This post is contributed by Margie Zable Fisher, president of Zable Fisher Public Relations, which specializes in eCommerce and product P.R. and publicity. Sign up for her free, award-winning public relations newsletter.
You can never have too many people positively talking up your business, right? With the explosion of social media, the concept of brand ambassadors, or people who can promote your business online (and even offline) for a price, has gained popularity.
What Do Brand Ambassadors Do?
“A brand ambassador is basically a spokesperson for a company both online and off,” says LaDonna Dennis, Founder/Owner of Mom Blog Society, the #1 Mom Blogger in the U.S. according to Cision. Brand ambassadors, according to Dennis, should learn so much about a brand that “you should be able to talk about the brand as easily as you talk about your own children.”
Services brand ambassadors may offer include:
- Writing blog posts about your brand—posts may include product reviews, giveaways, web site reviews, discounts and special offers
- Posting social media mentions of blog posts and about your brand, sometimes using #hashtags with your brand’s name
- Posting on a brand’s social media sites
- Participating in Google Hangouts and Twitter chats about your brand
- Placing banners that feature your brand in prime positions on a blog or newsletter
- Creating how-to and other videos of your products
- Attending trade shows, conferences and conventions and press trips, and representing the brand, talking up the brand, and/or wearing clothing with the brand’s logo
How Long Do You Work With a Brand Ambassador?
“Campaigns can last a month, three months, a year, or more,” notes Jennifer Regan, Founder/Owner of Eighty MPH Mom, also a Cision Top 50 Mommy Blogger.
Typically, according to Regan, brands will hire her or one of her team members to promote a new product launch, giveaway/sweepstakes or special offer. “Sometimes that takes a month, sometimes longer,” she says.
Finding Brand Ambassadors
If you’re already active on social media, you may already be familiar with influencers in your category. If you’re looking for Mom Bloggers, a useful list is Cision’s Top Mom Bloggers.
You can also do a Google search on your type of product. Based on the results, you’ll quickly find the types of social media folks who are popular in your space.
There are even companies that connect you with brand ambassadors. While these companies may be pricier than working directly with one brand ambassador, they can often provide additional services, such as analytics and a team of bloggers for your campaign. Here are some companies:
- BrandBacker provides the potential to connect with 10,000 bloggers and influencers, in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle categories.
- Mom Blog Society houses 40,000 bloggers and influencers that cover nearly every category available.
- She Informed has over 11,000 influencers and 25,000 members.
Once you decide on a couple of potential brand ambassadors, you’ll want to make sure they like your product and/or don’t already have an exclusive relationship with a similar product.
Gone are the days when spending marketing dollars on branding leads to indeterminate results.
While it’s clear that sales are an expectation of a brand ambassador campaign, here are some other typical results that are achieved:
- Increase in followers on brand’s social media networks
- Increase in the number of visitors to a brand’s website
- # of views of a certain post or video
- # of likes of social media posts
- Increase in newsletter/list signups
Fees vary with brand ambassadors. A good rule of thumb: the larger the reach (blog UMV, social media followers), the more expensive the brand ambassador fees. Even smaller brands can afford the minimum price of a well-known Mom Blogger campaign, which starts around $1,000.
In your contract with a brand ambassador, you will want to include the following:
- Exclusivity (type of product) – or not – this will affect the price
- Specifics about content creation – for example: 1 blog post per month for 3 months; 1 how-to video – the more content you need, and the harder it is to create (such as a video), the more expensive it will be
- Social media posting frequency – Brand ambassadors will typically mention the content creation for your brand in social media posts, but if you want more than one post, and you want to specify three posts a week for three months, for example, that will cost more
- Who will be doing the work – You may be fine with one of the top members of a blog team posting on your brand’s behalf, but if you want the owner of the blog, it may cost more
- Term – will the campaign last one month, three months, or more. If the campaign lasts longer than three months, you may be able to get more favorable pricing.
- Goals – these may include a certain number of new social media followers, page views, etc.
So if you want to increase your sales and reach a deeper level of your target audience, you might want to consider hiring a brand ambassador. Make sure to do your research and set up a solid agreement. It might be just the thing to move your brand to the next level.