The BRAND AMBASSADOR GUIDELINE
The Brand Ambassador Guideline is ideal for companies and organizations that have tight marketing budgets. I come from a background of working with non-profits and charities, helping them to raise brand awareness about their cause. One of the things I loved the most about working with NGOs, is the virtually non-existent ad budgets!
Yes, you read that correctly.
There is a thrill in developing promotional campaigns with next to no funding; it not only breeds creativity but makes buy-in throughout the organization a breeze. By having a gang of stakeholders rallied to promote the campaign, the resulting word-of-mouth advertising is not just inexpensive – it’s priceless.
I enjoy designing and managing brand ambassador programs. As a result, I am providing my expertise would be a good post to provide my top tips to get you started.
1- Why implement a brand ambassador program?
Your potential consumers are bombarded with advertising- off and online. Content that comes from brand ambassadors, however, doesn’t look or feel like traditional ad campaigns. The major advantage is that you are connecting with a network of people who can be favourably predisposed to your brand. The combination of sincere content and backed by an ambassador creates the perfect engagement for their networks to engage with your brand.
2- Who are the right people to represent my brand?
Usually, the best brand ambassadors to mobilize their networks are your employees, volunteers, brand fans and your customers. Select your ambassadors for their natural ability to communicate their genuine enthusiasm for your product, service or cause. A good brand ambassador candidate would be
- Passionate about your brand
- Active on their personal social media platforms
- Keen to engage their network about your brand
- Loyal to your brand message
- Available as the public face of your brand, when required
Today we have popular bloggers who can also be in your brand ambassador program with services ranging from wiring a blog post to attending an event.
3- What should I expect them to do?
You have chosen your ambassadors for their spunk and eagerness, but they are not necessarily trained public relations professionals! Help them help you by developing clear expectations – the place to start is by getting on the same page with the program’s objectives and messaging. Give them opportunities to practice articulating their passion with sincerity and authenticity – you don’t want them sounding scripted. The next step is to ask them to develop content in the form of blog posts, video testimonials, photos, that are in line with those objectives. This content is the collateral that will make your brand go viral!
You can also ask them to attend your events, speak with the media as well as participate in product development.
4- Where does content get posted?
Now that your ambassadors have pumped out quality content, it’s time for them to share it with their personal networks! Make sure that they are linking back to you, tagging you and mentioning you so that you can share their material in turn. This creates a far vaster web of exposure than any pure ad campaign could reach.
5- When is the best timing for a program?
The Holiday season is a natural time for your brand ambassadors to begin connecting your content to their network. It is a time in which people are getting in touch, and are feeling receptive to cheerful messages. Your campaign needs to be time-limited (the T in SMART objectives!), and could easily wrap up early in a short time period. The beauty of online campaigns is that the content remains even when the program has ended.
If you want a long-term Brand Ambassador program, ensure you have:
- Sufficient brand ambassador candidates
- Expertise to create new content
- Defined a clear goal and objectives
- Ambassadors who offer new or expanded networks
Case Study – Girl Guides of Canada
As the head of public relations for Quebec at Girl Guides of Canada, in 2012 I launched a year-long brand ambassador program, Quebec Girls Leading Tomorrow. The campaign objectives included to promote girl leadership development by introducing adult members that had grown up as Girl Guides. These adult members are today’s leaders in various capacities and especially in their network.
The four dynamic women that participated in the Brand Ambassador program provided testimonials, blog posts, interviews, videos, and photos. They also attended events to help promote important brand messages of their wonderful experience, including gaining leadership skills as a Girl Guide! They shared the same brand message on their social media platforms. More importantly, they made themselves available to the media for interviews during these events.
The campaign was a rousing success. We garnered media coverage throughout the year-long program. With the brand ambassadors strong network, we were able rreach audiences that Girl Guides of Canada had not been able to connect with otherwise.
Read more about this brand repositioning case study, click here.
Looking to implement an online ambassador program for your brand? I’d love to help you! Contact The Marketing Boutique, today.
Coordinator, Marketing and Media Relations
Girl Guides of Canada – Québec Council
Tel. (514) 933-5839