Do you have an army of brand ambassadors that will be advocates for your product, if you release a new product or service?
Establishing brand ambassadors for your business can help ensure your company’s marketing efforts stand out. There are professional brand ambassadors—meaning, you hire a person to represent a brand in a positive light, and by doing so, help to increase brand awareness and sales.
What’s the best way to secure ambassadors to promote your brand for little to no cost? Employees and customers may come to mind first, and naturally so. People who are already satisfied with the way you do business and the quality of the products or services that you provide have no problem being your company’s cheerleaders. You can encourage—even incentivize—your customers and employees to share favorable stories.
College Students as Ambassadors
Beyond the obvious, college campuses are a breeding ground for potential brand ambassadors. You want the influencers on campus who can help round out your marketing campaign, suggests Adam Grant of Campus Commandos. You can reach them by connecting with student organizations and forging those relationships. “For instance, if you own a pet store, you should reach out to the pre-veterinarian or humane society organizations on campus,” he explains. “Create meaningful, sustainable relationships with these student organizations.”
Incentives, in this case, can be to offer letters of recommendation, as a way to encourage participation among college students or recent graduates. You might pay a small monthly salary or stipend, or let them know that being a brand ambassador could be positive fodder on a resume. “Ultimately, you want to help students land an opportunity, whether it be through building their resume, getting them an internship, or sharing your expertise,” Grant adds.
Social Media Influencers
Also, try searching on social media to find the key influencers, who are out attending events in your area of business and are “in the know.” Reach out to them, and offer a complimentary product. If they like it, offer an inventive, such as providing company credit every month for referrals.
In addition, try creating a lively and engaged Facebook group. Just make sure that you are in there every day answering questions, having conversations, and celebrating your members. On the sixth week of membership, ask them to take a survey. Reach out those active members, and ask if they will help promote the brand as ambassadors.
You can also turn to Twitter to help you find people that are regularly talking about your industry. Use Hootsuite to set up a Twitter stream based on keywords related to your brand. Those who are continuously tweeting about your keywords and offering up good content can be great people to reach out to as brand ambassadors.