Keeping brand ambassadors engaged is an essential part of your program. Arguably, it’s the crucial piece of your puzzle because only motivated people can bring in the right results. Otherwise, even the most stellar campaign plans can fail.
So how do you do that?
We’ll discuss seven excellent strategies and share incredible life lessons picked up from major brand influencer marketing campaigns and brand ambassador programs.
Recognizing someone’s achievements is essential to keep them motivated. Otherwise, your brand ambassadors will feel like they’re undervalued or not good enough to be part of your team.
The first step to recognizing your ambassadors’ achievements is personally sending them a message or e-mail. Congratulate them, but also ask them how they did it. Their experience and feedback could be valuable for other ambassadors.
Another good idea is to link to their work on your website and social media.
Ask your brand ambassadors to use campaign-specific hashtags. This strategy creates a cohesive community around your brand and links you to it.
You should also take photos with them at company events, instead of ignoring them. But that’s just common courtesy.
Here are two things you might not have thought about:
- Give them a shout every time they do something unique that’s unrelated to your brand. This way, you’re showing your appreciation to them as people, not as your influencers.
- Show your recognition before they do anything for you. You can drop them a line or ask them what they think about your brand and products. If you strongly believe that you’re going to have a powerful, long-term connection, announce your relationship publicly.
Lululemon is an excellent example of what we’ve discussed above. This brand dedicates a section of its website to its influencers, plus it organizes annual events in their honor.
Offer Them Special Deals
Brand ambassadors are your brand’s voices, so, logically, they should have first dibs at special deals. For instance, you should let them be the first to try a new product or app.
Carter Sullivan for Mogo is a fantastic example of first dibs at a new product feature. You can watch her video discussing the new Mogo’s Platinum Visa Card here.
As you can see, Carter is very passionate about Mogo. She loves the way their card looks, and she also enjoys their perks.
As Carter got the first try of their Platinum Visa Card, she knows exactly why this card is useful. Therefore, she explains to customers how this card can help them budget more sustainably and get out of debt faster.
But here’s the gist:
Carter made this video after receiving several questions from her followers regarding specific budgeting techniques.
As a result, Mogo’s Platinum Visa Card swoops the limelight as the best answer to their questions.
Send Them Care Packages
Care packages show your brand ambassadors that you care about them. You might think this strategy works best if you have a beauty brand or flower shop. In this case, it makes sense to offer your brand ambassadors skin lotions and flowers.
But what if you have a gas station brand? Or you’re selling light bulbs?
You have to get creative. Even a cup or a T-shirt work as birthday presents, for example.
Don’t forget to celebrate the essential times in your lives:
- The day when you first signed the contract
- The day when the brand ambassador’s post first came out
- The most embarrassing post or photo – remember it fondly and with a sense of humor, celebrating it as a life lesson
Of course, care packages are also good ideas:
- After a major win
- After a major loss
- When your brand ambassador feels overwhelmed or not performing as they should
Treat Them Like Family
Under Armour is an excellent example of how to treat your micro influencers like family. After a challenging period between 2016 and 2018, Under Armour signed Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock.
You all know The Rock. He’s charming, buff, and an amazing dad. He’s an excellent face for Under Armour, a brand that relates to the ordinary guys and girls who love exercising.
But Under Armour did something else that’s amazing: this brand created a new product, especially for The Rock. We’re talking about wireless headphones that won’t slip out of your ears when you’re exercising.
Basically, Under Armour took its relationship with The Rock to a new level, making him part of its creation process.
You don’t have to make your brand ambassadors co-creators, though.
Maybelline is another terrific example because it shows you the power of using names. This brand names its customers “babellines,” while all its brand ambassadors are “Maybelline Girls.”
So how can you treat your brand ambassadors like family?
- Involve them in the creative process. Ask for their input and feedback.
- Show them off on your website and when you’re meeting face to face.
- Keep them in the loop. A key to a successful brand ambassador program is to constantly update your ambassadors on the happenings with your brand or product.
- Give them a name that makes them feel special and part of the family. You can give them a similar name to your brand or current campaign, but using hashtags is a good idea too.
Create an Inner Circle
The Adidas Originals campaign is an excellent example of creating an inner circle. But first, what do you think is the main advantage of this strategy?
You could think it’s building cohesion and loyalty because you’re creating a group.
However, research shows that creating outsiders is even more critical. Those outsiders help define your “inner circle” through contrasts. Besides, every outsider will want to become a member of your exclusive group.
Cue Adidas Originals with their limited edition shoes. These shoes are region-specific, and Adidas markets them with local influencers. As a result of using pop counterculture, Adidas breathed new life into its classic array of products.
And, just like you would expect, Adidas is flooded with requests from people who want to become their influencers.
Gamification & Incentives
Use an online tool to keep your brand ambassadors engaged, such as CrewFire, BrandChamp, or Influitive’s AdvocateHub. These tools ensure that your brand ambassadors feel rewarded and entertained. As a result, they help you build a strong connection with these micro influencers.
Sounds too good to be true?
It’s all about science, particularly game theory. These platforms follow specific algorithms to give influencers incentives at precisely the right moment.
Therefore, your brand ambassadors will feel motivated to continue working for more perks and mini-rewards. These platforms are as addictive as gaming, for instance, because each time you slay a monster, you get a mini-reward. Plus they simplify tracking of your brand ambassador program.
These mini-rewards trigger dopamine releases in people’s brains. As a result, your brand ambassadors will tend to stay hooked to the platform to get that next dopamine rush.
Keep Them Independent
Juan Martinez for North Face is a remarkable illustration of how independent micro influencers benefit your brand.
In fact, North Face’s entire athlete program fits this bill because their brand ambassadors are born in challenging environments. As such, these people want to push their limits to overcome their condition.
Each time they break another record or do another daring feat outdoors, these people feel a sense of fulfillment.
North Face’s audience craves the same feeling of exhilaration. Therefore, maneuvering its ambassadors like puppets would be a damaging strategy for North Face.
You can use this strategy to:
- Let your brand ambassadors have their own stories to show your support.
- Publicize those stories to show you’re proud of your brand ambassadors.
- Use these stories to build legends around your brand and your brand ambassadors. As a result, more people will want to be part of your family.
- Allow your brand ambassadors to come up with their ideas about new posts.
- Take your brand ambassadors’ opinion into account when it comes to new product features.
- Connect your audience to your brand ambassadors through podcasts and interviews.
Use this infographic as your go-to resource to ensure you keep your ambassadors engaged: