Nearly 8 out of 10 people (77%) consult the opinions of Internet users before purchasing a product or service. And 60% of them submit opinions themselves.
Customers, more and more connected, have access to information in a few clicks, thus modifying their purchasing habits. More and more demanding in their choices, they will take the time to learn about the quality of the product, the ethics of the brand … before making any purchase.
To do this, they will favor the content available on the Internet (media and social networks), and more particularly online reviews written by other customers.
Today, feedback is the priority, especially in the e-commerce sector!
Customer reviews are therefore a key element of marketing, a real issue in your communication strategy.
You must know how to convince them to get the most out of them and to better manage the e-reputation of your products, services, brands, and company; a company which, like Orange, McDonald’s or Nike, will be promoted as a brand, thus becoming a corporate brand.
Among your customers are surely hiding brand ambassadors.
More than customers, they play a determining role in the success of your communication strategy.
What is a brand ambassador?
Ambassadors, whatever their field of activity, all occupy the role of representative of an entity to a third party.
In the field of marketing, the ambassador is above all a customer who loves your product, your brand or your company, to the point of expressing it strongly to his community.
Beyond a single product, the authentic ambassador adheres to a whole: a philosophy, actions, an environment, brands, quality of service, customer relations.
He realizes, through word of mouth, more or less voluntarily, your promotion with his network.
This can arise from a completely spontaneous approach, or from an attitude encouraged by the brand using different means such as: recruitment, product endowment, remuneration, partnerships, etc.
The different categories of ambassadors
- The “natural customer”
People who will speak completely spontaneously and naturally about your brand. They love you and want to promote you to their circle of acquaintances, without asking you for anything in return.
Speaking will be done mainly on the Internet, as well as in everyday life with loved ones. We are here in a true sharing of experience!
With a strong sense of belonging to your brand, they are real influencers with other customers!
- Ambassadors recruited from your clients in the context of special and defined operations.
They are more or less paid by the brand in exchange for an active promotion on the Internet.
With the rise of social networks and sites where opinion is king (Tripadvisor, etc.), brands are increasingly using this type of ambassador who is not necessarily, at the origin, customers.
They are recruited, in exchange for financial compensation or not, to achieve a specific objective with your target.
- The muses
Youtuber, celebrity, influencer or a recognized expert in their field of activity, the muse is recruited on an ad hoc basis to represent you.
They are clearly remunerated for their reputation under advertising contracts.
Interest? Increase your visibility and improve your brand image with its community. We then speak of influence marketing or celebrity marketing.
Employees, a separate category
There are also so-called internal ambassadors (managers, employees, etc.).
However, in this context, we cannot consider them as true ambassadors.
A good ambassador cannot be a judge and a party. The confidence of consumers and your credibility, in this speaking, would be tarnished.
This is not to say that your employees cannot be actors in your influence strategy.
On the contrary!
In an employer brand objective, guaranteeing your image and your activity with your current and potential employees, it will be essential to integrate them.
To avoid any conflict of interest, it is just necessary to distinguish these two categories.
The role of a good ambassador
When we know that consumers trust their peers much more than businesses, we can easily imagine the essential role of ambassadors.
Whether a muse or a client, a good ambassador can play several roles.
First of all, it conveys your values and defends them with consumers and its community. It takes your business beyond its walls and your internal actions.
It ensures a promotion mission and will be decisive in the purchasing decision. Prospects are gradually abandoning traditional media in favor of the online opinions they find on the Internet.
It is, therefore, feedback that has the most weight in the purchasing decision.
It is also a very effective relay for the communication of your brand. In a guided way, or more freely, it communicates for you, allowing you to connect to your audience in a more human and authentic way.
It also allows you to reach ultra-qualified prospects for your online store. Indeed, who would not be more influenced by the personal opinion emanating from a friend, a relative, or even an influencer … rather than a brand ?!
The ambassador plays this role by convincing your prospects and future customers for you.
In this scheme, your sales and your conversion rate will automatically be positively impacted.
In a nutshell, it allows you to hit your target where you couldn’t!
Identify your brand ambassadors
To harness the full potential of ambassadors, the first step is to identify them.
A simple customer, who speaks from time to time about you, will not necessarily be considered an ambassador. And not everyone will be able to increase your visibility and your sales.
It is therefore essential to identify them in the middle of the infinite world of the Internet.
Above all an emotional relationship
An ambassador is characterized first of all by his love and sense of belonging.
He likes your products, your brand, and does not wait for compensation to speak about it in a positive way. He acts voluntarily because his membership is real and concrete.
His emotional commitment is strong. It shares much more than a product with you.
He shares your values, your actions, your commitments … and will not hesitate to take your side in the face of criticism.
An active client
Above all, your potential ambassadors will, therefore, be among your satisfied and loyal customers.
Without having contacted him, he talks about you on social networks, likes (or likes), comments and shares your posts with his community. He even goes so far as to encourage other consumers to buy your products and services. He gives you feedback and gives you his opinion …
Do not go further!
Everything seems to show that this person has the profile of a true ambassador.
Tracking your notifications and monitoring your e-reputation will make it easier for you to identify this type of profile.
By analyzing the content of their posts, you will be able to better understand these people, understand what they say, why they like you, and ultimately, be able to approach them in the best way.
Reveal the potential of its active customers
Who are the most active customers? The most loyal?
It is by answering these types of questions that you will be able to define the customers who will become good ambassadors.
Define a sort of “relational scale” based on the frequency of speaking, conversion following a campaign, the number of purchases or even interactions on social networks.
Use monitoring tools that will allow you to compile a certain amount of data on your brand and, therefore, to identify the most proactive people!
Widely used, the NPS, an internationally recognized indicator for measuring customer satisfaction, allows you to identify your ambassadors among your customers. You will be able to involve them and integrate them into your marketing strategy.
Not all of your clients can become your ambassadors.
This is why precise selection criteria will allow you to identify those with the best potential.
How to choose your ambassadors?
You have not yet identified ambassadors?
The choice of an ambassador is above all correlated to your identity (market, size, means, products, etc.). It must represent you and reflect who you are.
A good ambassador generally has a few essential qualities.
Affection for your brand
We can never say it enough… the first criterion is and will remain, the affection for your brand.
An ambassador loves your brand. His speech, tinged with this love, will be sincere and positive.
A person external to your company
It is not part of your business. The choice of an external person is the guarantee of your integrity.
Values and state of mind
He looks like you. The choice must be consistent in terms of value and state of mind.
To appeal to as many people as possible, it must represent the attributes and essence of your brand. He is a client with whom one can easily identify.
A passionate expert
He is a passionate expert. He knows your industry, appreciates it, and is a real expert.
He likes to test your products and uses them regularly, being able to talk about them with naturalness, enthusiasm, and spontaneity.
Ease in communication
He knows how to communicate and clearly expresses his opinions. He must be comfortable in writing content and especially in sharing it.
He must, therefore, master technology and communication on networks and social media.
In an approach to authenticity, it is able to synthesize real feedback by restoring constructive and relevant arguments.
Involvement and activity
He must be involved and active. A good ambassador is, above all, an active customer on the Internet in his daily life.
He must regularly share and relay your messages and news.
More than active, he must be influential. Influence is not measured only by the number of subscribers, on the contrary. We will focus more on the commitment that the ambassador will have with his audience.
The higher the engagement rate, the more credibility, and therefore influence, will be important.
So don’t neglect nano-influencers for your first partnerships. They can be wonderful assets.
Last but not least, sustainability. A relationship is created over time.
A good ambassador never reduces you to a product, and will never leave you at the slightest dissatisfaction.
Now that you have all the cards in hand to recruit your ambassadors, you must succeed in retaining them.
Pamper your ambassadors to build loyalty
The ambassador has a privileged and unique relationship with you. Consider it as such!
You have to have a win-win relationship.
On the one hand, the ambassador allows you to gain brand awareness, improve your image and increase your sales.
On the other hand, he must receive benefits that are reserved for him alone and not for average customers. The ambassador must feel unique and special!
Pamper him by offering him specific privileges. Privileges must go further than a simple reduction. It’s a whole device to think about.
A lasting device that will prove to the ambassador that he has a special place in your business.
You can, for example:
- give it exclusive information to share,
- thank him, to your community, for his investment and his returns,
- consider him by really taking into account his ideas and feedback,
- show him it’s/ he is a VIP. Tell him and express it clearly
- offer him advantages (invitations to private events, gifts, prizes, etc.)
- meet him to establish a close relationship,
Whatever the device, it must allow the loyalty of your ambassadors.
It’s a two-way relationship, live up to what you hope to have in return.
As you can see, if you manage to detect them and establish a relationship of trust with them, the ambassadors will play a proactive role for you.
They will enhance your business and increase your notoriety and your sales.
True branding weapon, ambassadors anchor a brand in the mind of the consumer in the most natural way possible. These are key assets for your e-reputation, and more broadly, for your communication.
Take a look at your community. Your next ambassador may be hiding there!
Raunak is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & Marketer by passion. He is the founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing company that provides world-class search engine marketing services and website & application development.