How to Create and Reward Brand Ambassadors in 2023 (In-Depth Guide)
Brand ambassadors are your most passionate fans, but how can they make a difference to your business?
The key is creating a deep pool of enthusiasts, and we’re going to show you exactly how to do this!
Here’s your guide to creating and rewarding brand ambassadors.
What are Brand Ambassadors?
Brand ambassadors are people who help promote your products because they have positive feelings towards your business. This can mean influencers, affiliates, customers, virtually anybody.
That might sound like a pretty broad definition, and that’s because it’s a pretty broad group of people.
There’s no limit to the scale of brand ambassadors either. You could sign up the Queen of England to promote your products, or your next-door neighbor Dave might tell everyone he knows about how great your business is; they’re both brand ambassadors.
Both also have influence. Dave might not be known by as many people as the Queen of England, but he’s a pretty great guy, so when he says something people listen!
Whether you know it or not, you probably have brand ambassadors out there already, the question is, how do you grow this group of enthusiasts?
Why are Brand Ambassadors Important?
Brand ambassadors are extremely important because social proof plays such a big part in people’s purchasing decisions.
A huge part of our decision-making is based on what we see others doing, and this is what’s known as social proof. The amazing thing is, 70% of people will trust a recommendation from people they don’t even know.
Let’s take an obvious example: crypto.
Fundamentally, the ideas behind crypto haven’t changed, but we’ve reached a point where we went from that odd tech guy who wouldn’t stop talking about Bitcoin to everyone including your next-door neighbor Dave owning crypto.
Why is that?
Two parts of social proof come into play:
- We want to see others have taken the risk first and had a good experience
- FOMO (fear of missing out): we’re scared we’ll be the one person that misses out
Brand ambassadors can be important because they’re an incredibly authentic way of showcasing social proof. In the modern world, individuals can reach large audiences and show that people are buying your product, that it’s great, and that people shouldn’t miss out.
When we think about crypto, the first person that comes to mind is Elon Musk. If people see that Musk trusts crypto, they’re going to think “well, perhaps it is a good investment.” At the same time though, you’ve got all those small-scale brand ambassadors: your friends and family who casually say “I bought some Bitcoin and it’s been amazing” when you’re out for dinner.
Together, they bring an incredible amount of social proof and have a big impact on people’s purchasing decisions.
How to Attract Brand Ambassadors
If you’ve got lots of enthusiastic brand ambassadors spreading the word about your amazing products, then you’re in a good place. The question is, how do you attract these people?
1. Brand Engagement
As the name suggests, your brand has a lot to do with this process.
Let’s be honest, there are very few products that are unrivaled. There’s virtually always a competitive product that does virtually the same job.
So, what causes people to choose Nike over Adidas, Apple over Samsung, and McDonald’s over Burger King?
Yes, the products have their differences, but a lot of it is to do with branding. People build emotional connections with brands to the point where they start to champion one over the other. It’s one of the reasons why big businesses are so invested in advertising.
Good branding can have the same effect on your business and help attract brand ambassadors (both big and small).
2. Quality Products/ Services
In the last paragraph, we mentioned that branding is key, but now we’re going to pull it back to your products/services.
The thing is, whether your brand ambassador is the Queen of England, Elon Musk, or your neighbor Dave, they all have a reputation to uphold. If they’re going to put their name to something, they don’t want to end up being embarrassed.
One of the best ways to build brand ambassadors is to listen to what your customers are telling you.
If that’s a new feature they want to see, a problem they frequently have, or something else, make sure you’re open to their suggestions. By listening to your customers and improving your products/services accordingly, you encourage people to feel like they’re a part of your brand and this is powerful.
3. Customer Experience
If you ask people what they value the most about buying something, it’s increasingly likely to be the experience. Price and the quality of the product or service will always be important, but the experience is somewhere your brand can stand out from the crowd.
People become brand ambassadors because of a feeling, so you need to think about the emotions people experience when they:
- Buy products
- Communicate with your business
- Engage with your social media
- Deal with your customer support
It’s not just about a product anymore, it’s about the complete experience from the first moment people interact with your brand. It should never end because what you’re trying to do is create relationships.
Nail the customer experience, and you’re naturally going to create brand ambassadors.
What’s more, it’s going to make you stand out when those big influencers and affiliates are thinking about working with your brand.
4. Make it Fun
Don’t underestimate the power of making things fun!
Building a relationship with people requires plenty of touchpoints and one of the ways you can do this is by adding some excitement to your brand.
One idea that works well for this is to create viral giveaways. By creating fun prizes, you can incentivize people to engage with your brand, earning lots of mini brand ambassadors in the process.
With RafflePress, you can set up high-performance giveaways in a matter of minutes, and it couldn’t be easier. The amazing thing about RafflePress is it gives you so many different actions you can incentivize and goals you can set, for instance, you might:
- Create a prize: Let’s say your business sells artisan food hampers, so you put up 10 of your most popular hampers as prizes.
- Choose goals you want to achieve: You can make each goal worth a certain number of raffle entries. For example, liking your Facebook page might be worth 1 entry, joining your email newsletter 5, referring a friend 2, and so on.
- Your followers gain raffle entries based on the actions they complete: The more actions your followers complete, the more likely they are to win the prize.
When people engage with your brand in this fun way, they almost become brand ambassadors without even knowing it.
How to Reward Brand Ambassadors
Authenticity is a key part of being a brand ambassador, but that doesn’t mean rewards can’t play a part. This can be a win-win partnership so consider how you reward people’s loyalty to your brand.
You can get as creative as you want here, but we’ve got a few ideas to help you out:
- Discounts on products/services: Simple but effective.
- Access to exclusive content: Free access to your insider tips and tricks.
- Early access to new products/services: Pre-release access to your latest and greatest offerings.
- Behind the scenes access to your brand: Perhaps an interview with the CEO, or a day learning from your social marketing team.
- Personalized merchandise: This one’s a classic; everyone loves swag.
- Appearance in branded videos/ content: Think what it would mean to a brand ambassador to be in your major TV commercial; it’s the same feeling even for smaller content.
- Help them grow their audience: Use your audience to grow their audience.
- Sponsor them to attend events/ conferences: A perfect opportunity for them to show off their branded merch.
- Give them recognition: Showcase all their hard work and thank them for the enthusiasm they have for your brand.
Bonus Tip: A great way to showcase your brand ambassadors is with Smash Balloon’s social media feeds for WordPress.
This allows you to create beautiful social feeds on your website (no coding or technical skills needed) to show off all the cool things your top ambassadors do with your brand.
Affiliate Marketing: The Most Powerful Reward of All
We deliberately left one reward off the list because we felt it needed its own category.
Giving your brand ambassadors the opportunity to earn a consistent income is hard to beat, and the best thing is it’s incredibly easy to do.
With affiliate marketing software, your brand ambassadors simply add affiliate links or affiliate discount codes (with our personalized landing page add-on, they don’t even need these), in their posts, and they get a commission whenever someone makes a purchase.
AffiliateWP can help you set this up in a matter of minutes:
- Your ambassadors sign up to become affiliates
- They generate affiliate links to your products
- When someone clicks the link and makes a purchase, a referral is created
- Your brand ambassador gets paid a commission on the sale
Set up in minutes, automate your processes, and give your brand ambassadors the reward they’re really looking for.