Take a minute to think about (and appreciate) your favorite customer. You know the one… the one who you work so well with. The one that gets you. The one that keeps coming back again and again because they know you’re going to deliver the service or product that they have come to know and love. They know you’re going to work with them to make sure that they’re happy, and they love the work you do. Can they be a brand ambassador for you?

Now take a minute to think about your marketing plan. What message do you want to send to consumers? What image would you like them to see? What do you want them to know about the quality of your work? Often times, we wish that all our potential consumers could know about us what our favorite customers do. We try to make sure that message is obvious in our marketing strategies. But wouldn’t it just be easier if they could just hear what our favorite customers have to say?

That’s the idea behind a very powerful marketing strategy: the use of a brand ambassador. A brand ambassador is someone who is familiar with your product or service who can promote you and what you do. We all know that social media is one of the most powerful places for marketing and advertising. A brand ambassador can use their own social media channels to promote you, organically and authentically. And let’s face it—your customers are most likely connected to other people who could use and like what you have to offer. They’re reaching the right people and saying the right things—what more could you want?

What can a brand ambassador do for my business?

A brand ambassador can both build brand recognition and provide positive feedback on your work. After all, branding is at the core of everything for and about your business. There are several ways that a brand ambassador can be a helpful resource for your business’s marketing plan:

Authentic Product and Service Reviews

A positive post or video review showing your product or service can be invaluable tool that will have others interested in what you have to offer.

Brand or Logo Advertisement

Simply throwing on a branded shirt or sipping from a coffee cup with your logo in their next selfie is a quick way to get some brand recognition!

Social Media Shout-outs

Engagement increases when they tag you in posts. We love that recognition!

How do I find the right brand ambassador for my business?

There are several important factors to consider before considering officially brining on a brand ambassador:

Does this ambassador know and understand my business?

As an official brand ambassador, you have to be able to trust that your business is going to be positively and accurately reflected. You don’t want someone taking your marketing efforts in a direction your business isn’t headed. Brand ambassadors have to be able to represent you correctly. The message they provide is truly unfiltered, so you have to be able to trust that they’re going to give the right one. Advertising and marketing aren’t the same thing, and you have to know that your brand ambassador is helping with your long-term goals. (For a reminder on the difference, check out our blog.)

Is this a long-term business relationship?

It doesn’t look good to your potential consumers if you have short-term relationships with brand ambassadors. They need to see that the customers that love what you do are loyal to you and stay with you consistently, and they need to see that the message given is organic. Your brand ambassador should want to be promoting your business and care about your long-term growth.

What kind of audience does the potential ambassador have on social media?

You have to consider the kind of reach a brand ambassador has on their social media channels. Are they active on multiple channels with many followers? That’s likely to be a relationship with a great return on investment. If they don’t have a great online reach, it may not be worth their efforts (or yours) to sustain this type of business relationship.

How do I provide an incentive for my brand ambassador without “paying them off”?

The point of brand ambassadors is not to gain paid reviews. You want the message that they provide to be real and something that others will believe. There’s a fine line between paying them for the work they do for your business and showing appreciation for the love. There isn’t really any one set rule on how to do this. Some companies provide free products on a regular basis for brand ambassadors to use and review. Others provide social media shout-outs back to their ambassadors to give them recognition in return. Others yet do have monetary incentive programs to reward brand ambassadors. There aren’t any strict rules—you can do what works best for both you and your brand ambassadors.

Not sure if a brand ambassador is right for you? Need help answering what direction you’re trying to go with your marketing plan? Don’t forget: we’re here to help.

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