There are many ways to increase your brand visibility, building trust and increasing sales, but one that many businesses overlook is the use of brand ambassadors. This comes under influencer marketing, which is all about connecting with people that already use your products, or fit the mould of your target customer.
Every brand can benefit from brand ambassadors, but you cannot just jump straight in and take a pick at random, there are some things you must know and consider first.
An Influencer is someone who has an impact on a specific group of people. But really, this is a loaded question because, quite frankly, an Influencer can be anyone, and anyone can be influential on something. In fact, everyone is influential on some level.
You have probably heard the term Social Media Influencer thrown about, but not everyone knows what they are exactly. Generally speaking, an Influencer is someone that typically has a somewhat large following on any mainstream social media platform, primarily Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc. that has an impact on their followers/subscribers, and create some kind of community.
It’s also important to not get twisted up in the numbers, someone could have 100,000 followers that do not really engage with posts, and you could have someone with 10,000 hardcore followers, that linger on everything and anything that the influencer does.
As much as it may seem obvious to go and find someone with a large following, let’s take someone fresh out of the villa on Love Island, sometimes the best first step is to look within your organisation. Someone that knows the brand in and out, is passionate about what you do and can communicate this freely without a script.
The next step is to search within your customer base. Does anyone stand out, do you have any die-hard fans, somebody that is always engaging with your business. These people can speak from experience about your brand and will most likely recommend your products purely because they believe in them.
Finally, you will want to start searching online, but this is going to take more time and care to find the ideal candidate. What does the ideal brand ambassador look like? You want to find someone that models your perfect customer, as the chances are that their following will most likely share these traits too.
As I mentioned earlier, and no matter how tempting it may be to go and find someone straight out of some reality TV show like Love Island, you want to be careful and not just score anyone just because you want to. Many of these people are simply promoting products that they have never heard of before, never used and quite frankly do not care about. All that matters to them is how many 0s are on the check that you are willing to pay them. This does not apply to all reality TV stars, but you do not want to pay someone that is going to sell out their fans, ruin their own reputation, and in turn ruin your brand reputation.
Personally, I believe that YouTubers are the best influencers that a brand can work with. They have a solid relationship with their community and often will recommend your products in their videos simply because they believe in it, and these videos will have a much longer shelf-life than a simple Facebook post. Many YouTuber’s often have a strong influence on their other social channels, especially Instagram, where many will create posts or Instagram Stories discussing your brand.
Once you have secured some influencers, the success lies in the relationships you build with them. The best practices are to let them do their own thing, forcing them to say certain things will inevitably result in them becoming uninterested fast, and their followers will catch on to the fact that the influencers behaviour is not natural. You want to communicate with them, letting them know that this is a relationship with mutual support, rather than some ‘agreement’.
Ultimately, these people are helping your brand, and the chances are they are going to want something in return. This generally comes in the form of money, products or other incentives. Some business owners may be saying right now ‘well why would I give them money or free products?’. Well, the answer to that question is MARKETING. When you take on a brand ambassador, they are marketing for your company, and marketing costs money.
Working with Influencers is a relationship, and with relationships come expectations. Before anything happens, rules/agreements should be set out so that there are no misinterpretations. This way you’ll know upfront the expectations of both sides. This will help you down the road in keeping your Influencers and Brand Ambassadors from jumping ship.
That’s it, you are all set to go and find brand ambassadors to represent your business. For more on how to grow your online business, check out our latest post 3 Things You MUST do to Scale Your Ecom Business.