Who is a brand ambassador?
A person who is hired by an organization to represent a brand in a positive ,light and by doing so, help increase brand awareness and sales. This is a top priority for big companies today because people are more likely to buy after a recommendation from someone they trust, rather than from anything a brand has to say about itself. Brand ambassadors can be a highly effective representative in certain communities. The following are the characteristics of a brand ambassador:
- Knowledge of (and Appreciation for) Marketing
This isn’t to say your ambassadors and advocates need a marketing degree, but they should have a basic understanding of marketing’s core principles. Specifically, the best ambassadors appreciate the importance of authenticity in modern marketing, and grasp the role that digital marketing and social media play in driving high-quality referrals.
- An Established Online Presence
This ties back to the first characteristic, but it is equally important. In order for word-of-mouth marketing to be successful, you need ambassadors to reach as many people as possible, across a variety of channels and platforms. Now, this does not mean an ambassador must have 20,000 Twitter followers or thousands of email contacts to represent your brand. But they should have a well-established online presence and a highly-engaged network that they can access via their blog, emails or webinars for example.
- A High Level of Professionalism
While ambassadors will not be employed by your company, these people will be representing your brand. They will be talking about your company, encouraging others to check out your products and services, and influencing how others perceive your business. If someone embarrassed themselves or your brand, you would never hire them, right? The same standards should be applied to your brand ambassadors.
- Natural Leadership Skills
Think about the people you look to for recommendations. Sure, they are knowledgeable experts in a particular space, but you probably seek out their opinions because they also exude confidence and positivity traits that draw you in and make you want to listen. These are the same types of people you want representing your brand in the marketplace.
- A Passion for Building and Growing Relationships
Ambassadors are not salespeople heading out to make as many one-time sales as possible. They exist to foster strong, loyal relationships between your customers and your brand. Your ambassadors should not only be passionate about and intimately familiar with your products or services, they should also be skilled at making deep connections with others on your behalf
- The Ability to Gather Feedback and Provide Innovative Insight
No loyalty program is perfect. Neither is any particular product or service. Inevitably, brand ambassadors will gather feedback based on their experience with your product or services, as well as their conversations with your customers and competitors. This information can provide critical intelligence that helps you improve your referral marketing program (and, more broadly, your business).