What makes a good brand ambassador program?
I have been on the side of finding brand ambassadors for companies, as well as being a brand ambassador for companies. I thought it would be fun to write out my thoughts on what I think makes a good brand ambassador, and what makes a good brand ambassador program. The truth is it is a two way street.
Brand Ambassador Tips:
- MUST be on social media. In order for you to be worth a companies money and time, you have to be on social media, preferably Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and hopefully you also would have a personal blog.
- Involved in your community, maybe it’s public speaking, or just being part of a group that fits your lifestyle, where you can reach out to other like-minded individuals like you.
- I highly recommend only becoming a brand ambassador for companies that you truly believe in. What does that mean? That means you would buy their product even if you weren’t a brand ambassador. It means not only do you support their product, but you also love the people behind the product. Again, because being a brand ambassador is a two way street, it’s a must to enjoy the people behind the brand. You want to feel comfortable giving feedback on products, both positive and negative, and you also want to be able to give positive and constructive feedback on the program itself. Do you believe in the people behind the brand? Do you believe in the brand itself? These are two questions you need to ask yourself before becoming a brand ambassador for a company.
- Promote the brand, preferably organically. To make a difference, it’s best not to go about by just posting “I got this package in the mail”. Although, I did just do that for The Feed, but they are a “gift basket” company, so the packaging part matters. ;) But, once you have the product, use it, and capture photos or videos of you using the product. This is more enticing to your audience or community to see the product working in action. Even if it’s a “protein bar”, snap a shot of you eating it on a long ride, or hiking, etc. If it’s a pair of shoes, maybe they are high heels, then show them off while wearing them at work or out at a bar with friends.
- Make each post on SM impactful. It’s not about quantity but about quality. So, if you don’t have anything to post, then don’t worry about it, wait until you have some good quality photos or videos to post.
- Connect with other people in your brand ambassador program. You can possibly meet up, do something within your community, or come up with ideas to pitch to the company. Have fun, think outside of the box, it’s like a free, fun marketing gig!
- Don’t be afraid to spread the love! If something doesn’t fit right, or you have two of the same thing, give one to a friend. They have another big group of friends, family, acquaintances, and the more people that can see the product the better. So, don’t be afraid to give stuff away that just doesn’t work for you.
- Building off of only being a brand ambassador for companies you believe in, don’t be afraid to be selective. There will be people who contact you and want you to be a brand ambassador for them, but if you don’t use their product, or don’t think you will, then you don’t have to promote them. It’s okay to say “no”.
Tips for Companies
- Find brand ambassadors that are big on social media. Find ones that have a big following, because they will have more reach, but also make sure that they are promoting content that aligns with your company.
- In addition, find brand ambassadors that are engaged with your company’s community, whether online or hands-on in their local community. You want these people to be visible. Ideally, find people that align with your brand. Find people who have the same values as your company.
- Stay in touch with your brand ambassadors on a personal level monthly. Check in with them. See what’s going on in their lives, and see if they have any races, events, etc. coming up that would be a good opportunity to promote your product.
- Give! And I mean give. Give ideas of how to share the product, feature the product, and give out the latest product, to keep your brand ambassadors social channels fresh, and they are in the latest out in public, promoting your brand. These brand ambassadors are pretty much free marketing! And putting your brand ambassadors in as much product as possible is important for keeping them visual. It helps keep them in your brand too, and doesn’t give them much room to put on competitor brands.
- Do an ambassador summit! Bring the ambassadors to your head quarters, teach them about your company. How did it get started? How is the product made? What are your company’s values? Culture? Create a community with your ambassadors.
- #1 – goes back up to the first bullet point. Make your brand ambassadors feel important. Let them know you are very thankful of them being a part of your brand, and that you are so happy to have them as a brand ambassador.
- Leverage your brand ambassadors for ideas. Ask them for help in naming a product, or designing something, or for how to make the ambassador program better.
- Get your brand ambassadors faces up in your stores, etc. Make sure your company and community knows who they are, it will allow them to make a bigger impact in the community.
- If they have a niche, ask them to host some kind of gathering at one of your stores, or in a partner store. Maybe they teach yoga, or they are a great cook, and could teach a cooking class.
All these tips are based off my own personal experience of being a brand ambassador, as well as trying to find great brand ambassadors. Oakley is the company I have been with the longest, and I must say they do a hell of a job. If you are looking for a great example of a brand ambassador program, I would say look at theirs. And I know they have soooo many big plans on where they want to see it go. I know sometimes money can be the hard part in executing plans that companies have for a brand ambassador program, but my suggestion then is to start small, and slowly grow, because you want to make sure each brand ambassador feels appreciated, this inspires them to share and promote your brand even more. If they feel forgotten, then they will probably forget about you. I think this is what Oakley has done so well. They started small. There were 10 of us, that’s it. And they are a HUGE company. It’s more about the quality of the brand ambassador than the quantity of them. Now, they have grown to 20-25 girls. We do a yearly brand ambassador summit, where all the girl’s get together, we learn about the brand, product test, and learn about each other, and of course have some fun and make some memories! We also give feedback at that time about how the last year went, and how we think we can improve. They also do little round tables to educate us on how to either plan an event in our area, or be social media saavy, or how to edit our photos, etc.
So get out there and find the program/company/brand ambassador that aligns with you! And make 2014 the best year ever!