Stand-alone influencer marketing campaigns are super effective for product launches or special activations that need to create an instant splash, but we’ve found that ambassador programmes hit different.
Ambassador programmes are long-term campaigns that span for weeks, months, or even years. This type of activation creates deeper connections with an audience, builds awareness and engagement around a product or service, and generates more meaningful results over time.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at the benefits of this influencer marketing strategy, and offer best practices that will ensure the smooth running of your next ambassador programme.
More visibility: Ambassador programmes bring a wealth of content that is shared over a long period of time. This means that both product and brand messaging are put in front of the eyes of many, leading to an increase in visibility and exposure.
More stories, in one: In producing a wealth of content, a creator can tell multiple narratives in one campaign. A piece of content may focus on a product, outlining its USPs, and another piece of content may focus on a certain brand message, all using the recognisable voice of one creator.
Strong relationships: When a brand works with a creator over a long period of time, a strong and therefore effective relationship is built. If there are strong foundations and values are aligned between both parties, the content produced will look and feel genuine to the target audience. This lends to another benefit perfectly - a creator who has a strong relationship with a brand will be more likely to over-deliver on content. When this happens, the creator’s audience gets more organic content and a brand gets more value for their money; it's a win-win situation.
Ability to adapt: By building a campaign over time, you can adapt and optimise the content shared and overall performance of the campaign. You will consistently be learning from your campaigns and adapting as you go, making sure you’re getting the best possible results out of the content delivered.
Authenticity: A creator who chooses to work with a brand on a long-term basis and on multiple occasions will appear more genuine and their content will fit naturally and authentically in their feed. The brand will be able to negotiate exclusivity clauses for the duration of the programme, making sure the creator doesn’t engage with competitors.
Now we’ve outlined the benefits of implementing this influencer marketing strategy, we’re going to recommend our best practices that ensure a successful and effective ambassador programme.
Select your ambassadors carefully: Candidates for your programme should be vetted with great care, to ensure they are a perfect fit for your brand and your campaign. Here, at Influencer, we vet creators across three categories: Science, Synergy and Style. Within these categories, we take a deep dive into their community demographic, to ensure the set of creators are representative of a wide range of verticals and audiences, brand safety and brand affinity, the ‘look and feel’ of previous content, and how content has performed in the past. It is also important to vet your chosen creator throughout the programme, which adds one final category: Sustain. The very nature of an ambassador programme means that you should be measuring and assessing performance throughout the length of a campaign, ensuring that only the best performing and most authentic creators remain a part of the programme. It is important to remember that if any red flags show during this process, you can change and replace the potential under-performers.
Plan smartly: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail - and this could not be more true for ambassador programmes. From the outset, our campaign managers help your brand set goals and KPIs, design activation phases for the campaign and identify strong calendar moments that campaign content could naturally align to. Without a clear direction from the outset, creators and brands alike can end up creating content that doesn’t hit the spot, so having clear objectives and deliverables can help to create content that really converts.
Be flexible and stay collaborative: It is important to monitor and measure performance of the content throughout the campaign, so you can adapt your strategy when needed. It is also useful to lean on your creator to understand what works for their audience and what does not, and inform your strategy from there on. Creators know their audiences well and will be the best guides on how best to communicate your message, making sure it resonates well. Keep conversations with your ambassadors active throughout the programme and don’t be afraid to make changes during the process.
Create opportunities: As outlined above, we’ve seen that ambassador programmes typically lead to over-delivery in content. So, we encourage you to capitalize on this. Create opportunities for organic content to be posted, whether that be through events or special activations. As well as this, don’t always save creator content for one channel. If you share content across multiple platforms, your brand and brand message will disseminate to a wider audience and ultimately increase exposure further.
We are well versed in both one-off influencer marketing campaigns and ambassador programmes, but as a brand, you need to know what strategy is most effective to achieve your goals. For more information on how we can support your brand’s influencer marketing campaigns, head over to our website. Alternatively, email our Head of Client Services Pauline Hislaire at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss which activation is best for you.