Ambassador Program: The Definitive Guide

January 20, 2023

Do you want to supercharge your business and create a buzzing network of loyal advocates? An ambassador program can help you do just that.

Creating an ambassador program can be a powerful way to spread your message and grow your brand. You can accomplish this by working with ambassadors that are dedicated fans with the power to represent your company.

The majority of industry professionals – 90% among 5,000 marketers around the world – believe that working with social media power users and influencers is an effective marketing strategy. Let us help you tap into this deep well of potential to grow your brand.

This in-depth guide will cover the basics of how to start an ambassador program and how best to leverage their influence. Let's get started!

What is an ambassador program?

A brand ambassador program is a type of marketing strategy that enables organizations to leverage the power and influence of their customers, employees, members, or other affiliates.

Ambassadors are typically recruited by companies based on their expertise in specific topics related to a company's offering and are usually compensated with either monetary rewards, such as commissions, or non-monetary rewards, like free product samples.

In exchange for being an ambassador, they provide feedback on products and services, while enhancing customer experiences and building community.

Who can be considered brand ambassadors?

There are different types of brand ambassadors that companies use today:

  • Celebrity ambassadors - Well-known personalities who have built up a following in their respective industries.
  • Influencer ambassadors - Social media experts who have a large following and can leverage their platform to reach out and engage with potential customers.
  • Employee ambassadors - Your company's employees can advocate for your business and your products or services by taking part in specialized training.
  • Freelance ambassadors - Independent contractors who have been hired by companies to work on a project basis, to increase brand awareness or drive sales.

Authentic ambassadors can communicate your message without coming off as overly promotional. Over 80% of consumers have purchased products in response to social media content, so ambassadors that possess similar demographics to your company can offer a better return on investment.

What is a youth ambassador program? 

The advantages of having an ambassador program are wide-reaching in terms of awareness and exposure. By recruiting college students, businesses can establish a direct link to the university demographic. This opens up a plethora of potential markets for companies to promote their brand both on and off campus.

A student ambassador acts as a promoter for the company by organizing events and giving out branded merchandise or incentives. They work to build recognition among multiple customer groups, such as students, faculty members, and staff.

It is typical for a campus ambassador program to pay on an hourly basis, while others provide compensation based on commission as well as salaries.

Among the most popular and longest-running brand ambassador programs is the Red Bull Student Marketeer Program. More than 4,000 student brand representatives are devoted to raising recognition and enthusiasm for Red Bull by providing energy boosts to fellow students, athletes, and anyone needing a pick-me-up.

Do sponsored ambassadors get paid?

According to Glassdoor, the estimated annual salary for a brand ambassador in the US is approximately $47,979, with an average of $36,521 per year.

It is, however, also common for companies to pay ambassadors on commission to incentivize them to spread promotional materials and generate leads. The more leads an ambassador brings to the company, the higher their earning potential will be.

As a general rule, brand ambassadors are hired for extended periods to create a consistent message that seems genuine to consumers.

Can brand ambassadors make an impact on referral marketing?

A successful marketing strategy should focus on building trust with customers, and that can be done by recognizing loyal fans for their support.

With a well-managed brand ambassador program, you can target potential customers more accurately through a referral program. Rather than sending promotional messages indiscriminately, brand ambassadors will likely refer people they know would enjoy and benefit from the products or services being advertised.

What are the advantages of creating an ambassador program? 

Brand ambassadors represent the company’s brand, helping to increase its visibility and reach new audiences. With that in mind, they offer some key advantages worth considering.

1. Gain credibility

Having a recognizable face endorsing your product or service will make it more appealing to potential clients as they will associate it with someone they know and trust. This can be especially beneficial when launching a new product or entering a new market.

2. Expand your reach

Brand ambassadors have networks that you may have not reached which they can use to help spread the word about your product or service. This means that you’ll be able to tap into an audience that may not otherwise have been exposed to your company’s offerings.

In essence, this is correlated with word-of-mouth marketing, which drives $6 trillion of the world's spending each year. This will allow your brand to grow organically, ultimately increasing your ROI.

3. Gain access to valuable feedback

By engaging with your ambassadors, you will be able to get meaningful customer responses on what works and what doesn’t concerning your product or service. This kind of insight is crucial when it comes to improving your offerings and providing customers with a better overall experience.

4. Savings on costs

Investing in a brand ambassador means that you don't have to worry about paying expensive advertising fees and hiring agencies because they already create and share content for you. This is especially true with payments that are based on results, which means you only incur costs after you achieve a goal.

How do you make an ambassador program?

You can greatly boost your brand by implementing an ambassador program. The thing is, making the perfect program isn't a cookie-cutter process.

At the end of the day, you will set your parameters based on what you believe your business will gain from this program. Here are some general steps to get you started.

Step 1: Identify the goals of your ambassador program

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish by creating an ambassador program. Your goals will be the driving force behind its success.

Creating a community around your product or service might be one of its primary goals. Beyond this core objective, an ambitious ambassador program could also strive to increase brand visibility, create content that resonates with target audiences and drive conversions.

By setting clear goals for your ambassador program, you can ensure success and ongoing ROI.

Step 2: Research the ambassadors best suited to your program

When creating an ambassador program, researching the best-suited ambassadors is essential. These are the face of your brand and can make or break how people perceive you.

Start by identifying potential key audiences who would benefit from hearing about your brand and what makes it special. Consider aspects such as age group, gender identity, location, socio-economic status, values/beliefs, and interests when necessary.

Once you have identified key audiences, look for ambassadors who are already engaging with them on social media or other platforms. Reach out to those that seem like a fit and discuss the details of your ambassador program.

For example, if you are looking to increase brand visibility in a specific geographical area, consider recruiting ambassadors who are active in that community.

Do you want them to host events? Create content? Manage campaigns? Get feedback from potential ambassadors about if they can take on these activities and what type of compensation they would expect.

Many employers forget that employees can be effective brand ambassadors and miss out on the potential of this group. Employees have close knowledge of what your business offers, which is why their endorsement carries great weight. To learn more, take a look at employee referral programs.

Step 3: Set up a system for ambassador recruitment and onboarding

Consider using an online platform to facilitate the recruitment process, such as setting up a form on your website or using social media channels like Twitter and Instagram to promote your program.

This system should ensure that the ambassadors are well-suited to represent your brand, understand its goals and values, and have the ability to communicate them effectively.

Begin by creating a clear role description that outlines what you expect from each ambassador and how their skills can be used in support of your program goals.

Then, create a set of criteria for potential ambassadors so you can select individuals who best fit your brand’s needs. 

  • How strong is their knowledge of the brand?
  • Do they have a strong following?
  • What is their engagement rate?
  • What is their track record of promotion success?
  • Is their brand aligned with yours?
  • How well do they present the brand to potential clients?

Finally, develop an application form and an onboarding process to ensure that new ambassadors are properly oriented and trained to start their roles.

Step 4: Develop guidelines for the ambassador program

Create guidelines that outline expectations, rewards, activities (e.g., attending events), and other details related to being an ambassador for your brand.

The ambassador program guidelines should be clear about expectations for their roles and responsibilities. This helps keep everyone on the same page regarding what’s expected of them, setting proper boundaries so that they don’t overstep their bounds when interacting with customers or promoting products/services.

Step 5: Empower your ambassadors

Ambassadors are the face of your brand, and they should be given the autonomy to share their unique experiences with others. By empowering them, you demonstrate confidence in their judgment and opinions, which makes them more committed to your success.

Provide ambassadors with resources and access to exclusive content and rewards that make them feel valued as part of the team. This fosters a sense of loyalty and connection to the brand. It can also help you retain top talent by rewarding consistent performance and providing recognition for successful campaigns or activities.

Develop a strategy for how you will engage with your ambassadors, such as regular updates and opportunities for feedback. Additionally, set up periodic check-ins to ensure that the program is running smoothly and that the goals of the program (and the ambassador) are being met.

Step 6: Track performance and measure success metrics.

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs), so you can track how successful your ambassador program is. Examples of KPIs may include total sales generated or the number of brand mentions on social media.

Calculating your return on investment (ROI) will also help identify areas where you can improve and ensure that your program or any ambassador-led campaigns remain profitable in the long run. Easily calculate your referral campaign ROI with the ReferralHero ROI calculator

Final Thoughts

Creating a brand ambassador program is an incredibly effective way to build customer loyalty, increase visibility and reach new customers. 

Managing ambassador programs can be a challenging task, so the ReferralHero referral program offers powerful features that allow you to review your campaign metrics and is compatible with a wide range of business industries. With its all-in-one functionality, ReferralHero can ease your worries and help you grow your business.

January 20, 2023

Do you want to supercharge your business and create a buzzing network of loyal advocates? An ambassador program can help you do just that.

Creating an ambassador program can be a powerful way to spread your message and grow your brand. You can accomplish this by working with ambassadors that are dedicated fans with the power to represent your company.

The majority of industry professionals – 90% among 5,000 marketers around the world – believe that working with social media power users and influencers is an effective marketing strategy. Let us help you tap into this deep well of potential to grow your brand.

This in-depth guide will cover the basics of how to start an ambassador program and how best to leverage their influence. Let's get started!

What is an ambassador program?

A brand ambassador program is a type of marketing strategy that enables organizations to leverage the power and influence of their customers, employees, members, or other affiliates.

Ambassadors are typically recruited by companies based on their expertise in specific topics related to a company's offering and are usually compensated with either monetary rewards, such as commissions, or non-monetary rewards, like free product samples.

In exchange for being an ambassador, they provide feedback on products and services, while enhancing customer experiences and building community.

Who can be considered brand ambassadors?

There are different types of brand ambassadors that companies use today:

  • Celebrity ambassadors - Well-known personalities who have built up a following in their respective industries.
  • Influencer ambassadors - Social media experts who have a large following and can leverage their platform to reach out and engage with potential customers.
  • Employee ambassadors - Your company's employees can advocate for your business and your products or services by taking part in specialized training.
  • Freelance ambassadors - Independent contractors who have been hired by companies to work on a project basis, to increase brand awareness or drive sales.

Authentic ambassadors can communicate your message without coming off as overly promotional. Over 80% of consumers have purchased products in response to social media content, so ambassadors that possess similar demographics to your company can offer a better return on investment.

What is a youth ambassador program? 

The advantages of having an ambassador program are wide-reaching in terms of awareness and exposure. By recruiting college students, businesses can establish a direct link to the university demographic. This opens up a plethora of potential markets for companies to promote their brand both on and off campus.

A student ambassador acts as a promoter for the company by organizing events and giving out branded merchandise or incentives. They work to build recognition among multiple customer groups, such as students, faculty members, and staff.

It is typical for a campus ambassador program to pay on an hourly basis, while others provide compensation based on commission as well as salaries.

Among the most popular and longest-running brand ambassador programs is the Red Bull Student Marketeer Program. More than 4,000 student brand representatives are devoted to raising recognition and enthusiasm for Red Bull by providing energy boosts to fellow students, athletes, and anyone needing a pick-me-up.

Do sponsored ambassadors get paid?

According to Glassdoor, the estimated annual salary for a brand ambassador in the US is approximately $47,979, with an average of $36,521 per year.

It is, however, also common for companies to pay ambassadors on commission to incentivize them to spread promotional materials and generate leads. The more leads an ambassador brings to the company, the higher their earning potential will be.

As a general rule, brand ambassadors are hired for extended periods to create a consistent message that seems genuine to consumers.

Can brand ambassadors make an impact on referral marketing?

A successful marketing strategy should focus on building trust with customers, and that can be done by recognizing loyal fans for their support.

With a well-managed brand ambassador program, you can target potential customers more accurately through a referral program. Rather than sending promotional messages indiscriminately, brand ambassadors will likely refer people they know would enjoy and benefit from the products or services being advertised.

What are the advantages of creating an ambassador program? 

Brand ambassadors represent the company’s brand, helping to increase its visibility and reach new audiences. With that in mind, they offer some key advantages worth considering.

1. Gain credibility

Having a recognizable face endorsing your product or service will make it more appealing to potential clients as they will associate it with someone they know and trust. This can be especially beneficial when launching a new product or entering a new market.

2. Expand your reach

Brand ambassadors have networks that you may have not reached which they can use to help spread the word about your product or service. This means that you’ll be able to tap into an audience that may not otherwise have been exposed to your company’s offerings.

In essence, this is correlated with word-of-mouth marketing, which drives $6 trillion of the world's spending each year. This will allow your brand to grow organically, ultimately increasing your ROI.

3. Gain access to valuable feedback

By engaging with your ambassadors, you will be able to get meaningful customer responses on what works and what doesn’t concerning your product or service. This kind of insight is crucial when it comes to improving your offerings and providing customers with a better overall experience.

4. Savings on costs

Investing in a brand ambassador means that you don't have to worry about paying expensive advertising fees and hiring agencies because they already create and share content for you. This is especially true with payments that are based on results, which means you only incur costs after you achieve a goal.

How do you make an ambassador program?

You can greatly boost your brand by implementing an ambassador program. The thing is, making the perfect program isn't a cookie-cutter process.

At the end of the day, you will set your parameters based on what you believe your business will gain from this program. Here are some general steps to get you started.

Step 1: Identify the goals of your ambassador program

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish by creating an ambassador program. Your goals will be the driving force behind its success.

Creating a community around your product or service might be one of its primary goals. Beyond this core objective, an ambitious ambassador program could also strive to increase brand visibility, create content that resonates with target audiences and drive conversions.

By setting clear goals for your ambassador program, you can ensure success and ongoing ROI.

Step 2: Research the ambassadors best suited to your program

When creating an ambassador program, researching the best-suited ambassadors is essential. These are the face of your brand and can make or break how people perceive you.

Start by identifying potential key audiences who would benefit from hearing about your brand and what makes it special. Consider aspects such as age group, gender identity, location, socio-economic status, values/beliefs, and interests when necessary.

Once you have identified key audiences, look for ambassadors who are already engaging with them on social media or other platforms. Reach out to those that seem like a fit and discuss the details of your ambassador program.

For example, if you are looking to increase brand visibility in a specific geographical area, consider recruiting ambassadors who are active in that community.

Do you want them to host events? Create content? Manage campaigns? Get feedback from potential ambassadors about if they can take on these activities and what type of compensation they would expect.

Many employers forget that employees can be effective brand ambassadors and miss out on the potential of this group. Employees have close knowledge of what your business offers, which is why their endorsement carries great weight. To learn more, take a look at employee referral programs.

Step 3: Set up a system for ambassador recruitment and onboarding

Consider using an online platform to facilitate the recruitment process, such as setting up a form on your website or using social media channels like Twitter and Instagram to promote your program.

This system should ensure that the ambassadors are well-suited to represent your brand, understand its goals and values, and have the ability to communicate them effectively.

Begin by creating a clear role description that outlines what you expect from each ambassador and how their skills can be used in support of your program goals.

Then, create a set of criteria for potential ambassadors so you can select individuals who best fit your brand’s needs. 

  • How strong is their knowledge of the brand?
  • Do they have a strong following?
  • What is their engagement rate?
  • What is their track record of promotion success?
  • Is their brand aligned with yours?
  • How well do they present the brand to potential clients?

Finally, develop an application form and an onboarding process to ensure that new ambassadors are properly oriented and trained to start their roles.

Step 4: Develop guidelines for the ambassador program

Create guidelines that outline expectations, rewards, activities (e.g., attending events), and other details related to being an ambassador for your brand.

The ambassador program guidelines should be clear about expectations for their roles and responsibilities. This helps keep everyone on the same page regarding what’s expected of them, setting proper boundaries so that they don’t overstep their bounds when interacting with customers or promoting products/services.

Step 5: Empower your ambassadors

Ambassadors are the face of your brand, and they should be given the autonomy to share their unique experiences with others. By empowering them, you demonstrate confidence in their judgment and opinions, which makes them more committed to your success.

Provide ambassadors with resources and access to exclusive content and rewards that make them feel valued as part of the team. This fosters a sense of loyalty and connection to the brand. It can also help you retain top talent by rewarding consistent performance and providing recognition for successful campaigns or activities.

Develop a strategy for how you will engage with your ambassadors, such as regular updates and opportunities for feedback. Additionally, set up periodic check-ins to ensure that the program is running smoothly and that the goals of the program (and the ambassador) are being met.

Step 6: Track performance and measure success metrics.

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs), so you can track how successful your ambassador program is. Examples of KPIs may include total sales generated or the number of brand mentions on social media.

Calculating your return on investment (ROI) will also help identify areas where you can improve and ensure that your program or any ambassador-led campaigns remain profitable in the long run. Easily calculate your referral campaign ROI with the ReferralHero ROI calculator

Final Thoughts

Creating a brand ambassador program is an incredibly effective way to build customer loyalty, increase visibility and reach new customers. 

Managing ambassador programs can be a challenging task, so the ReferralHero referral program offers powerful features that allow you to review your campaign metrics and is compatible with a wide range of business industries. With its all-in-one functionality, ReferralHero can ease your worries and help you grow your business.

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