Youtube, Instagram and Tiktok have a combined user base of 4 billion users. A portion of those make highly effective brand ambassadors.
Never before in history has there been a marketplace of attention such as the one we have today. That marketplace enabled the rise of social media influencers.
Entertainers. Those who once fought up the ranks as journalists in media companies, actors in hollywood, comedians to get a “late night show” are now able to garner billions of views, clicks, and importantly for companies building a brand ambassador program, conversions at a scale never seen before.
With that, came influencer marketing. Brands building brand ambassador programs leveraging the star-power of Instagrammers, Tiktokkers, Youtubers and beyond. With them, the gurus proclaiming the genius of working with influencers.
Let me summarize for you what they have said:
"Building brand ambassador programs is a good idea."
While everyone seems to know this, the sentiment amongst marketers like you and I is often:
“I know what I have to do for fiddlers sake. What I need is to know HOW to do it!”
So on with it then, blog introduction complete. Here’s the influencer powered brand ambassador program you need in order to grow big.
To my great delight, it seems I stumbled upon something wonderful. A repeatable brand ambassador program for any B2C brand. It doesn’t have a lot of flaws. It grows with you.
It is important to note, that if you don’t care about the true performance of your influencer marketing efforts or brand ambassador program, then you won’t enjoy this. This strategy is best suited for brands who love ROI and can’t afford to waste time. If you aren’t interested in doing what everyone else is talking about, but rather what works; this might be the brand ambassador strategy for you.
Table of contents:
The structure (or: rules) are simple.
We will strive to choose the best influencers for your brand ambassador program.
We will only pay for acquisitions.
We will pay brand ambassadors on a monthly interval.
We will optimize our efforts to maximize return on investment.
We will automate our labour to maximize return on time.
This strategy is very scalable, very performance oriented and highly optimizable. To explain, I’ll tell the story of a brand using a similar brand ambassador program to scale up in a specific market:
An e-commerce store selling outdoor goods is upping its marketing efforts in Colorado. They have decided to work with influencers and build a brand ambassador program. Their goal is to double their revenue in 6 months.
After they have identified the best influencers (Part 2), they contact them and offer to pay them $10 per sale the influencer makes. They track sales using a promo-code. They pay on a monthly basis. Influencers are expected to get a minimum of 5 monthly sales.
They recruit 20 influencers in the first month, and 20 in the second. They remove the ones who do not meet the 5 monthly sales goal. In 3 months they have 50 influencers in the program, each generating an average of 10 sales per month.
That’s 500 sales monthly sales they previously did not have, acquired at a CPA they are comfortable with. They scale this number to 2000 monthly sales (200 influencers) with only 1 dedicated person.
That is the brand ambassador program you are about to implement.
With data of course. The question is, where do we get the data we need?
Depending on the platform you have chosen as best suited to communicate to your audience, the answer differs. For this example let’s assume it’s instagram.
Using Modash, we can find influencers who speak to specific audience. Above is a small sample of data.
The formula for the perfect influencer goes as follows:
X = Y when an influencer is best suited to be your brand ambassador.
Where X is your target audience and Y is an influencer’s actual audience.
Pretty simple formula. You want your target audience to match the influencer’s audience perfectly.
This is impossible for a number of reasons. So instead, look for the closest possible match.
Key metrics to consider when identifying influencers & brand ambassadors:
Can I just scroll instagram to find influencers?
You will not be able to retrieve enough data scrolling instagram to make a determination of whether or not they speak to your target audience.
You will not be able to power a true brand ambassador program without being able to quickly analyze hundreds of instagram accounts. The manual effort of scrolling instagram is too
Can I get the data directly from the influencer?
For the purpose of testing tools, yes. To find the perfect influencer, no.
As you don’t know if the influencer is honest and transparent about their data. As we have published in several articles, fake followers are a serious threat to the unequipped marketer.
This is an indication that as with all communities, the creator community suffers from the actions of a few bad apples. As they purchased fake followers with the intent to get money from brands like yours, they will alter screenshots, tell lies and demand payment.
Additionally, you cannot scale outreach (required to ask for data) before having the certainty they are a strong match for your ambassador program, it’s too time intensive. It’s more efficient to identify relevant influencers, get contact details and automate outreach.
Can’t I just pick influencers who seem to make content I like?
To perfect a performance marketing strategy, no. You need to target a specific target audience and understand who you are reaching in order to optimize your campaign.
There is no good reason to pick influencers who simply make content you like, unless you are hiring them for content generation.
When communicating to influencers, think of them less like business administration graduates who are looking for business development opportunities and more like young entertainers who want to partner with exciting brands and get paid to do it.
In the images below, there are two potential influencer outreach email templates. I highly recommend you aim to be more like the one on the left, rather than Billy boring on the right.
Automation is key for this influencer outreach strategy.
Using automated tools is required in order to effectively reach influencers. While you can use your favourite tools, I recommend the following. Be sure to A/B test different tools over time and understand what bottlenecks your current tools create.
Woodpecker to send automated personalized emails to influencers 1 by 1, as though you sent them yourself.
Phantom buster for leaving automated comments on the posts of influencers who have not responded to your emails.
Here’s a full breakdown of why these are the best tools for influencer outreach.
As people familiar with scaling user acquisition models might have guessed, managing all of these people does become troublesome.
They will ask similar questions. They will ask the same questions month over month. The best solution to this I have seen is a simple landing page with information regarding the ambassador program.
Bolt for example, uses this technique to present details about the brand to help inspire content creation. It also allows them to express the brand values, talk about content guidelines, answer frequently asked questions and so on.
When contacting influencers consider using a custom email address such as Ambassadors@brand.com. A dedicated inbox will help you keep you organized and enables any new influencer-related staff to easily get onboard and inside of the inbox. More, include a link to the landing page in your email signature.
Truth be told, you don’t need this until you are working with 10-20 influencers every month and you find yourself overwhelmed by communication.
If you're really eager to get things in writing with your ambassadors, you can use a tool like Docusign and this brand ambassador contract template to set it in stone.
Remember the rules of this strategy. Remember why you’re doing it. To acquire customers as efficiently as possible.
Throughout your adventures building and scaling, you will face roadblocks and hurdles. If at any point you need a helping hand, I am willing to chat with you for free. Book a call here to have a discussion about your growth problems, progress and plans.
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