From a grassroots perspective, you might already be using ambassadors, for example by leveraging positive feedback from past events attendees. Indeed, there is no better ambassador than those who have already participated in your events and decided to talk about it.
But to have a more strategic approach, it’s time to make it official and create an actual brand ambassador program that amplifies your brand and boosts awareness around your event marketing.
Getting the word out about your business and activities is one of the main objectives of any marketing effort. And while outbound and inbound marketing strategies rule in this department, partnering with brand ambassadors adds that extra twist that might be missing from the above: a human touch.
People will always prefer to interact with people rather than brands. The involvement and passion that brand ambassadors display towards your brand can be even more engaging than any advertising campaign, because it adds that emotional component.
Brands spend years building their reputation and establishing themselves as thought leaders in their fields.
But who would you trust more, a brand that tells its audience how great it is, or actual people who have worked with the brand and share their positive experiences?
That's why brand ambassadors are such a great tool to increase your brand’s reputation: you let others do the talking and prove that you’re good at what you do while avoiding sounding too self-serving.
This is even truer when your brand ambassadors are key opinion leaders or influencers in the industry: if respected and admired professionals vouch for you, your target audience in that industry will be more inclined to believe in your brand promise.
Connected to brand reputation is the enhanced awareness and word of mouth that brand ambassadors can bring to your brand.
Whether you are partnering with key influencers or leveraging attendees or – as we will see later – your employees and C-level executives, having people talk about your brand is one of the most effective ways to increase awareness and generate word of mouth.
Social media, in particular, are the channels where you want this exchange to happen. By using the tools these platforms provide - such as mentions, hashtags, comments – you can really drive (positive) conversations around your brand and reach new audiences.
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Who qualifies as a brand ambassador? There are no strict rules, it all depends on what you want to achieve.
Brand ambassadors can be anyone who is passionate about your mission enough to involve their own audiences in the conversation. Having said that, there are certain categories that you should take into consideration.
Partnering with well-known influencers and experts is probably the most effective way to promote your event within a short period of time.
These are people who already have a solid follower base on social media and a good reputation in the media, so you might have to work less on building the entire infrastructure.
Beware though, there should be an authentic fit between your brand and these key opinion leaders. They will become your spokespeople, so you need to make sure that they’re aligned with your mission and values.
This might not sound like the most obvious choice, but why not looking within your own ranks before turning elsewhere?
From your C-level executives to junior employees, these are the people who know your brand better than anyone else and work every day to make your vision a reality.
Encouraging them to share their expertise and passion with the audience can be an organic way to increase brand awareness and reputation simply by tapping into what you already have – a passionate workforce.
Besides, what better way for your brand to increase reputation and be seen as human-centric than engaged and active employees?
Partnerships are vital in business. They help create something valuable for the industry, provide better experiences to clients, and they allow partners to benefit from each other's core capabilities.
Similarly, industry partners can also be utilised in your brand ambassadors efforts. Involve them in your activities, set a common goal, and feed off each other’s brand reputation to increase awareness.
Of course, these are the most sought-after but often more difficult-to-get brand ambassadors. Simply because their endorsement is spontaneous and can’t be placed into a structured program.
But there are ways to facilitate it. Here are a couple of suggestions:
Brand ambassadors can also play a key role in the promotion of your event, whether virtual, live or hybrid, in all the ways we have just illustrated.
But when you’re making them a key component of your marketing campaign to grow your event, there are some actions you can take to make sure they are set up for success.
In the midst of marketing tactics available, partnering with and empowering people who recognise themselves with your brand values can be a powerful way to humanise your brand, increase its reputation and foster word of mouth.
If you’re looking for ways to increase the reach of your brand through tried and tested marketing strategies, get in touch with our marketing experts.