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Think of us like a chef preparing a gourmet meal. We carefully select the freshest ingredients and combine them with our secret spices to serve up a deliciously effective marketing campaign that will leave your customers wanting more.
One of those potential ingredients? A campus ambassador program.
This hidden gem of a marketing tool is often overlooked, even though it can be incredibly handy for businesses. From connecting with students to expanding your reach in an organic way, there are many benefits of having a campus ambassador program.
According to Nielsen, 83% of global respondents say they “completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family.” Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tactic, and with the help of campus ambassadors, you can tap into that power.
If you're ready to cook up a storm and try out this delicious recipe, let’s get started!
What is a Campus Ambassador Program?
If you’ve never heard of a campus ambassador program, the best way we can explain it is: a super cool initiative that businesses launch to connect with college students and create a buzz around their brand on campuses everywhere.
It’s like having your own personal squad of enthusiastic brand ambassadors who are eager to spread the word about your company and its products or services. These ambassadors are usually college students themselves who are passionate about your brand and are excited to share that passion with their peers.
The best part? This program is all about having fun while spreading the word about your brand. You can organize all sorts of exciting events and activities for your ambassadors, like campus scavenger hunts, exclusive product previews, and even trips to your company headquarters.
Plus, your ambassadors will get to network with other students, build their resumes, and gain valuable experience working with a major brand.
So if you're looking for a way to connect with the student demographic and build buzz around your brand, a campus ambassador program might just be the perfect fit for you.
After all, college students know a thing or two about having fun and spreading the word — so why not take advantage of their enthusiasm and let them help you build your brand?
Benefits of Campus Ambassador Programs
Campus ambassador programs are the bee's knees when it comes to promoting your business. They can offer a range of benefits to businesses, such as:
- Getting the word out: When you team up with college students as your brand ambassadors, you're tapping into their power to spread the word far and wide. With their help, you can quickly become the talk of the campus and beyond!
- Making lifelong connections: By engaging with college students through ambassador programs, you're not just building brand loyalty - you're also building long-lasting relationships with potential lifelong customers who may continue to support your business even after they graduate.
- Boosting sales: When college students become your ambassadors, they often become some of your biggest fans and loyal customers. They'll be excited to spread the love about your products or services and may even inspire their friends to do the same, helping you increase sales and grow your business.
- Providing insider insights: Campus ambassadors can provide valuable insider knowledge about what college students are interested in and what they're looking for in a brand or product. This information can help you better tailor your marketing strategies and product offerings to meet their needs and preferences.
- Saving money and having fun: With campus ambassador programs, you can get the word out about your brand without breaking the bank on traditional advertising channels. Plus, you get to have fun planning and executing dynamic events and activities with your ambassadors, from pop-up shops to social media campaigns and more!
Creating a Successful Campus Ambassador Program
Convinced and ready to design your own program?
In a nutshell, you’ll want to select the coolest and most passionate ambassadors, give them killer training, shower them with sweet incentives, encourage their wild creativity, and keep their spirits high with ongoing support.
Here are some tips to help you kick-start your program:
- Have the right college campuses on your radar: Choose college campuses that are rich in diversity and culture, and one that resonates with your brand most. This will ensure that you have a strong team of ambassadors who can bring fresh and relevant perspectives to your program.
- Build a strong presence at your selected campuses: Host events on campus, attend student organization meetings, and reach out to professors in relevant departments. You want to become a recognizable brand around campus. Good examples would be setting up a booth at a career fair or hosting an information session for interested students.
- Find the perfect team: When selecting ambassadors for your program, look for students who are outgoing, passionate, and excited about your brand. Check out what sort of extracurriculars they’re in and what their academic performance is like. After all, you want the best students representing you.
- Get your ambassadors ready to rock: Before your ambassadors start promoting your brand, give them the training they need to become brand experts. This includes everything from product knowledge to key messages and marketing strategies.
- Don’t forget about social media: Platforms like Twitter and Instagram are great places to share updates about your program, highlight your ambassadors, and share photos and videos from events. You can even set up a referral program to keep the cycle going - the more quality ambassadors, the better!
- Keep your ambassadors motivated: Ambassadors are like superheroes for your brand, and they deserve to be treated like VIPs! Offer them incentives like exclusive events, free swag, and even cash to keep them excited and engaged.
- Let the creativity flow: Let your ambassadors run wild with creative ideas for promoting your brand. They know their campus better than anyone and can come up with some seriously cool and unique ways to showcase your brand.
- Keep the love going: Your ambassadors are your brand's biggest fans, so make sure to show them some love in return! Offer them ongoing support, feedback, and guidance to help them succeed in their roles and grow as brand ambassadors.
- Take in valuable feedback: A campus ambassador program is only as good as the feedback you receive. Encourage your ambassadors to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns with you and take their feedback seriously. Use their feedback to make improvements and create a program that truly speaks to your target audience.
When you follow these key elements, you'll create a program that's magnetic, effective, and beneficial for both your business and your ambassadors. It's a win-win situation, baby!
Best Practices for Managing a Campus Ambassador Program
Managing a campus ambassador program can be a blast, but it also means putting in some serious effort to ensure that your program is successful. Manage your program like a pro with our best practices:
- Keep communication open: Regularly communicating with your ambassadors is essential to the success of your program. Use a mix of channels like email, social media, and in-person meetings to keep them informed and engaged. Be sure to provide them with timely updates, feedback, and guidance as needed.
- Track performance: Tracking your program's performance is crucial to ensuring that your ambassadors are achieving your goals. Use metrics like sales, social media engagement, and attendance at events to measure your program's impact. Keep track of your ambassadors' performance and provide them with regular feedback and coaching to help them improve.
- Adapt to changing needs: As your program progresses, you may need to make changes to adapt to the evolving needs of your ambassadors and your business. Be flexible and willing to adjust your program as needed to keep it fresh and fruitful.
- Show appreciation: Your ambassadors are the lifeblood of your program, so it's important to show them your appreciation. Recognize their hard work, celebrate their successes, and reward them with incentives to keep them motivated and engaged.
- Foster a sense of community: Building a strong sense of community among your ambassadors is key to the success of your program. Encourage them to connect with each other, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. Hosting events and social activities is a great way to foster a sense of camaraderie among your ambassadors.
Campus Ambassador Program Success Stories
There have been some pretty awesome campus ambassador programs launched by companies in recent years. Here are a few examples that are sure to inspire you:
The Red Bull Student Marketeer is one of the most well-known campus ambassador programs, and for good reason.
Red Bull has been recruiting college students to serve as brand ambassadors in cities all over the world since 1987. Their job is to promote Red Bull's products on campus and at events with high-energy, adventurous marketing that really gets college students excited.
Ambassadors get tons of training to help them succeed professionally and develop sales and marketing skills for their future careers. And they're rewarded with exclusive access to Red Bull events, swag, and even opportunities to build important relationships.
What's really cool about the Red Bull Wings Team program is that they're all about creating awesome experiences through experiential marketing. Whether it's throwing a Red Bull-sponsored party or setting up a DJ booth on campus, the Wings Team is all about getting college students hyped up on Red Bull in a way that feels genuine and fun.
Microsoft selects students from all over the world to be part of their Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors program. These ambassadors are basically tech wizards who help promote Microsoft's products and services and use their passion and knowledge to solve real-world challenges.
But being a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador isn't just about being a Microsoft fanboy or fangirl. These students get access to exclusive training and resources that help them develop their skills and expand their knowledge of all things tech. They also get opportunities to kick-start their career with certification, training, and support from mentors and experts.
These student ambassadors get to lead and empower peers through hackathons, coding workshops, and other events that help both the company and themselves as a force for good.
Campus ambassador programs can be a game-changer for businesses looking to connect with college students in a fun and authentic way.
By following the best practices we've outlined here and learning from successful programs from Red Bull and Microsoft Learn, you can create a program that’s mutually beneficial for everyone involved.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start recruiting your campus ambassadors today!
Want to keep using word-of-mouth to your advantage? ReferralHero is your complete referral marketing solution. We make building a referral program easy, so you can empower your customers and turn them into brand ambassadors. Sign up today and get started!