Over the past few years, we have seen a shift in how DTC brands market to their ideal customers. More brands are choosing to invest and connect with their customers and build a community around their products.
And many brands have found massive success in connecting with their customers and genuinely marketing their products by enlisting the help of their biggest advocates.
That's why we have seen many brands leverage ambassador programs to achieve their growth goals and build a community around their brand.
Brands want ambassador involvement because of the attention & authenticity they command.
But the golden question many brands ask is - what makes a strong brand ambassador?
How can your brand distinguish between a happy customer and a brand advocate who's willing to generate brand buzz and produce content that centers your brand on social media and offline?
Additionally, if you are a passionate consumer looking to get into content creation, you might also be asking yourself where to start. Well, becoming a brand ambassador for your favorite brand is a great place to start!
When brands and loyal customer advocates meet and work together, magic happens. Brand ambassador marketing can help your brand connect deeper with your customer base and reward your most loyal customers for helping you reach your growth goals.
So today, we are going to talk about ambassador marketing. In this article, we will discuss; what makes a strong brand ambassador and what characteristics a brand ambassador must embody to earn more and level up.
What Is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is your most loyal and passionate customer. Ambassadors can be anyone obsessed with the brands from which they purchase.
Brand ambassadors rave about your products and are community leaders that promote your brand both on and offline. They want to create content incorporating your product for their followers to consume.
A brand ambassador helps spread brand awareness by driving referral sales, creating user-generated content (UGC), & word-of-mouth marketing.
Ambassadors are the customers that will speak highly of your brand, unprovoked. They enjoy your products so much they need other people to try them as well.
What Is User-Generated Content
User-generated content (often referred to as UGC) is any content a person creates that incorporates a brand's products. The content is then published online, whether on a blog, website, or social network.
Many brands leverage user-generated content to showcase their products being used by everyday people.
DTC brands have found that UGC is even more sticky with consumers than traditional ads created with paid models and actors.
The beauty of UGC is that potential customers can envision themselves using the product because the person who created the content is just like them. UGC is one of the best marketing methods brands can use to position their product to appeal to a wider audience.
Brand Ambassador, Influencer, Customer Advocate - What's the Difference?
Brand ambassadors and influencers fall under the blanket category of customer advocates. Customer advocates produce user-generated content and vouch for your brand both on and offline.
The main difference between brand ambassadors and influencers is that influencers tend to have larger audiences and are hyper-focused on one specific niche.
Brand ambassadors might not focus on one specific niche, and they tend to create content about whatever they want. But brand ambassadors are eager to produce content with their favorite brand's products.
Another distinction between influencers and ambassadors is that influencers don't typically interact with other brands' influencers; it's completely mercenary; brand ambassadors are more community and connection-driven. Ambassadors want to be part of a community of like-minded people, and they don't see other ambassadors as competition.
Brand ambassadors can be influencers, and influencers can be brand ambassadors. But, not all brand ambassadors are influencers and vice versa.
Here are some key differences between brand ambassadors and influencers:
- A smaller, more diverse audience
- Engagement levels
- Requirements and payment structure
- Communication style
What Is a Brand Ambassador's Role
A brand ambassador is a champion for their favorite brand. Brand ambassadors talk about the benefits, features, and quality of their favorite products/brands.
Brand ambassadors typically can be found online, but many brands give offline opportunities to their ambassadors, such as the chance to attend launch parties, fashion shows, and company events.
Brand ambassadors help generate buzz organically on social media and receive rewards for their hard work.
Here are some key responsibilities of a brand ambassador:
- Create content and UGC on social media
- Spread brand awareness using word-of-mouth (WOM) techniques
- Generate sales using affiliate links or codes to direct more visitors to the brand's website
- Influence brand decisions by giving feedback, ideas, and input to help shape the brand's product roadmap
- Attend in-person events to spread awareness and champion the brand in real-time
Characteristics of a Strong Brand Ambassador
Whether you are a brand looking to grow your ambassador program and find quality candidates, or an advocate that's interested in becoming an ambassador for your favorite brand, there are a few key characteristics that all successful brand ambassadors have.
The most successful brand ambassadors we have on CrewFire share some, if not all, of the following characteristics. These individuals are earning big, not only in commission for affiliate sales. Brand ambassador programs offer content creators the chance to join a community of like-minded people, grow their following, and get better at their craft.
Being a brand ambassador can be a big career boost for an individual. You will play a key role in influencing brands' decisions, and many mega influencers got their start as brand ambassadors.
Here are some key characteristics of a strong ambassador:
They LOVE the brand they work for and are passionate about the work they do. Passion has to be the number one thing an ambassador has to have.
They are a content creator, so they use their creativity when making UGC that incorporates a brand's product.
Desire to Learn
Brand ambassadors want to learn about business, marketing, and the best practices for representing a brand. They know that the more they learn, the more they earn.
A Keen Eye for Content Marketing
Ambassadors know what does and doesn't work on various social media platforms and the kind of content that will perform best.
Strong Online Presence
To generate buzz, the best brand ambassadors have a strong online presence. This doesn't necessarily mean hundreds of thousands of followers, but an active follower base who are eager to hear what they have to say and engage with their content.
Networker and Relationship Building Skills
Brand ambassadors often work for several brands, so they know how to network, build relationships, and market themselves as a strong contenders.
Genuine and Authentic
Brand ambassadors need to be genuine in the content they create and put authentic content forward. Brand ambassadors need to be relatable to the masses and instill trust in their word. Brand ambassadors should aim to be their follower's internet BFF for product recommendations.
Technically Savvy and Trendsetting
Brand ambassadors also need to be video editors, photo editors, and up-to-date on trends. Going vital is often the goal when creating content. Ambassadors understand that trendy, engaging, and high-quality content will always get more views.
Strong Voice and Writer
Many brand ambassadors also work as copywriters. They generate reviews or product tutorials and write all their captions. Strong writing skills and a unique voice are necessary to be a successful ambassador.
How to Be a Strong Brand Ambassador (and Earn Extra Cash Doing So!)
Many customers are interested in becoming an ambassador for their favorite brand. There are so many excellent benefits for becoming an ambassador, including:
- Extra income
- Growth on social media
- Discounts, free products, and exclusive rewards
- Access to exclusive community
- The chance to grow alongside your favorite brand
If you are interested in becoming a brand ambassador to earn some extra cash (or you're a brand looking for superstar ambassadors), here are a few steps you can follow to position yourself to be an excellent candidate when applying to an ambassador program.
Do Program Research and Outreach
Many DTC brands are starting ambassador programs, which presents an opportunity to work alongside your favorite brand. If you know that your favorite brand is looking for ambassadors, submit your application.
If it isn't obvious that your favorite brand has an ambassador or affiliate program, then reach out to them directly.
Perfecting your application and doing outreach are critical first steps when embarking on your ambassador journey.
If you are a brand- make it crystal clear that you have an ambassador program and create a seamless application process.
Determine Your Platform(s)
What social media platforms do you thrive on? Focus on those so that you can make the best content for the brands you work with.
If you are skilled at short-form video, focus on TikTok and Instagram. If you love making longer-form videos, focus on YouTube.
If writing is your jam, find ambassador programs that you can join while you optimize for Twitter.
Or, become fluent in a few social media platforms to position yourself as a strong brand ambassador.
Organize Your Assets and Optimize Your Profile - Affiliate Links and Portfolio
Optimize your profile on your social media accounts so that new followers and fans know exactly who you are and what brands you represent.
Ensure that you represent your niche well so that new potential followers know what to expect from your content.
A protip is to add a Linktree in your bio so that your followers can easily access your coupon codes and affiliate links.
Be sure to let your followers know the discount they will get for shopping with your code.
A strong ambassador knows how to optimize their profile and assets to make the shopping experience streamlined and enjoyable for their audience!
Build a Community
As discussed earlier, influencers and brand ambassadors differ in that influencers tend to have bigger audiences and a more specific niche.
But that doesn't mean ambassadors shouldn't invest and grow a community online.
Investing in your community and creating content that sparks conversation is beneficial, no matter the size of the audience.
The more you invest into your community, the more trust you will build, and that will help you generate more sales and passive income!
Be Consistent and Show Up
The more consistent an ambassador is, the more valuable they are to a brand. When you become an ambassador, you pledge to commit at least a few hours a week to working with a brand.
Being consistent and following through with your commitments is a surefire way to show a brand that you are committed to their program and valuable addition to the team.
If you can't show up, that's okay! Sometimes life gets in the way. We are all human. But remember that if you want to use ambassador marketing to earn more income and work with your favorite brands, showing up is crucial. Or else you run the risk of being removed from the program.
If that happens, don't sweat it.
Rejoin when you have the bandwidth to commit fully to the program.
Utilize Trends on Social Media
New trends are popping up ALL THE TIME on social media. Every week there is a new trending song, dance, or video edit taking over our timelines.
This week - Squid Game memes and content.
Study up on popular trends and create content incorporating them but with your twist.
Utilizing trends will help you get more exposure, grow your audience, and get more eyes on the content you create with your favorite brand's products.
Trends are popular for a reason, don't be afraid to leverage them to your advantage!
Study Social Media Marketing
The majority of the work brand ambassadors do happen online, so having a keen awareness and understanding of social media marketing will help you reach more people and get more eyes on your content.
Successful ambassadors study and define your craft. A brand ambassador often acts as a marketer, so understand how to track metrics, understand your audience, and optimize your posting time so that more people engage with your content.
Ready to turn your customers into your thriving crew of brand ambassadors? If so, watch the epic CrewFire demo video or get in touch with us to learn how you can drive more referrals, word-of-mouth, and user-generated content for your Shopify store.
Get in touch w/ Rony (CEO - CrewFire)