Advice from the worlds best brand ambassador programs

July 5, 2019
6 min
Avery Schrader
Founder & CEO of Modash.io
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Modash has had a ton of fun of working with and learning from the best brand ambassador programs in Europe. Some from fast growing tech companies, to marketing agencies and everything in between.

Experimentation and data-driven decision making has led them to hugely successful brand ambassador programs.

It has been a learning experience, and I wanted to share insights here, a bit of advice for setting up these programs.

Out of respect of our partners, and so as not to get into specific details of their strategies, we will keep them anonymous.

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Long term brand ambassador programs

Our top partners have adopted an always-on approach to influencer marketing. This is the basic brand ambassadorship formula.

Long term relationships with influential people who act as champions for your company.

They aren’t paying for 1 post and then disappearing. They instead opt to build long term relationships.  

Relationships ensure that the creator has a stable source of income month that they are incentivized to maintain.

For brands, it enables measurement of which influencers, content, audiences and other variables are working best. It also means that they can scale this as an effective way to get new customers.

To incentivize these influencers to share regularly with their followings, they set quotas. Influencers must accomplish certain goals every month in order to remain a part of the program.

This benchmark for success gives transparency to the creator. It also provides a metric that these brands can optimize. They can increase or decrease this quota over time as they understand the most effective influencers to work with.

Great brand ambassador programs focus on ROI and measurement

The best of the best have a clear and highly specific metric that most of their attribution channels focus on. For measuring roi, a reasonable example would be sign-ups.

If you have a product or service users have to sign up to use, this could be what’s known as your “North Star Metric”. A metric that every team knows they are striving to increase.

The fastest growing companies do this by having a clear goal and then optimizing every aspect of their ambassador efforts to optimize for their North star metric.

Many of these companies are built on efficiency. Their ambassador programs don’t vary from this trend and your’s shouldn’t either. To stay efficient, they don’t opt to buy contributions to their North Star without at least matching the current best channels.

If $50 gets you signup with Facebook ads in your target market, you should aim to achieve an acquisition cost of equal to or less than $50 with influencers.

The easiest way to do that is to use an acquisition based reward model. Provide influencers with a creator code, the quota we mentioned in point 1 and pay them based on the number of signups they acquire each month. You should make sure this is laid our clearing in your brand ambassador contract template.

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Breaking down and improving a brand ambassador program.

Often, the highest performing marketing teams we work with break down their workflow into parts and optimize each part accordingly. A 3 part example of Brand ambassadorship program workflow:

Outreach - Identifying and contacting relevant influencers with the highest possible conversion rate.

Communication - Managing and optimizing the flow of information between influencers and the marketing team in order to improve scalability.

Payment and Analytics - Pay influencer and Measure the success of each campaign as efficiently and accurately as possible in order to decrease the cost of achieving the north star metric.

By breaking down the workflow into these parts, it becomes much easier to improve each part. For each company or brand ambassador program, this flow might be much different.

The bottlenecks you experience in trying to achieve those goals will require unique solutions.

While experimenting with each of these stages, they find solutions.

You might take July as a month to focus on optimizing their process for paying brand ambassadors. That means they will need to look at what data they have now, analyze bottlenecks and test solutions.

Some solutions are analogue. Testing at which stage we ask for an influencer’s payment information for example. Others will be more technical, such as testing Modash’s influencer payment features to solve payment scalability issues.

These internationally reaching companies are solution driven and intentional about their marketing efforts. They don’t waste any time on things that don’t matter and they are constantly optimizing their workflow. So much so that some manage hundreds of ambassadors per marketer and achieve lower acquisition costs with influencers than nearly all other ad-forms.

We have had the chance to partner and learn from companies expanding at a rapid pace, agencies quadrupling in size and startups recruiting hundreds of employees in just a few months. Steal these principles for a great brand ambassadorship program!

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