What is a Brand Ambassador and What Do They Do?
A brand ambassador is someone formally recognized by the brand as a representative, and helps spread the word of the brand. A brand ambassador loves the product, uses the product, advocates for it organically and gets rewarded for such advocacy.
Who are brand ambassadors?
Brand ambassadors can either be influencers or customer ambassadors.
Influencers are paid to help spread a brand’s message. Often, influencers are celebrities that are not users of the product they recommend. Therefore, consumers often perceive influencers to be inauthentic. This assumption is primarily because celebrity brand ambassadors are often transactional driven.
An ambassador for Samsung, for example, was seen using an iPhone X instead of Samsung. This situation made it clear that the ambassador was not a true advocate for the Samsung brand.
Customer ambassadors decide to spread the brand’s message because they already love the brand. Customer ambassadors reach small audiences but are highly authentic because they are ‘real people’ with real problems.
Customer ambassadors are authentic and help market a brand and increase engagement rate. Brands can work with them in various ways, in order to fulfill a wide range of tasks.
What do brand ambassadors do?
There are a variety of ways that brand ambassadors can help elevate a brand. This includes creating authentic, contextual content of real life users by taking on tasks such as written pieces, photo testimonials and video testimonials, and other important tasks. Discover the many ways that brand ambassadors help to boost brands below:
Writing Testimonials & Reviews
Brand Ambassadors can write various content that is beneficial to the brand. This could include short pieces, such as product testimonials, or long pieces like blog posts. Both are useful in their own way.
Ambassador testimonials are impartial, making them valuable. They are useful because consumers know these testimonials are not paid content. Customers express real emotion, which reaps positive benefits for the brand. For example, a job preparation site increased their conversion rates by 34% by placing attributed testimonials at the top of their product pages.
Ambassadors can also take part in customer review forums. Potential customers trust other customers more than advertising or marketing, therefore, online reviews can play a large part in a potential customer’s decision making. Reviews help businesses relay information that a consumer may want to know which, in turn, increases the conversion rates of the brand.
Brand ambassadors can collaborate with a brand to create user-generated content (UGC) which can be a powerful tool to increase brand loyalty and awareness.
Photo testimonials and product imagery are great examples of visual UGC. In the book Brain Rules by John Medina, the author states that when someone hears a piece of information, they will only remember 10% of it after 3 days. By including pictures, they will remember 65% of it. This illustrates the power of visuals.
Visuals help consumers remember your brand. They allow people with a low attention span to easily process the advantages of a product or company. This leads to increased engagement, which is highlighted in a report which found that user-generated content featuring a brand drove 6.9x higher engagement than brand-generated content on Facebook. This re-enforces the value behind ambassador engagement and visual production.
Ambassadors can make relevant content as well. Sourcing product imagery has a variety of advantages. A photograph can show a 360 degree view of the product or show the product styled in different ways. One of the main perks of UGC is to create a more relatable page for the consumer.
Video testimonials are another way ambassadors can get involved. Forbes states, “Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.” There are various ways that videos can be beneficial to prospective customers. For example, 41% of marketers report video marketing having a high ROI.
While videos are useful on product pages, they are also important to use on social media. Videos present a large amount of information in a visually engaging manner. They also give brand ambassadors the chance to share their sincere feelings.
An 'unboxing video' is an interesting example of video content. These videos involve brand ambassadors opening products and immediately sharing their thoughts. Some may ask ‘what is the point of an unboxing video?’.
Not only do these videos have the potential to receive thousands or even millions of views, it gives viewers the opportunity to see authentic reactions to a product, and hear genuine feedback about a product to help the purchasing decision. Moreover, they allow viewers to have a sense of connection to their favourite ambassadors.
Word of Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth is highly influential. In fact, Chatter Matters Word of Mouth report reveals that word-of-mouth is directly responsible for 19% of all purchases, and influences as much as 90%.
Referring friends is important and customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend. Moreover, in the modern world there are a number of new channels for this positive word-of-mouth to spread. Many social channels such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are huge facilitators of word-of-mouth.
Consumers receive referrals from friends, family, or coworkers both online and offline. Visual content can further reinforce word-of-mouth in an online environment. This allows ambassadors to spread a brand’s message in a variety of ways.
Hosting or organising an event can be a task brands ask of their ambassadors.
Events aim to get the word out about a new product or keep up the hype about the company.
Brand events or related events are important because they allow brand ambassadors to learn more about a brand, as well as, engage with other ambassadors, network, and create content. Leveraging the event by asking them to post content on social media to spread the brand's awareness could increase the value of the event further.
Offering Valuable Feedback
A successful brand ambassador program focuses heavily on their brand - ambassador relationships. Ambassadors deliver straightforward, honest feedback for a range of subjects.
One example of this is product testing. Allowing your ambassadors to participate in product testing allows you to create unfiltered evaluations of products for new product development. You can increase the value of this action by allowing the ambassador to spread ‘pre-release’ opinions, creating hype about your brand.
What is the difference between brand ambassadors and brand advocates?
A brand ambassador is subtly different from a brand advocate. Brand advocates spread brand awareness, but do not have formal recognition from the brand.
Brand ambassadors may be encouraged to complete activities in order to spread a brand’s message and raise awareness.
Do brand ambassadors get paid?
Brand ambassadors can be paid in a variety of ways - not only on a monetary basis. For example, some ambassadors are compensated with free products or invited to exclusive events, while others are paid via affiliate programs. It can vary from program to program.
Why are Brand Ambassadors important?
Certain brand’s messages have been spread powerfully through social channels instead of the low trust channels of their competitors (digital ads, print ads and TV ads).
In general, this is because customers no longer trust brand’s messaging, but instead rely on other more trusted sources of information. In fact, almost 70% of UK adults (from the age of 16 years upwards) say they distrust advertising and more than 40% distrust the brands behind the advertising.
These figures emphasise that traditional advertising activities aren’t enough to build brand trust. Instead, to relay the message that your brand is one consumers can trust, your brand needs to be supported by real people with real voices - brand ambassadors.
There are countless activities that a brand ambassador can complete. Overall, ambassadors are able to embody a brand and drive sales by raising awareness and spreading the brand’s message through high trust channels.
They are the perfect marketing tool for a world in the midst of a trust epidemic, and can be used in a number of ways. This can include constructing testimonials, creating user-generated content, spreading messages through word-of-mouth, generating third-party information, organising or attending events, and producing feedback. Brands can use brand ambassadors to spread their message in a far more authentic and relatable way.
So, Where Do I Go From Here?
The way of implementing a scalable solution that can grow a brand through more trusted channels is via a brand ambassador program. With a brand ambassador program, brands can utilise a body of people to carry a brand image, and advocate for it. Discover some great examples of brand ambassador programs and how they can help to elevate your brand, or book a demo and get started.