Your brand is your image. It’s what your customers think of when they want to use your services, and what they would describe you as to their network. For new brands or lesser-known brands, making the general public aware of their existence is the first step, and brands have used brand ambassadors to assist them with spreading awareness.
What Is a Brand Ambassador?
Generally speaking, brand ambassadors are individuals employed by an organization to be “the face” of the brand. They’re tastemakers, and have a lot of influence in their niche – influence that they employ to spread the word about your brand in a way that seems natural to their audience.
Why Are They So Important?
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways to market your brand, and brand ambassadors embody that. Unlike paid ads or company-sponsored events, brand ambassadors on social media seem authentic and trustworthy to their followers; they have a loyal audience that they connect with in a way that’s more similar to word of mouth marketing than paid advertising. Their audience trusts what they say about the brands they publicise.
In today’s digital world, most brand ambassadors are social media influencers, and brands pay thousands of pounds for an agreement with a brand ambassador because of how effective they are. But what if your brand could have an ambassador at no cost? What if your brand had hundreds of ambassadors, all without spending a quid?
A brand ambassador’s role is to help and increase your brand’s awareness, but a loyal customer base is as effective, if not more, than a brand ambassador at that. There’s a number of strategies you could implement to turn your own customers into brand ambassadors.
How Do You Turn Your Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
1. Implement Loyalty Programs
A one-time customer will likely forget about your brand in a few weeks, a loyal customer won’t. When customers repeatedly use your service, they’re entrenched in your brand, and your brand is relevant to their personal lives. It could be a part of their daily routine, or it would be something they would talk about with their friends or family. Whether they realize it or not, a loyal customer is your brand ambassador, and a good one at that. In order to instill this loyalty in your customers, implementing loyalty programs works wonders!
Provide discounts exclusive to repeat customers, send birthday messages or gifts every once in a while, and make it clear to them that they’re appreciated for their business.
Creating a somewhat personal bond is key for a loyal customer base, and the most loyal customers are the ones who turn into your brand ambassadors.
Reward Customers for Referrals
Crafty customers will find a way to save, and they tend to know a lot of other people who are just as crafty!
Creating a referral program where a successful referral would get your customer a discount, with a matching discount for the new customer who they brought in, is a great way for your craftier customers to be your ambassadors. Referral programs work especially well because it encourages customers to put in the effort to be your brand ambassador and bring in new customers.
If your referral program is successful, the revenue from customer acquisition will exceed the cost of the discounts you’re handing out for referrals. Your customers get discounts, you get new customers and increased brand awareness. Everybody wins!
3. Hold Online Competitions
UGC, or User-Generated Content, are social media or online posts and content that your users generate FOR you in service of your brand. User-generated content works wonders for brand awareness and customer acquisition, and while loyalty and referral schemes are both great strategies, they don’t encourage users to create content related to your brand.
The best way to get your customers to create content for you online is to hold online competitions. These competitions mainly consist of brands asking customers to take a picture of themselves with their product or drawing something for their brand and posting it on their profiles. As long as the competition prize is lucrative enough, your customer base will engage, and with every post your customers make, their followers are introduced to your brand!
Not only does this strategy turn your customers into brand ambassadors, it also increases your engagement online. Two birds, one stone!
4. Deliver an Amazing Customer Experience
This one might seem a little obvious at first, but a lot of brands get it wrong. Good service is important for any business, but it doesn’t stand out. To turn your customers into brand ambassadors, the customer experience you provide has to be out of the ordinary. It has to be astounding!
Go out of your way to personalize your customer’s experience, or go the extra mile to enhance your product or service for them. The goal is to give them something to talk about, or to impress them enough for them to want to go back to their friends and families and encourage them to follow your brand or services.