The dream for any business owner is to have consumers so obsessed with their products that they could literally stop all advertising and marketing efforts, and people would still be talking about them.
We quickly realized how our client, BuildClean (a startup e-commerce business), had a kickass product that spoke for itself and had customers head over heels for its benefits. So much in fact, that they shared reviews, behind-the-scenes photos of the product in action, and referred everyone who asked “does this thing really work?” right to our client’s website without being prompted to.
Every single day, these consumers took to social media and shared their positive experience with our client’s product, generating more buzz around the brand and resulting in an increase in sales each month. They were loyal fans of the product and genuinely believed that this purchase was one of the best business investments they made.
So we took a step back and thought “If they were doing this all for free, what would they do with an incentive?”
Enter a brand ambassador program!
Now brand ambassador programs are nothing new but they’re also not a one-size-fits-all strategy that works for all businesses. Incorporating this type of program into a marketing strategy means that there is already a loyal following to the brand with consumers who are obsessed with the product. Without these people, this type of loyalty program will ultimately fall flat.
So how does it work? In short, these programs call on your biggest fans to be part of your marketing message. They typically will be a thought leader in their space, have a decent following on their social platforms, and have an engaged audience who values their opinion and trusts their judgment.
They know how to talk about products they’re using in an authentic way and can confidently share their experience without feeling like it’s an infomercial. Because let’s face it, consumers don’t typically trust brands, but they do trust negative reviews on Yelp from real people like them!
The nuances of the type of compensation or incentive can be customized to each business. If you’re a product-based business and have built a community around your brand on social media, then these four perks of a brand ambassador program will be hard to ignore for your business.
Perk 1: They create FOMO for every potential customer
FOMO, or fear-of-missing-out, is a real thing as a consumer. Apple fanatics deal with it every single time the company launches its new line of iPhones, computers, and watches. The consumers get the itch to buy the product as Apple paints the picture that their life would “be better” if they had their hands on the new stuff – especially once their friends do, too.
That’s what brand ambassadors do for your product.
When people see their peers using the latest and greatest products, they want to be part of that community. They want to know where they got it, what it does, how it helps, and all of the deets.
Brand ambassadors are a constant reminder that your product is trusted, reliable and absolutely necessary if people want to make their lives easier, do their job better or provide a better service to their customers by using your product.
Perk 2: People believe people – not businesses
If your inbox isn’t flooded with hundreds of promotional emails from businesses, you’re lying.
And there’s a good chance a lot of those are unread emails, right?
See, we’ve become so conditioned to tune out all of the noise from businesses who are constantly inundating us with their promotions because frankly, we’re tired of constantly being sold to.
But when was the last time you bought something because someone you knew recommended it? I bet that’s an easier sell than the unread email in your inbox.
Utilizing brand ambassadors as an extension of your marketing is a no-brainer. They’re able to talk about the product first hand and eliminate any fear that a potential buyer has on whether or not the product is worth it.
Perk 3: Fresh new content you don’t have to create
Sharing branded graphics for your business serves a purpose, but it can’t be the bread and butter of your marketing strategy. People want to see people in their news feeds or pictures that people captured, not a corporate image from a branded photoshoot.
Brand ambassadors will share behind-the-scenes photos of the products, video testimonials of their experience, and can offer a fresh approach to how people use certain products. As a business, that opens up a door for content that can fall into the “user-generated” bucket. Being able to utilize images from customers who love your product can often be more successful than staged images. It also alleviates unnecessary stress of having to pump out new content every day, because your customers will be contributing in their own way.
Perk 4: Become known in uncharted social media lands
Followers are not everything, regardless of what people say. Chasing vanity metrics can only get a business so far and frankly, the numbers don’t always mean anything if the people behind them don’t care about your product.
However, when you have brand ambassadors who genuinely care about your product and share it with their followers, your brand is being introduced to unchartered social media lands. Your brand is then exposed to new, ideal audiences and opens up the door for potential customers to associate your brand with their favorite account.
Your ambassador program brings together those who love your brand, creates a niche community, and drives visibility to people your brand may have not been able to reach through traditional marketing channels.
And at the end of the day, that’s what you want: brand ambassadors who can help your business reach more people, humanize the brand, and ultimately, lead to more sales each month without overspending your budget on other marketing efforts.
Sometimes it’s okay to take a step back and let your customers do the talking – especially when they love your product.
Contact SWBR to see how we can help your business thrive.