Gone are the days when customers were complacent with one-directional communication from brands. The rise of digital and social media has given consumers a voice. It has created an environment where they are able to disable ad messaging, give input, and exert their own influence over one another’s actions and decisions, often much more effectively than brands ever could. In short: brands have lost control of a conversation that they were once able to sculpt using traditional advertising.
As companies adapted to their changing environment in an effort to reclaim the narrative, a new tool evolved: the Brand Ambassador; a real person who regularly represents one or more brands and is able to exist within and maneuver throughout the consumer space in a way that brands alone cannot. Here, we discuss 5 reasons that using brand ambassadors can help your company stay ahead of the curve and better participate in the conversation around your products and services.
People Appreciate Personal Buying Experiences
Due to the rise in online shopping, this may seem counterintuitive at first. What it means is that many shoppers seek input on purchase decisions from sources other than brands. People expect companies to portray their products and services in the best possible light, so they are on guard against direct brand messaging. What they crave is input from other people like themselves, who sought out the product in question for reasons similar to their own, and were then able to assess its effectiveness at meeting their needs. A brand ambassador can translate a company’s message into human-to-human terms, while providing honest, detailed information to draw in new customers.
Word-of-Mouth is Credible
In a recent Nielson survey, only 33% of consumers said they trust paid advertisements. This has little to do with poor product quality. The problem is that as advertising has grown more ubiquitous, consumers have become resentfully aware of the fact that they are always being sold to. On the other hand, an impressive 92% of shoppers said that they trust peer recommendations. That grain of salt that pickles consumers’ opinions of brand-centric information is much smaller when messaging is sent through a brand ambassador. Carefully executed ambassadorships are a way that brands can speak to consumers at their level, and regain some of the trust that’s been lost along the way.
With Ambassadors, Time is on Your Side
Television commercials and banner ads have shelf life; they can be used for a very limited amount of time before they become stale. Conversely, a brand ambassador’s effectiveness increases over time. They may even come to be thought of as an expert on the brand and its products. Ambassadors also require much less lead time than traditional advertisers. This allows your brand to exercise Real Time Marketing: responding to current events within a relevant time frame. While traditional ad campaigns have to be created far in advance and executed according to a fixed schedule, loyal ambassadors can be activated at a moment’s notice when necessary.
Ambassadors Can Create Genuine Emotion
The most effective ambassador relationships are those that allow their ambassadors the autonomy to give honest opinions about products and services. Ambassadors will reward you for this degree of trust by creating brand-related content that others see as trustworthy. Treat your ambassadors well, and they will come to love your brand, and project that emotional connection outward to their followings in a way that you cannot. Think of it like this: a brand ambassador is really just an empowered consumer with the magnified ability to recruit their peers as new business to your company.
Brand Ambassadors Create More Ambassadors
The best online brand ambassadors are those with high reach on multiple social channels. Once you have that, every one of their followers becomes your audience. Anyone can share any bit of information with their entire following in just a few quick clicks. Suddenly, your content is in front of an entire network of people who already trust the messenger. If it adds value to them in some way, they’ll likely share it again.
If you’d like to learn more about how TapInfluence can help you create brand ambassadors and sponsored content through high-quality online influencers, click here.