The Marketing Boutique

If you’ve recently bought Company A and decided to change the name of Company A, you are probably in the middle of a rebrand. It sounds simple enough, updating all sales collateral to the new brand image, developing the right message and launching a new website that merges Company A with your company. Read More

The Who, What, Where, When and Why of developing an online brand ambassador program

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 organisation 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 had a wonderful time managing a couple of Brand ambassador programs and here are my top tips to get you started.

1- Why implement a brand ambassador program?

During the Holidays, potential consumers are bombarded with marketing from all sides. Content that comes from brand ambassadors, however, doesn’t look or feel like traditional ad campaigns. The major advantage is that you are connecting a network of people who are already favourably predisposed to your brand with authentic and sincere content – backed by an ambassador to engage their networks with their content and hold a conversation around it.

2- Who are the right people to represent my brand?

The stakeholders who are best positioned to mobilize their networks are your employees, volunteers, brand fans and your customers (or beneficiaries). Select your ambassadors for their natural ability to communicate their genuine enthusiasm for your product, service or cause. A good candidate would be someone who is ideally passionate about your brand, active on their personal social media platforms, and is keen to answer questions and be the public face of your brand to their networks.

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. While your campaign would necessarily need to be time-limited (the T in SMART objectives!), and could easily wrap up early in the New Year, the beauty of online campaigns is that the content remains even when the program has ended. Furthermore, you can constantly create new content and tap new networks by recruiting new ambassadors if you are targeting a longer-term program and have a sufficient candidate pool from which to draw from.

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 objective was to promote girl leadership development by introducing adult members that had grown up as Girl Guides and are considered today’s leaders in various capacities.

The four dynamic women that participated in the Brand Ambassador program provided testimonials, blog posts, interviews, videos, and photos, and also attended events to help promote important brand messages of their wonderful experience, including gaining leadership skills as a Girl Guide! They also shared this same message on their social media platforms and made themselves available to the media for interviews during these events.

The campaign was a rousing success, garnering not only media coverage throughout the year-long program but through tapping the ambassadors’ personal networks – reaching audiences that Girl Guides of Canada had not been able to connect with otherwise.

As much as social media is becoming popular at the same time, there is a growing misunderstanding of what social media can do for a business.

Let’s first review the social selling program:

Goal: To engage and impress the right people (target market). Stay informed on your prospective customer and customer’s happenings and events.

Social Selling Guide

  1. Set-up the right social media platforms
  2. Find the right people / target market
  3. Create content that sells but doesn’t give away the farm for free!
  4. Start a routine and this could mean a daily posting on your Business Page on LinkedIn and three daily tweets on Twitter and Facebook and a weekly blog posting on your site.

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In today’s post, we’re offering you six promotions for health and wellness companies. The health and wellness industry is big. It encompasses everything from day spas and gyms to wellness tourism, feminine hygiene, home fitness, and nutrition.

Because consumers are always on the lookout for the “next great thing” to help improve their health and lifestyles, you need to be promoting your brand.

Promoting Your Health and Wellness Company

The promotions are applicable for brick and mortar shops as well as for online shops.  Even though recent trends have shown that online shopping is becoming more popular than traditional shopping, many small shops continue to thrive in today’s competitive economy.

But today’s retailer needs to do more complex promotions, one that ties social media, brick and mortar shop, with their online shopper and the wider community. Many health and wellness companies today need to expand their marketing muscle. Because very few can survive today with a small advert in their local newspaper. 

Here are six promotions for health and wellness companies, boutiques, gyms and spas.
  1. Engage Brand Ambassadors or Micro-Influencers: Many bloggers have a large following, but you need to make sure their followers are truly engaged. Some don’t provide measurement for most of their promotional activities or even provide a report on how many clicks you’ll receive from an earlier blog post. You will both need to work with your influencer, your expectations and your working agreement. In other words, you may just have to reduce your expectations and work slowly with a brand ambassador until you can actually see the results you expect from using a brand ambassador. Micro-influencers in the health and wellness space has more credibility, as they are seen as experts and trusted sources of information. These influencers can generate substantial engagement and can yield a highly measurable ROI. They’re likely to get up to 9.7% engagement, while celebrities may clock in at around 1.6%.
  2. Branded Annual Event: The larger our online community grows, the more we love to connect on a more personal level. An annual event is exciting, especially when it’s exclusive. Create a theme around your annual event, something none of your competitors can copy. If you don’t have the time or money, you don’t have to create huge events to get your buyers’ attention. You can consider having pop-up shops, offering free samples, and getting a photo with their favourite influencer – all to get your consumer to talk about your product, share your content, and buy your product.
  3. Leverage Local Event or Charity: Take your time and pick the right charity you want to support. Sometimes it is better to support a young charity and get in early enough to help a charity grow; this way, most of the press will be directed at you, and that’s the point. No press, not worth it.
  4. Referral / Loyalty Program: While this tactic seems overdone and almost every store offers a loyalty program, these still work, especially to your loyal customers. They want to love you and an annual 10% discount on their birthday goes a long way.
  5. Media Relations: Many businesses have created success by being written up in beauty and wellness magazines. These are popular magazines read by a wide audience, and one positive write-up can new leads for years to come.
  6. Email marketing: Not sure where to start with your email marketing program? Subscribe to your competitors and a few other brands to see what they’re doing in their newsletter, and this will also fuel your creativity at the same time. But, take note, email marketing is not easy. Sometimes, I love a brand, but their email marketing is uninspiring. I end up deleting them. While others, I truly enjoy. Take note of the styles you like and why.

Five networking tips to help build your brand

networking-tips-the-marketing-boutiqueAs much as social media helps to expand our network, participating in traditional networking events is still a solid tactic to add to your brand building tactics.  Networking also helps you build your community and especially if you are a subject-matter expert, networking can lead to consulting gigs and workshop opportunities. If you are only an online business, networking will help to create a foundation as some people

Certainly this style of event is, at times, intimidating.  I started to actively attend networking events just this past year and I’m still learning the tricks of the trade.  Here are 4 easy tips that has helped me build a better network and enjoy networking events. Read More