Create top performing brand ambassadors
In the previous blog you learned what Ambassador Marketing is and how to get to your first 100 ambassadors. (Woops, no idea what I'm talking about? Read it here.)Since you are ready to start attracting and enlisting people, it's also the right moment to start preparing their 'tools'.
- Tools, what tools?
- What are my options?
- Best practices
1. Tools, what tools?
Your ambassadors are ready to take on everyone who hasn't heard or bought from your business but they need the right 'weapons' to 'conquer' those people too.
That's why you, as their leader, need to provide them with the right assets.
Unless your ambassadors can make a living out of your program (e.g. Herbalife, Tupperware) they will have limited time to promote your business. Just because they obviously have jobs, hobbies, kids, ...
So it's up to you to enable them to get maximum result out of a 'minimum effort'.
2. What are my options?
There's a lot you can do to put your brand ambassadors to work but let me save you some time and show you the best options. (I tested them all and they work)
- Digital assets; Low to zero cost, easily accessible, huge reach
This is by far the easiest and cheapest option. Just open up a shared Google Drive or a Dropbox folder and fill it with everything you want your ambassadors to share online. You can create facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn posts, a file with links to blogposts or videos they need to share, a document with email templates for them to use. Posters they can print. The options are limitless. Just make sure everything is copy paste proof. The lower the effort, the more it will be used.
- Samples; Costs depend on your business, big sales enabler
Makes a lot of sense but unfortunately very dependent on your kind of business. It's a bit hard to hand out free €20.000 3D-printers. But if applicable, it's one of the best ways to help your ambassadors sell your products. If the ambassador is a customer they will already have your products or will have used your service but samples are a good way to introduce them to new products, new features, etc. Relates to the 'see before you buy' principle.
- Merchandise; Medium cost, huge added value, long term reach
Save the best for last. Merchandise is by far the most efficient way to empower your ambassadors. Remember that guy you saw in his custom Porsche polo?
He might have bought his Porsche a few years ago but he's still a proud owner and he wants the world to know. He's not constantly pushing product folders or social media posts under your nose. He's not even constantly talking about it. He's just occasionally wearing his polo. Seen by a few hundred people on average just by leaving the house and doing his daily routine.
The Porsche story might be a bit too much but you should have gotten my point by now. Merchandise enables people to go to work, hang out with their friends, attend events all the while promoting your business. The only requirement is that you make wearable merchandise. Nobody will wear a plain T-shirt with your logo printed on it. Unless you want them to mow their lawn or paint their walls in it.
3. Best Practices
I've shown which tools work best, so you'll definitely need some time to get into all of those. But here are some best practices to help you save some of that precious time.
- Don't overdo it
Never go all the way in on something before you tested it. You don't need to create 500 social media posts upfront or order 1000 custom socks for your ambassadors. Start by creating 5 social media posts and asking your ambassadors if they would wear the socks or if they would prefer caps. Makes a big difference and will save you time and money!
- Test, test, test
Don't assume that your social media posts will work right way. Make two or three variations of the same post/topic and have your ambassadors post the variations. Have them report back and that's the only way to find out what kind of text, colors, images really work with your target audience.
- Exclusivity is key
Make sure you don't go too public with your ambassador program. Or if you do, don't make it too easy to climb the ladder. People don't like easy stuff. They tend to get bored very fast and will leave your program as fast too.
So make sure they feel like they have joined an exclusive club and have them work for it to stay in the club from time to time. Make sure the rewards are not too easy to get but still are worth. If you're able to achieve that, you've got yourself a really good and promising ambassador program.
Preparation is key. Dedicate some of your time to help your ambassadors be as efficient as possible.
- Create a shared folder all ambassadors can access online
- Give them the right tools to promote your business (Digital media, Merchandise)
- Find the right balance between exclusivity and an open-for-all program