The Importance Of Brand Ambassadors: Guerilla Marketing In The Digital Age
When it comes to guerrilla marketing, brand ambassadors are the new street team. Whether a paid team of professional ambassadors or an army of die-hard fans, brand ambassadors can be the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.
Word of Mouth Advertising is Effective
Word of mouth has always been seen as more reliable than paid advertising in consumers’ eyes. According to a recent study conducted by Nielsen, 92% of participants reported that they trust product endorsements from friends and family, compared to 33% of respondents who said they trust paid advertisements. This “trend” will likely never change; the only thing that will is the method in which peer recommendations are delivered. In today’s marketing landscape, social media is the golden goose of garnering positive sentiment about your brand.
Brand Ambassadors Humanize Your Brand
Brand ambassadors, your digital street team, become the face of your brand. Rather than receive messaging from an impersonal corporation, your future customers are subversively advertised to by real, living people whom they already trust.
Brand Ambassadors Are Loyal
In most cases, brand ambassadors are already fans of your brand; you may even have brand ambassadors already and not know it. So, one tactic for establishing a brand ambassador base or influencer outreach initiative is to engage in social listening. Get a read on the sentiments about your brand expressed online; you may find superfans who’d love nothing better than to officially support your brand. Recruit these loyal customers, arm them with marketing assets and amplify their reach.
Loyal employees can also be powerful brand ambassadors by sharing news and a good word about your company to their personal social media channels. Just keep in mind that the most important factor in building an effective “digital street team” is authenticity.
If you’re a lifestyle brand, like Red Bull or Patagonia, it may be wise to invest in hiring brand ambassadors who share your brand’s values and align with your brand image. You may have seen these types of brand ambassadors at work during music festivals or sporting events, handing out samples, raising awareness and nurturing social proof. Or, they may take the form of paid bloggers and online reviewers.
Brand Ambassadors Are Cost-Efficient
Because the best brand ambassadors are those who have a genuine love of your brand, many will be happy to spread the word in exchange for swag, discounts or VIP status.
Professional brand ambassadors, if you chose to go that route, may be hourly contract workers or salaried employees — it depends on your company’s needs. The national average pay for a full-time brand ambassador is just under $50,000 per year. Hourly wages run from $10 to $25 an hour. When bringing on paid brand ambassadors, it’s of the utmost importance to thoroughly screen and vet applicants. A successful brand ambassador will embody your brand’s personality and life your brand’s lifestyle. You want brand ambassadors with passion who are earnest and natural.
See the power of brand ambassadors in action. Check out the Sipsters program we initiated for RELAX wines.
Brand Ambassadors Are Always On
One person can’t be available 24/7 to address social media needs. But a mobilized team of brand ambassadors can. When your brand ambassador team is a well-oiled machine, they’ll be prepared to help answer questions and provide more information on your brand. Sure, they won’t be able to field customer service questions and operational concerns, but they can provide reassurance and keep your customer happy until you can fully address their issue.
Last Words On Brand Ambassadors
Today’s consumers can sniff out a phony and know when they’re being advertised to. Developing a brand ambassador program can help your brand utilize the ultimate native advertising: word of mouth. Humans are social creatures and trust others in their circles. No matter how technology changes, that core human truth never will.