Take a moment to think about the last time someone offered you a word-of-mouth referral. It may have been a recommendation to check out a restaurant, buy a certain skin care product, or download a new app. Whether you followed through on the suggestion or not likely depended on the relationship you have with the person who gave it to you. If you are suspicious of their motives or feel like they don’t have your best interests in mind, then you are not going to want to take their advice.
Word-of-mouth referrals can be powerful drivers in marketing. Depending on the quality of the source, consumers will act on that referral or disregard it altogether. Ultimately, trust is the deciding factor in whether someone chooses to act on a suggestion or tune it out entirely. This is why choosing the right brand ambassadors to represent your brand at an event is so critical.
So the question you need to be asking yourself is: what kind of responses do your brand ambassadors elicit from your potential customers? Are they seen as trustworthy?
The Importance of Brand Ambassador Marketing
The definition of a brand ambassador will vary depending on who you ask. We define brand ambassadors simply as someone who guides the consumer experience and creates a positive connection to your brand. They do this by demonstrating the value of your products or services and embodying your brand’s values.
It is smart to choose brand ambassadors who can relate to your target audience. In some cases, you might want a brand ambassador who is also a person of influence in that sphere. Some of these social media-savvy brand ambassadors have built a specific community of followers online and can help to promote your brand.
While some brands need a person with that kind of extra reach, it’s important to know that a large following isn’t necessary for success. It is a brand ambassador’s passion and trustworthiness that makes their influence valuable.
Marcus Andersson and Per Ekman explained the power of effective brand ambassador marketing in their 2009 article, “Ambassador Networks and Place Branding.” Brand ambassadors can reach groups of people that corporations may not otherwise be able to reach. It is their ability to relate to and interact with your audience face-to-face that is so powerful.
The 5 Most Important Traits in a Brand Ambassador
Yet, as we have already established, not all brand ambassadors are created equal. Some people will not be a fit for your company, and choosing the wrong person to represent your brand is a mistake that can haunt you.
So what are the key traits you should be looking for in a brand ambassador? If you are in search of the right person for your brand ambassador marketing campaign, here are the five most important traits to look for.
Some people have a natural ability to draw others to them. The right brand ambassador should be passionate and exude a positive energy that will attract other like-minded people to them.
Your brand ambassador helps foster a strong connection between your customers and your brand. For that reason, they should be passionate about both your products or services and building relationships with others.
A brand ambassador may not technically be directly employed by your company. However, they have a significant amount of influence over how your company is perceived. You will want someone who is reliable, open to feedback and has a high standard of conduct for themselves. This includes in-person as well as their online persona.
Brand ambassador marketing requires versatility to be successful. You will guide the direction of the person’s message through brand messaging and talking points. However, it is their unique voice and ability to speak to the needs of each person they meet that makes the message work.
Depending on the types of activities your brand ambassadors engage in (live events, street teams, guerrilla marketing, etc.) they will have be creative to deal with challenges that crop up along the way. Your brand ambassador should be open to constructive feedback, trying new strategies, and reevaluating what works and what doesn’t.
If you are looking for a brand ambassador to help you push your message pre- and post-event, you will need someone with an established social media following. But it is not necessarily the person with the largest number of followers that you should look for. It is the person who has high engagement with their audience.
While it is natural to gravitate toward social media celebrities who have huge followings, the reality is that bigger is not always better. The number of the followers isn’t what is important, it’s the level of influence that person can leverage.
This 2016 study surveyed 2,000 consumers ranging in ages from 20 to 39. The overwhelming finding was that consumers are tired of being targeted by companies on social media. 56 percent of people admitted to cutting back or quitting social media altogether just to avoid exposure to the high volume of paid advertisements.
A brand ambassador is not a traditional salesperson. They should have a genuine appreciation for your product or service. This sentiment will come across naturally when they are sharing it with others. If your ambassador is being disingenuous or recommending something they don’t believe in, it will be clear. This is especially true with social media brand ambassadors who are communicating with their networks.
Getting Started with Brand Ambassador Marketing
When you align your company with the right brand ambassadors, you will increase your customer engagement and brand loyalty both instantly and over time.
A brand ambassador can bring trust and visibility to your brand by acting as a positive spokesperson for your company. The ambassador you select will become an extension of your brand. It is important to find the right person.
Are you interested in brand ambassador marketing? Since 1999, EventPro Strategies has supplied clients with the top brand ambassadors in the United States, Canada and internationally. Contact us today to learn more about partnering with our team. We will help you find the right brand ambassadors who will drive results for your marketing event.