Kim Kardashian-West, Gigi Hadid, LeBron James… These are just some of the names that typically spring to mind when we think about brand ambassadors. You wouldn’t be wrong, because historically, what we’ve known to be a brand ambassador has only ever been associated with/useful to B2C organizations. It was someone with a great following, a level of name recognition to match, and was typically a celebrity, a reality star, or a sports personality.
However, the tides are beginning to change. In 2020 we have social media platforms in abundance, meaning that just about anyone can become a reputable brand ambassador. Most notably, B2B organizations are beginning to capitalize on this, too. Let’s discuss why you need to be advocating for your brand in 2020.
What is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is one who promotes and organization and its products or services to their network/followers to drive sales and increase brand awareness.
Who can be a brand ambassador?
Quite frankly, just about anyone can be a brand ambassador. However, determining whether it would be the right path for you would mean considering the objectives of your business and your role within the organization.
As a general rule, employees who are regularly posting to social, engaging with their networks, and generating engagement are likely to be the most effective brand ambassadors. They can easily be identified by simply searching your company name on social media to see who’s talking about you, or searching company-relevant hashtags on just about any major social media site. Here are some examples of how brand advocacy could impact your department.
In the ever-changing world of sales, you’ve probably seen the term ‘social selling’ floating around, as it seems to be all the rage in sales during a time where social media is our most prominent form of communication. Advocating for your brand on social media is a fantastic way to reduce your sales cycle, build trust and rapport, and ensure that you are the first person that comes to mind when a prospect is ready to buy.
Get people to engage with your company content by sharing the latest company news. Perhaps you’ve just rolled out a campaign that you want to shout about, or maybe another department within the company is doing something exciting. Use these moments to advocate for your company and prove why you’re leading that industry.
If you work in marketing, then lead generation and elevating brand awareness are, no doubt, going to be your two primary goals. For the reasons mentioned above regarding social selling, becoming a brand ambassador will significantly increase inbound leads. Having an army of brand ambassadors means that you will be able to elevate your content marketing and reach people outside of your corporate accounts’ access scope.
People within your network are more likely to engage with your content, too, as people are 76% more likely to engage with someone they know on social media. They are generating clicks, comments, and likes. Becoming a brand ambassador, or having a team of employee ambassadors, can be an invaluable tool for lowering your media spend.
Employer branding has never been more relevant than in the age of social media. Every successful company will have accounts on most major social networks that allow them to display their company culture, and there’s no better or more organic way to showcase your company culture than through your employees. Products like Lens and Author not only allow you to do this, but they also allow you to increase your content quality and output.
Positive employer branding helps both attract and retain quality employees, who are crucial to the success and growth of the business. It’s also essential for how customers and prospects view your company. Like it or not, top candidates will be reading reviews on the likes of Glassdoor and Fairygodboss to learn more about your company. Having a legion of brand ambassadors authentically showcasing your company culture means you can control the narrative.
If you’re someone who works in product development, product design, engineering, or any of the above, then advocating for your brand on social can be a great way to display thought leadership. Let your network and industry know why your organization and the products/services you offer are indeed the best in brand.
How can you get results?
Well, put simply, the best way to drive results as a brand ambassador is to start advocating for your company and industry. Whether it be on social media, in-person, or over the phone, the first step to take is to start talking about what you do.
However, for an organization (particularly larger organizations) to see and measure the results, you would be wise to implement a brand ambassador program. A program will simplify and streamline the process, allowing you to see the result in real-time and measure the ROI for your efforts. In order to prosper with employee brand ambassadors, you’ll need to set goals, implement a plan, and effectively manage the process.
For comparison, think about why an organization would choose to utilize a CRM like HubSpot. Any CRM allows you to measure your team’s efforts against your goals accurately. Without the likes of HubSpot, it becomes near impossible to manage a sales team of any size effectively. No matter how organized your SDRs and Account Executives may be. The same rules apply to your ambassador program. It needs to be measured, attributed, incentivized and managed.