6 Benefits of Developing an Ambassador Programme
Influencer marketing is the marketing buzzword of the moment. There is no hiding from big names endorsing huge brands in their latest Instagram posts and TikTok videos. However, the rise of the influencer has also given rise to campaign based relationships. Typically we see brands work with influencers to create one or a small number of posts to promote a brand or product, only to never see that influencer talk about it again.
This type of influencer marketing certainly has its place and can work well depending on your marketing goals. For example, if you are launching a new product and are just looking to generate initial exposure, using one-off relationships with influencers can work well.
But should this be the norm? In this article, we explore some of the major benefits of developing an ambassador programme and working long term with influencers.
What are Influencers/Ambassadors?
Defining what is meant by the term ‘influencer’ is tricky:
- How many followers does an ‘influencer’ have?
- What sort of content do they create?
- What is the difference between a macro and micro-influencer?
For the sake of this article, we will be talking about influencers as those who have influence over your target audience – for example those with a large audience or those who are respected for their opinion in your niche. We will also refer to ambassadors as those who support and promote your brand over a longer period.
So, read on to discover 6 reasons why you should be investing in an ambassador programme:
#1 Greater Reach
When you turn influencers into long term ambassadors you drastically increase your chances of reaching a wider section of their audience – this is due to several reasons.
Firstly, some social media platforms such as Instagram will typically only show posts to a certain percentage of an account’s followers feed. For example, if you work with an influencer who has 100K followers, your post may only show up on 20% (20K) of their followers’ feeds.
The algorithm platforms like Instagram use to calculate how many of an account’s followers see a post is a mystery and likely depends more on the posts immediate engagement such as likes and comments, than a set percentage. However, by working with an influencer as an ambassador you are almost guaranteed to reach more of that audience over time.
The second reason that working on a long term basis helps you create more reach is the simple fact that not all your target audience will check social media all the time. So, by working with an influencer in the long term you will be more likely to be visible during a time that they are active.
Working with influencers can be a complex process. Unlike other types of marketing such as social media advertising, SEO and brand content creation, when you work with influencers you are working with people who can, on occasion, be unpredictable and unreliable.
When you set out to create an ambassador programme you can invest time into finding reliable individuals to represent your brand. This gives you a level of security and predictability which is often difficult to find in one-off-post campaigns.
#3 Develop Authenticity
Working with influencers over a longer period to become ambassadors is a great way to generate high levels of authenticity.
Many influencers’ feeds are a long line of paid-for posts, which can look a little inauthentic. This is especially true if the influencer simply mentions the brand or product once and then never mentions them again. When this happens, followers will often catch onto the fact that it is a paid post with little authenticity behind it.
Here are a few ways you can develop authenticity when working with advocates:
- Provide rewards that would excite someone genuinely interested in your brand
- Create joint content over a longer period
- Ask their opinions on business matters such as product development
- Run events where ambassadors can create exclusive content alongside your brand
#4 Humanise Your Brand
Humans trust humans. That is why working with influencers has become so massively popular in recent years. But working with influencers on one-off collaborations can look a little staged if not done correctly – this has the opposite effect to the one which is desired.
When you work with advocates you can develop a link between their personal brand and your own brand. This can benefit both the brand and the advocate by helping both parties develop trust with their audience.
The benefit of this can be seen by some leading brands who focus on developing strong ambassador programmes such as GymShark whose name has become synonymous with modern gym culture and is seen as a “brand of the people” in this space.
#5 Create Strong Relationships
When you create an ambassador programme you are effectively developing a strategy for building mutually beneficial relationships with individuals or other organisations within your niche. Not only is this worthwhile from a digital marketing perspective, but you are also creating relationships that can pay dividends in future ventures.
We are already seeing many larger influencers creating their own brands and this is something we are likely to see continuing in years to come. This highlights just one of the major opportunities for collaborations between brands with strong ambassador programmes in the future.
#6 Improve Efficiency
If you have ever executed an influencer marketing campaign you will know just how much work it takes to get it set up and running. From defining your marketing goals and finding the perfect influencers to convincing them to work with you and writing creative briefs – there is a lot to do before you even get your piece of lovely influencer-created content.
When you create an ambassador programme you can drastically increase the return on investment of each influencer you work with. Although these programmes take a little more thought and planning than a standard pay-to-post arrangement, once you have your trusted ambassadors in place you can easily generate repeat content and leverage other benefits with very little effort.
Benefits of an Ambassador Programme
Ambassador programmes are clearly highly beneficial to businesses that decide to execute them. Although they can take a fair amount of leg work to set up, the added benefits can be substantial – as we have shown in this article.
Have you considered running an ambassador programme? If not, what is stopping you?