As in any other area, being a brand ambassador today has a different meaning from what it used to be, 10 years ago. However, there are two elements that remain the same: knowing how to manage your brand from a word of mouth perspective and how to use Google properly.
A friend of mine told me once that ten years ago, he became a brand ambassador to share concerts and spread the word among his contacts. He was either provided a contact email, or else, he was asked to look for that person’s contact details up to get a hold of them, then he would be provided the concert information, and finally he would send it out. That was it.
That was ok to earn extra money, but that’s it. In a matter of a few years influencers came along and totally changed the game. To be a brand ambassador today is very different from what it meant back then.
From in-person brand representation to online influence, brand ambassadors continue to evolve and multiply the benefits of the companies they partner with.
I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of influencers on Instagram, and there are even accounts you follow yourself. They are (in a way) brand ambassadors. It’s not an “overly difficult” game, but it requires strategy to a certain extent.
What is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is defined as a person who doesn’t necessarily need to be from the brand itself, but any other person or entity that has a relationship with the brand, and who constantly promotes a brand’s image, product or service. In general, brand ambassadors leverage their social skills to increase brand awareness and to embody the brand’s values and missions.
Unlike a spokesperson, brand ambassadors have an ongoing relationship with the brand, working collaboratively to showcase new products, share relevant content and attend brand events. Brand ambassadors share a personal connection, an identity, with the brand, and somehow they share a bond.
Because of their personal investment and influence, brand ambassadors interact with the brand’s audience, and become that link between users and a company.
Brand ambassador programs allow many people to work with the company and usually span a long period of time. This allows them to fully develop professional relationships and facilitate that brand ambassadors introduce the brand seamlessly to their audience.
To find these ambassadors, brands can use social listening, which implies finding customers who are passionate about the brand and who are already actively sharing information about it on their own social channels.
Do you comply with these requirements? Then you can be a brand ambassador
So what does a good brand ambassador look like? How should you act? What should you be aware of? These are the features you need to meet:
This doesn’t mean that, as a brand ambassador, you need to be a marketing expert, but you should understand the basic, elementary principles of marketing. Specifically, the best ambassadors appreciate the importance of authenticity in modern marketing and understand the role that digital marketing and social media play in generating high-quality referrals. And of course, relationships.
This is closely related to the above, and is also critical. For word-of-mouth marketing to be successful, you, as an ambassador, need to be able to reach as many people as possible through a variety of channels and platforms. Now, this doesn’t mean you’ve got to have 20,000 Twitter followers or thousands of email contacts to represent a brand. But you do need to have a well-established online presence and a highly engaged network that can be accessed through your blog, emails or webinars, for example.
One hundred percent professionalism
Even if you don’t hire ambassadors, there will always be people who will talk about you and act as brand ambassadors. For that reason, you should always make sure that your own employees are the ones who do a great job, so that if they are the ones who act as ambassadors, they will do it in the most professional way possible. In fact, they are the ones who can best perform this task. Have you ever heard of Employee Branding?
Are you a natural leader?
Have you got this ability? Are you able to influence other people? Then you are a natural-born brand ambassador.
Think about the people you seek diverse recommendations from. Sure, they’re knowledgeable experts on a particular topic, but you probably seek their opinions because they also exude confidence and positivity, traits that attract you and make you want to listen to them. These are the same type of people you’ll need to be for others when representing a brand.
Are you passionate about human relationships?
That’s great, because you will also have to create them and take care of them!
One thing you need to consider is that ambassadors are not salespeople who are trying to make as many deals as possible. They exist to foster strong and loyal relationships between your customers and your brand. As an ambassador you must be passionate, and intimately familiar with the products or services, and you must also be an expert at establishing connections with others on behalf of the brand.
Are you able to analyze feedback and communicate it?
Great. This will be another one of your tasks.
No referral program is perfect. Neither is any particular product or service. Inevitably, you will need to gather feedback based on experiences with the products or services, as well as your conversations with customers and competitors. This information can provide critical data to help improve the brand’s various programs.
As with any marketing strategy, if you become a brand ambassador, you will need to combine strategy, resources, technology and people. People play a particularly critical role in driving the entire operation. If you get the right combination of skills, personality and credibility, your job will be perfect.