12 Reasons You Need Brand Ambassadors Now
- Alen BubichJuly 9 2012
What, exactly, is a brand ambassador?
Brand ambassadors are simply people who represent and talk about your company in a positive way, preferably in front of lots of potential customers (i.e. their friends and family).
A brand ambassador is someone who embodies the brand he or she is endorsing. They provide credible, trustworthy promotion and visibility to a brand. A social media brand ambassador (or SMBA as we like to call them) is someone who does this for your company on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and they are gold to your company.
Why does using brand ambassadors work?
There are lots of reasons why using brand ambassadors is effective. Here are 12 great reasons to why we think brand ambassadors are invaluable to your business:
1. Brand ambassadors humanize your product
People like to buy from people. Although organizations traditionally brand themselves through logos and symbols, social media offers an opportunity to do more. Ambassadors are emotionally engaged with your company’s brand promise and they espouse the brand value you promise to deliver to your customer, it is in the very fabric of their personalities to want to share information, solve problems and help others.
“Humans mimic other’s expressions and behaviors, creating emotional contagion,” wrote freelancer Stephanie Booth in an article I recently read in Psychology Today magazine. If you can positively engage someone with your brand, they could be your greatest marketing communications tool and sales person in your arsenal.
2. Your brand ambassadors in turn will become more loyal to your product
The “Loyalty Ripple Effect” suggest customers can contribute to their own satisfaction by their participation in the service delivery process. Moreover loyal customers often engage in positive customer behaviour labelled “customer voluntary performance” such as picking up trash, busing tables, or reporting burnt out light bulbs and messy changing rooms to an employee.
I like what you like
3. Most word of mouth advertising is positive
Overwhelmingly, most word of mouth is conversation is positive. Keller Fay Group’s research shows that overall, only 8% of brand conversations are truly negative, and 66% of brand conversations are truly positive. More importantly, according to their research, positive WOM is more credible than negative WOM. When people hear something positive about a brand, 66% of them assign a high credibility rating to it, rating it 9 or 10 on a scale of 0-10.
4. Demand for product knowledge and excellence in customer care is greater than ever before
Today, it’s not enough to equip salespeople with sheets of marketing collateral, or the communications team with a wallet-sized card of key messages. Employees need to understand what their brand represents, what their company stands for, and what makes it different from every other company. US-based clothier and retailer American Eagle starts to foster brand ambassadorship as soon as new team members join the company.
5. Battles aren’t won with a single soldier, but an entire army.
Competition is fierce, and the battle for market share, profit and share-of-voice is not an easy one for companies to fight. Business is not 9-to-5, and it’s not relegated behind office walls. Just as social media has enabled real-time marketing and branding, it’s also necessitated real-time customer service and community management. Having an “army” of social media brand ambassadors at your disposal will help you win the war.
It takes an army of influencers
6. Brand ambassadors let you use the viral nature of the Internet deliberately, without having to get lucky.
The tools are already in place. Anyone can share anything with their entire circle of social media friends with just one click. Enlisting brand ambassadors exposes your company’s brand to multiple social circles made up of people who want what you have, and who already trust the messenger.
7. Brand Ambassadors Build Trust
Consumer scepticism is growing about advertising, and trust in them is eroding. At the same time, mass paid for advertising no longer reaches as many people as cost effectively as it did previously. This is due to both the fragmentation of media (due to greater choice of channels), and also due to the growth of online and social media. In a recent Nielson survey, only 33% of consumers said they trust paid advertisements, but a whopping 92% trust peer recommendations.
8. Cost Effective
There’s tons of research out there showing that Word-of-Mouth is the most impactful and
trusted form of marketing around. What’s more important is that SMBAs are extremely cost-effective. Most of them are happy to be compensated with perks, swag, and discounts, and some will even do it for free, just
because they truly enjoy what your business has to offer.
9. Brand Ambassadors are your online reputation
You’re not “managing your reputation online.” Your customers are. If you haven’t figured it out yet, not everyone is saying nice things about your business (as much as you’d like to think that they are.) More brand ambassadors means more positive comments, reviews and referrals to your business.
10. Ambassadors drive new customers to you
It’s no secret that word-of-mouth has power. Just how much power? Research shows that it’s at least five times more effective than traditional advertising, paid search, email, and other marketing tools. With the average person’s “connectedness” being much greater than in the past, empowering your customers to refer their friends or help bring you new business is not just a nice marketing tool, it’s critical for success in business today.
11. People pay more attention to their friends than they do your advertisements
The effective way for your business to “break through the marketing clutter” is to work through people’s social networks online and off. Traditional media advertisements is being tuned out. Think about whether you are really reaching people and if they are really listening. Often with Google or Facebook advertising it takes thousands of ad impressions before you get just one click. The average click through rate on the socialHP platform is 205% (based on 6,171 Blasts). That means each time you Blast, at least 2.05 of their friends will click on your content. Another way to think about that is that you can expect two clicks per ad impression.
That’s simply amazing.
12. They are usually there to stay
Brand ambassadors are typically customers for life. They feel a part of the businesses that they love. More brand ambassadors means more long-term customers, which means increased lifetime value (revenue.) More brand ambassadors means more long-term customers, which costs less, drives referrals, and improves your online reputation.
Organize your brand ambassadors with SocialHP
SocialHP software makes it easy for you to identify and connect with brand ambassadors, providing powerful analytics that break down click-throughs on your posted links and show you exactly who’s getting the most action.
Remember: the more brand ambassadors you have, the more social circles you’re reaching with every message. Start recruiting your SMBAs today!
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