Companies are doing their best to increase interest in the brand. In an effort to reach the largest possible audience, the marketing department resorts to different tactics. Recently, ambassadorship is gaining great popularity. This is a relatively young direction, which has not been “tested” by all companies.
However, the method is effective in attracting new customers, which is why quite a few brands are hiring ambassadors. But who are these people and how do they influence their audience?
What is an Ambassador?
This word came from the diplomatic sphere, translated from French, the term literally means “ambassador”. Attracting ambassadors to increase brand awareness was first practiced in the West, where marketing giants emerged in the shortest possible time, actively competing with each other.
Today, most well-known companies attract talented and media personalities, since the prospects for such a strategy are higher compared to conventional advertising.
At first, Russian companies and representatives of large brands simply bought ads from bloggers and popular personalities. However, over time, consumers have grown tired of fake feeds and overt calls to buy a product.
Trust in opinion leaders is constantly declining. Internet users no longer accept ads as the author’s opinion, which means that a company that ordered a regular ad insert will receive a relatively low conversion.
An ambassador is not just a “paid agent” for a brand. This is a really interested person who uses the company’s products (or wants to use). That is, the company pays not for soulless advertising, but for activity with a casual brand indication. In most cases, ambassadors are chosen from among the “evangelists” – this term is used to describe the users of a product who genuinely like it without financial gain.
By signing a contract, a person is expected to have a certain frequency of posts, mentions, videos and social events in which the brand will be presented as something natural and familiar to life.
Reebok Ambassador – Oxxxymiron. Photo: peopletalk.ru
Ambassadorship has appeared relatively recently, since the main activity is in social networks. Of course, appearing at public events and in the media space under the auspices of the brand, the face also unobtrusively promotes a specific name. However, it is the Internet activity that attracts a large audience.
People like to follow the lives of celebrities, watch and listen to charismatic people. Therefore, ambassadors promote brands through Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and other resources with creative freedom.
Streaming has become very popular, and brands also pay for mentions and product placement. The main condition is unobtrusiveness and presentation in the style “I like it myself, I use it all the time, look at it”.
Don’t confuse the ambassador with the face of the brand. The latter acts as a mascot with which the product will be associated. People do not believe slogans and ad insertions (for example, on television), but if a person has a good reputation and arouses sympathy, then the audience will be more loyal to the brand.
In turn, an ambassador does not always have enormous media power. He may have a relatively small audience that is passionate about his work. But the main thing is that the ambassador is genuinely interested in the brand and uses products not only for beautiful photos and videos.
He may not mention the name of the product at all, but simply post the usual content with a small splash of the partner product. Quite often, users don’t even notice hidden ads; trusting the opinion leader, they willingly go to buy branded items.
What does an ambassador do
Each brand has its own goals and attracts a specific audience. The activity of the ambassador also plays a role: conducting seminars, lectures, participating in public events, Internet activity, appearing on television, and so on.
If the company operates in the professional segment, then the ambassador is expected to have expert opinion and the ability to competently tell about the brand. Even specific products (for example, alcoholic beverages) can be presented in an interesting way, with facts and expert judgment.
However, the terms of the contract are exclusive. For example, a media person will be asked to talk about the brand to anyone interested, including answering questions and suggestions on social media. By offering a contract, marketers start from the company’s mission, personally negotiating the terms of promotion.
Louis Vuitton Ambassador – Emma Stone. Photo: hello.ru
Despite the rather simple concept of work, there are certain norms that the ambassador must comply with.
The main rule is not to engage in activities “out of hand”, because users will immediately notice the fake. Posts should be posted as if the ambassador just wanted to share a new story from life.
Of course, most brands are against double contracts. This also includes the public use of competitive products – users will not believe the sincerity of words if the ambassador outside of Instagram is wearing clothes of another brand. Also, the rules of conduct, presentation of information and a style corresponding to the values of the company are discussed.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Ambassador
The correct choice of an ambassador and a responsible approach of the latter to work will bring good results:
- Brand credibility will increase. People will see how the company’s products help in real life.
- Sales will increase.
- There will be regular customers.
- A loyal community will be formed led by a media person.
In parallel with the ambassadorship, marketers are promoting other advertising methods. This includes assortment trials, rebranding, subbranding, and contextual advertising catching up with loyal users.
It is important to remember that an ambassador is a person with whom conditions are personally negotiated. All the difficulties of social interaction follow from this, so both parties must be able to negotiate, yield and skillfully get out of difficult situations.
The marketing department should not create short-term alliances on the principle of “three posts and you’re free.” This may have a short-term result, but Internet users will immediately see the catch. Permanent agreements should be established and the rest of the processes should be automated.
Who can become an ambassador
There are no exact guidelines, but there is an unspoken rule – “make regular customers ambassadors”. Then there will be no problems with sincerity and competent presentation of brand information.
People with their own audience are welcome, even if they are small. Communication skills, the ability to write texts and shoot videos are also useful. Don’t choose people who have a reputation for spamming whatever advertisements you pay for.
It is important to take into account the views of a potential ambassador: if a brand does not welcome shocking or, conversely, measured content delivery, then you should not promote to a disloyal audience (unless for the sake of experiment).
The company can choose an ambassador from among the most active buyers. Sales statistics will show not only customer loyalty, but also his ability to pay.
In addition to external people, an employee of the company can become an ambassador. Often, most managers are brand ambassadors, acting as an expert.
Algorithm for choosing an ambassador
By combining all thoughts, we get a guide to action:
- The goal of the ambassador. Decide what the company needs: increasing brand awareness, sales, audience testing, rebranding, image change, and so on. If several goals are pursued, it is better to choose the most important and promising one.
- Terms of a transaction… Consider how brand ambassadors will be rewarded. Most often these are free products or discounts on them. But creativity will fuel the ambassador’s interest, so come up with some unique rewards.
- Develop a strategy. You don’t need to let things go by themselves. Prepare analytical tools, track the effectiveness of advertising moves.
- Maintain friendly relationships with ambassadors. Arrange events, change rewards, and just be nice people.
Come up with interesting moves. For example, flash mobs are popular on the Internet. Use them by launching non-intrusive viral content through the Ambassador to encourage other users to share their own brand experiences.
Choosing an ambassador is a responsible job that requires interaction with different people, effective strategies and full-fledged analytics. But with the right approach, it will bring a loyal audience that will grow into regular customers.