According to Statista, the number of brand-sponsored influencer posts on Instagram surpassed six million in 2020.
If you’re on any kind of social media, you’ve likely seen videos of your favorite celebrities and influencers talking about their most-loved brands and must-have products. These are brand ambassadors.
Nowadays, there are so many influencers and spokespeople out there who could fit the brand ambassador job description, but, just as if you were hiring for any other role, you wouldn’t take on just any old Joe.
If you’ve identified the best traffic sources for affiliate marketing and are ready to start creating a brand ambassador program, you’ll need to know what skills to look out for.
What is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador, also referred to as a brand advocate, is someone who represents your brand. A company selects the ambassador to be the “face” of their brand, which can involve sharing content on their social media or blog, referring friends, appearing at events, and so on.
Ambassadors don’t have to be influencers with thousands of followers; they can also be real people who can use their confidence and skills to target niche audiences and promote brands on a local level.
Along with content and affiliate marketing, nano-influencer and ambassador marketing are low-cost digital marketing techniques that can increase brand awareness and boost sales by showing your brand in a positive light both online and offline.
According to a survey of 1,753 influencers and 102 marketers, 70.6% of marketers agree that ongoing ambassadorships are the most effective form of influencer marketing.
Top 9 Brand Ambassador Must-have Skills
Not everyone has what it takes to be a brand ambassador. If you’re looking to hire people to represent your business, you’ll want to make sure they possess these must-have skills.
Whether you’re looking to make partnerships with brand ambassadors or wondering how to find affiliates, professionalism should always be a prerequisite.
Ambassadors essentially become the face of your brand, so it’s important they conduct themselves professionally both in-person and on social media. Their presentation will reflect on your brand, so they must be conscious of the fact that they’re representing you at all times.
Whether they’re sharing a video on social media, networking, or attending an event – their actions can affect other peoples’ perception of your brand.
When hiring brand ambassadors, it’s always a good idea for your recruitment team to check they don’t have a history of negative behavior, whether it be sharing controversial opinions or being disrespectful, it could damage your brand’s reputation.
2. Enthusiastic & Passionate About Your Brand
It goes without saying that the best brand ambassadors will be those who genuinely love your brand and are dedicated to helping you succeed.
When hiring brand ambassadors, look for those who are enthusiastic and passionate about your brand and the products or services you offer. This way, their posts and what they have to say about your brand will be genuine and believable. After all, their job is to attract people to your brand, so they must show it in a positive light at all times.
A good way to attract brand ambassadors that share your core values is to use affiliate marketing software. This allows affiliates to search for a product or service they’re interested in so they can promote them and receive compensation for their work.
Note that ambassador marketing is more focused on building long-lasting relationships with the people promoting your brand whereas affiliate marketing can be more short-term.
3. Knowledgeable About Your Brand
Be sure that they understand your brand’s values and mission, and that your brand’s ethos also aligns with how they represent themselves.
If you were searching for the best affiliate programs, you’d want the affiliates to share your company’s mission and values. The same applies when hiring brand ambassadors.
They should also be familiar with your products and services and know-how to talk about them accurately, whether online or in person. They also need to be able to answer any questions their audience might have and direct them to the appropriate pages/resources if necessary.
4. Understands Basic Marketing Principles
You can’t expect the people you choose as your brand ambassadors to have a marketing degree, but they should have a basic understanding of marketing principles.
They should know how to appeal to your target audience and represent your company in a way that aligns with your core values.
Although their social media posts and content will take on their own tone of voice, they should make some effort to incorporate your brand’s personality into the things they share.
If you want to leverage the full potential of ambassador marketing, consider seeking out ambassadors who have previous experience with the types of products or services you offer or possess some knowledge of the market your company operates in.
For instance, if you’re looking for brand ambassadors to help you market software for task management for teams, it’ll be useful if they’re knowledgeable about the software and IT industry.
5. Have a Strong Social Media/blog Presence
Although not all of your brand ambassadors will have a huge internet following, they should have a robust social media/blog presence so they can promote your brand online.
They should have a consistent image and slot into a specific niche that you want to target. The posts and images they share should be high-quality, taken on a good phone or camera, and written originally.
6. Have Great Interpersonal Skills
Brand ambassadors should have the interpersonal skills to build relationships with their audience and within your brand, having the confidence to engage with people from all aspects of life, whether it’s bu
siness leaders, college students, or their online followers.
They should be able to convince people about the value of your product or service, and how it can help them on an individual level. If your client is an Amazon seller, for example, make sure your brand ambassadors know what they’re selling and how they should communicate with consumers which will help avoid getting your client’s Amazon account suspended.
This requires them to have a warm and likable personality that’ll attract consumers, encourage people to follow them, and reflect well on your brand.
If you’re going to be working with them in the long term, you’ll want to ensure they’re friendly and receptive and make building relationships between brands and customers their priority.
7. Exceptional Communication Skills
Your brand ambassadors should be excellent communicators.
This doesn’t just mean in-person communication skills – they should be able to effectively get their message across on social media through their appearance, body language, and the way they speak.
It shouldn’t sound like they’re reading from an autocue – their product pitches and demonstrations should sound natural and conversational.
They should also be skilled in holding one-on-one conversations and possess good listening skills to understand how their audience reacts. You’ll be able to get a good idea about their communication skills during the interview process.
Creativity is integral to any type of marketing. Whether you’re a wholesale retail company or a VoIP service provider, creativity is key to helping your brand stand out from the crowd. This is another skill that brand ambassadors need.
They should be able to create eye-catching imagery and content that reflects your brand to connect with their audiences. Their content needs to be fresh and relevant, using their creative skills to showcase your brand in captivating ways.
They’ll also need to possess creative problem-solving skills to adapt to challenges when they’re representing your brand in the field and online. There’s no limit when it comes to creativity, but make sure you look for ambassadors that don’t post repetitive or unengaging content all the time.
They should be brimming with unique ideas to help attract people to your brand organically.
9. Open to Receiving & Giving Feedback
When working with brand ambassadors, you’ll need to set guidelines for them to follow when promoting your brand.
They should be willing to receive feedback and constructive criticism about how they can improve, proving that they’re professional and willing to grow both creatively and economically.
On the other hand, you should also be open to receiving feedback from your brand ambassadors. They might share ideas about how you could connect with your target audience more effectively, or share feedback from their followers.
If it’s going to be a long-term relationship, both parties must feel comfortable discussing the partnership and any improvements that could be made.
Grow your Business with Brand Ambassadors
When you take the time to choose the right ambassadors to represent your brand by using these nine skills as a guideline, you’re guaranteed to find someone who can successfully grow your business.
It’s not just about choosing the influencers with the biggest following, you should look for people who truly love what your brand has to offer and are excited to promote it to a wider audience.
Make sure you use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and customer feedback to measure the success of the partnership, to help you decide if you’re a good match or not.
There’s no denying that brand ambassadors can have a huge impact on business growth, allowing you to reach untapped niches and associate your brand with leaders and spokespeople in certain industries.
Building long-lasting partnerships with ambassadors is a great way to increase your brand awareness and directly boost sales over a longer period of time.
What are you waiting for?
Sam O’Brien is the Chief Marketing Officer for Affise—a Global SaaS Partner Marketing and Partner Relationship Management Solution. He is a growth marketing expert with a product management and design background. Sam has a passion for innovation, growth, and marketing technology. Here is his LinkedIn.