5 Steps to Brand Ambassador SuccessAugust 23, 2013
Brand ambassadors are influential people who can decrease the gap between a brand and consumers. In social media, they are responsible for a large part of all messages and conversations about a brand, product or service. Research shows, that only 6% of all Facebook fans are accountable for the total engagement. It makes sense to focus on this group but how do you convert these so-called ‘super users’ into brand ambassadors?
As a brand ambassador is intrinsically motivated, he carries out the brand because of a strong personal interest and involvement. They can help you with your customer service, product testing or you can make creative content together. But most important, think about the direct effect of their recommendations. Brand ambassadors like to tell others about their product experiences and these peer reviews can be an important factor in the buying process of new customers. Please find in the following five practical steps to create successful brand ambassador activations.
Step 1: Create an environment
Treat ambassadors as an integral part of your brand and ensure that there is direct communication. This means, that you need to make sure that you get to know these people and that you can communicate in their language. For example, Fortress created a Facebook environment for the high-end headphone brand AKG (owned by Harman/Kardon), where ambassadors could sign up to the so-called Expert Panel, through which they’ve got to review products and get exclusive behind-the-scenes information about AKG.
To involve ambassadors, you can also decide to create an environment on an external platform. For Dermalex, an over the counter eczema cream, Fortress launched Eczeem.nl for which we’ve recruited a group of enthusiastic brand ambassadors to write expert blog posts about the skin disease. By involving brand ambassadors with guest blogs, Dermalex found themselves constantly in contact with their target group while adding value to the eczema patients. The type of environment you choose really depends on the brand, already existing communication and, of course, the strategic objectives of your company.
Step 2: Analysis
Appropriate communication can be carried out by segmenting the database. As ambassadors share a lot of information about themselves, a lot can be learned. What do they say about your product on blogs and what do they share through social media?
Step 3: Activation
Your strategy should include an activation plan. How are you going to trigger the brand ambassador in a relevant way? Be creative, but make sure it is realistic to execute. Think about creating premium visuals based on user-generated content, but also rewarding your brand ambassadors with badges they can communicate through their own channels. Also think in terms of access to special events, product reviews, polls and distributing exclusive news.
Step 4: Monitoring
During the activations, keep a close eye to the generated reach and content. Although relevance must predominate, it doesn’t hurt to attract some ambassadors with a large entourage. This could bring your brand to places traditional advertising would never be able to. It also creates significant SEO value.
Step 5. Content distribution
Next, the content can be used on your owned media channels. Reviews can be placed on your e-commerce website and experiences shared with your social fan base. It’s also a great idea to use input from your brand ambassadors for new advertising messages, as the client XL-S Medical did with their TV commercial.
There are some essential ingredients to successfully engage your brand ambassadors, but the biggest challenges are to actually create added value for your most valuable fans in a continuous way.