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Ambassador Marketing

How to Build a Brand Ambassador Program That Drives Results

How exactly do you build an ambassador program that drives long-term impact?
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Brand ambassador programs are more than just partnerships. They're dynamic alliances between brands and passionate advocates, who can build a buzz that translates into sales. But how exactly do you build an ambassador program that drives impact? 

Recently, our in-house experts, Magda Houalla and Emilee Monnig, hosted a webinar to discuss how to build an ambassador program guaranteed for success. Keep reading for the top takeaways, or watch the full webinar on demand

What is a brand ambassador program?

A brand ambassador program, by definition, entails a long-term partnership. When you turn an individual into a brand ambassador, they build an established relationship with your brand and get involved with various key elements of your brand-building efforts. 

There are several benefits that come with running a brand ambassador program:

  • Long-term endorsement: Consumers need to see a brand at least 7 times before making a purchase decision. Through long-term partnerships, ambassadors can establish a reliable narrative around your brand time and time again. This repetition builds trust, enhances brand recall, and overall strengthens the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. 
  • Exclusivity: While one-off partnerships allow creators to promote many different products, brand ambassadors will often agree to be exclusive to a brand (at least among that industry) when it comes to sponsorships. This means brands can monopolize the ad space on their feed.
  • Better rates: Get more for less! Brands can lock in rates with ambassadors up front in exchange for longer-term partnerships that include perks such as a monthly shipment of free products, invites to exclusive events, early access to new launches, and more.

How to find the best brand ambassadors for your brand

Like any other partnership, the key to success is finding the right partners for your brand. And don’t be afraid to step outside of the typical social media influencer circle. You can turn anyone from customers to employees into brand ambassadors, too — as long as they possess these key qualities: 

  • Fans of your brand: Creators who have a lot of love for your brand have the power to spread advocacy in the most authentic way possible. Find existing brand fans and show them that you value their continued support by turning them into brand ambassadors.
  • Avid social sharers: Work with creators who are eager to share new products with their audience. These creators will often be the first to create engaging content, such as PR unboxings, reviews, and try-on hauls — without even being asked to. 
  • Selective with brands: Brand alignment is key when it comes to ambassadorships. Do some research to find creators who only promote products they truly believe in, rather than someone who promotes anything they’re offered payment for.
  • Subject matter experts: Some of the most effective brand partners will be creators who have expertise and authority to talk about your products, serving as credible sources. For example, work with a dermatologist if you’re a skincare brand, or a certified dietician if you’re a food brand.

The best way to find the perfect ambassador for your brand is to look through your existing customer database or use a social listening tool to find those already talking about your brand online. For more advanced tools, you can invest in a platform like Aspire to leverage technology such as our Creator Search Engine or the Creator Marketplace

4 ways to activate brand ambassadors

1. Leverage ambassadors for turnkey content creation.

Content from one-off, seasonal campaigns can have a short shelf life. In contrast, brand ambassadors can create evergreen content throughout the year, making their content always relevant and timely. 

Paired with UGC, contracting ambassadors to support your content needs will ensure that your team has high-quality content accessible at all times for any marketing effort — eliminating the need for expensive studio shoots year-round. 

2. Provide ambassadors with affiliate links or promo codes. 

When ambassadors repeatedly post about your brand, your brand gains the trust and credibility from their audience, leading to higher chances of purchase consideration. Provide each of your ambassadors the additional incentive of revenue sharing with each sale they drive by giving them a unique affiliate link or promo code to share with their audience. That way, your ambassadors become almost like an extension of your sales team, and you can introduce a new revenue stream for your business. 

3. Invite ambassadors to events and activations. 

There are many ways to leverage ambassadors when it comes to your brand events. 

  • Pop-up shops and store openings: Invite ambassadors to important brand events such as pop-up shops and store openings. By having familiar faces making an appearance at your event, you can not only build a buzz around it, but also get more people excited to attend and engage in the event.
  • Guest speaking opportunities: Invite an ambassador who is a subject matter expert to speak at your event. By doing so, you can establish brand trust and gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.
  • VIP events: Whether it’s tickets to the Eras Tour or an extravagant ambassadors-only trip to Italy, provide ambassadors with meaningful brand experiences to build deeper relationships with your ambassadors, source organic content, and boost brand affinity. 

4. Co-create your brand with ambassadors.

When you turn your creators into brand ambassadors, you’re agreeing to building deeper connections with your creator partners. So, give your ambassadors a bigger role in your brand-building process by:

  • Getting product feedback
  • Building an exclusive product line together
  • Promoting the brand together

In other words, build more meaningful relationships with your ambassadors and launch creative activations to truly involve them in the brand building process. In turn, you’ll be able to run more authentic ambassador campaigns that result in positive returns. 

Interested in learning more? Watch the full webinar on demand. 

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