Ambassadors play a vital role in brand marketing campaigns, as they help promote new products, and ensure consistent amplification of key messages. Ambassadors are cultivated over time, with good products, good content, and consistent engagement. An ideal example here is of OnePlus, the leading global smartphone manufacturer, which consistently focuses on expanding its brand ambassador programs.
The digital-first brand has acquired 29.3% market share within the Indian premium smartphone sector (INR 30,000 +), consistently ranking among the top customer-centric brands. It focuses on several community-driven campaigns based on its target audience’s preferences, such as college campaigns, music festivals, online collaborations, etc. to convert customers into ambassadors.
Driving funnel-based engagement
Brands can develop robust funnel-based engagement programs that focus on the larger buyer community at the top of the funnel. Through effective content, digital campaigns, interactive initiatives, and online promotions, these customers can be continually engaged with over time.
As customers get more focused through the funnel, the marketing campaign can evolve and convert them into ambassadors. Word of mouth still being one of the most impactful marketing tools, with 90% of buyers influenced through recommendations, can be harnessed through funnel-driven campaigns effectively.
Empowering key buyers
The 20-30% of a firm’s top buyers should be empowered through every step of the way. As these customers are highly engaged with the brand, it is important to uncover insights that may be relevant to them. Identifying the right target groups is key, as it helps brands to focus on the most engaged and highly active users of the product. By leveraging active social listening tools, brands can find their most active customers online and engage with them across mediums.
Empowering buyers with the right content, platforms, and tools, is essential to converting them into ambassadors. Referral programs, recommendation campaigns, and other forms of word-of-mouth marketing initiatives can also be supercharged when key buyers are inherently incentivized to share the brand’s messaging.
Enhancing focus on communities
Community management and driving unique engaging campaigns is one of the best ways to convert customers into brand ambassadors. Community engagement also structures conversations around brands, which is critical for optimized ORM, and allows users to share thoughts directly within the industry. It is important to focus on a larger online community, across various buyer groups, that are relevant to your brand.
Community engagement also allows the brand to be more personable and direct with customers. It can focus on promoting a consistent and highly humanized message to its followers consistently throughout its lifespan. It can also promote a more realistic and positive narrative about its activities and accelerate any ORM campaigns being promoted. Community engagement at-scale can help create better user-trust within buyer communities as well.
Exclusive insights, launches, & personalization
Exclusivity is a key mechanism to convert customers into brand ambassadors. By providing access to exclusive features, launches, or promotions, a select group of customers can easily convert into net promotors of your brand. Both B2B and B2C brands can benefit from engaging its loyal customers through exclusive content and launches.
Salesforce’s Trailblazer community program provides a unique look into new launches, exclusive content, case studies, and more insights. This is enabling them to connect with schools, enterprises, start-ups, and entrepreneurs around the world, and driving net positive ORM results for their brand. Salesforce also moderates several idea exchange programs for companies that have been using the product for years.
OnePlus launches exclusive smartphones to test out for its most ardent fans over online mediums. Its inception campaign accepted over 5,000 fresh ideas from brand ambassadors, with over tens of thousands of online discussions promoted. It also encourages community members to pitch in ideas that can be implemented into its operating system, giving greater control to its ambassadors to provide unique inputs.
Brand ambassadors play a key role in the organic promotion of a brand, and can help accelerate any digital campaigns, ORM initiatives, and online activities. As customers engage with brands over time, they can form a relationship with the brand persona and share key messages within their own communities. By adopting best practices within the domain, brands can enhance their buyer base significantly and reach a wider audience set over time.