand and its messaging, they are more likely to retain their loyalty to your product or service, and more likely to advocate for your business. Having a brand ambassador enables you to reinforce your brand values further and connect with your customers. It’s estimated that brands can generate 650% ROI for every $1 invested in influencer and advocacy marketing on average, meaning those not currently planning a brand ambassador strategy are potentially missing out on increased revenues. There are also other factors that make having a brand ambassador a valuable asset:
Help grow your business – as a brand ambassador will spread positivity about your products and services, this can bring in more traffic and more interest in your brand, helping your business to develop further and meet its long-term goal. Potentially every one of an influencer’s followers might seek out your brand after a post on social media or through word-of-mouth.
Protect your Image and Reputation – ambassadors can help to defend your reputation if it comes under fire and provide much-needed positivity, especially in instances of defamation or negative press.
Provide a human voice to your brand – many people may find they are not emotionally connected to brands that are faceless, meaning a brand ambassador can provide that human connection. 94% of people said they’d be highly likely to recommend a brand they were emotionally engaged with, so having an ambassador can enable this engagement.
Before moving forward with appointing a global brand ambassador, the importance of planning out this approach and how it is going to be executed are important. As there are different types of brand ambassadors you could use, deciding on whether your focus is on industry experts, or a mixture of customer and influencer brand ambassadors is usually the first step.
With a brand ambassador marketing strategy, not only will you be able to choose the best type of influencer and what your goals are, but also fully track and measure how it is performing, and the results you are achieving. Defining the goals of the strategy and why exactly you need a brand ambassador will provide direction. If you want to be a customer-centric brand, working on your brand ambassador strategy is essential.
Online reviews – by focusing on customer ambassadors, you can boost online reviews and ask them to post about their experiences or purchases. A strategy can identify where you want reviews to be posted - for example Trustpilot or other review sites - and outline methods for making the process simple to help customers post reviews. This includes implementing CX software and automation that automatically asks customers who have been loyal to your brand to post a review, and gives them the link to do so.
Social Channels - how exactly will an ambassador promote your brand, services, and products? What’s the tone of this to be (i.e. professional or more informal) and which platforms are going to be the most effective for you. For example, 53% of people on Twitter are more likely to be the first to buy new products, and 60% of consumers have been influenced by social media or blogs while shopping.
Finding the right influencer – with a customer ambassador, it’s as simple as reaching out to your biggest advocates and loyal customers. With influencer ambassadors, you’re looking for those that fit your brand and values and are most active on your identified networks, e.g. Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. Researching influencers and discovering those whose content style is a great match for your own, as well as reaching out to the audience that closely matches yours, needs careful consideration in your strategy.
A brand ambassador is effective when they immerse themselves in everything about your brand’s core values, vision and overall mission. They need to be eager to do so, which is why existing customer ambassadors can be most effective as they already know what you are about and have experienced your brand. Affiliate or influencer ambassadors may not be fully aware of your brand, so helping them understand all of this and what your goals are for an online brand ambassador is crucial.
They need to be able to communicate your ideas and values exactly how you want to be portrayed, otherwise they won’t make a good ambassador for you. Again, having customers as ambassadors can provide the most credibility as they are your exact audience. Positivity, in general, is a must, but identify personalities that can maintain this at all times whilst affiliated with your brand as you need to be able to trust them to deliver. Nurturing relationships with influencers is always beneficial as they will feel valued, and this is much easier when it is your own customers that already have a positive view of your brand.
% of Marketers Believe Influencer Partnerships are Good for Business
The value of having brand ambassadors cannot be understated, providing a boost to your efforts of crafting and delivering a customer experience that resonates with your customers. Here at Ventrica we work alongside global brands to help them identify where their CX can be improved and how to deliver excellent customer service.
If you are interested in finding out more about us and how we can start helping your brand, please contact us today.
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