A few weeks ago, I wrote about how you can find the catalysts of your community, the group of your followers that you can leverage to accelerate your growth on social media.
In this article, I’m going to write about the different things you can do with these catalysts, these ambassadors, these advocates – by taking examples of different brands.
Now that you’ve found the perfect match, someone has to take the first step. Let that someone be you ✨
Whenever you’re sending a message, you must always be providing some value. The best way to do this is to reach out and just offer something – offer to send them a product with no strings attached so that it’s a genuine gesture rather than a transaction.
Remember, you’re trying to create a relationship, not a transaction.
It may sound silly, but really – the idea is that for example if you invest in giving out 100 pieces to 100 people, and even 10 of those people turn into long-term advocates that end up using and sharing your products on social intensively, the reach, awareness and revenues they’ll generate will more than make up for the remaining 90 that didn’t work out.
The key here is selecting the right prospects, which we covered in the previous article. When you send them your message, you can communicate to them that the product is a gift, but if they like it you’d obviously appreciate any kind of shoutouts or mentions they can give!
Once you’ve shipped your product out, you wait.
Some people might post about your product immediately, some people might take some more time to post about it. Make sure to follow up with everyone that they’ve received it, and ask what they think about it.
Some of those people might need a little encouragement to post about the product, but that’s okay! Give them time and encouragement. ✨ But make sure that you don’t “force” them make a post in a specific way or style, because that’s just gonna come across super inauthentic.
Over time, you should track the stories and posts that you get mentioned in, and keep note of the creators that posted the highest quality, most engaging and most authentic content (they may not be the same).
By now, you should have hundreds of pieces of content coming in your way, and numerous advocates that are now charged up and ready to support you. How can we best leverage them?
I wrote a piece on branded content ads a few weeks, ago – basically they are an ad format by Facebook which allows the ads to be run on the creators’ accounts, but sponsored by, paid for by and managed by the brand.
Instagram even very recently launched branded content ads for Reels – this is also definitely something you should be looking into.
Creators in the US can also add a digital storefront to their Instagram profiles, featuring products from partner brands. This is radical.
Once you see content being posted, you should definitely reach out to the creators that are most in line with your brand aesthetic, with the most engaging content, and propose to them the idea of running branded content ads on their accounts.
When you identify the creators that most seem to engage with your brand and post interesting content, you should reach out to them and ask them if they want to collaborate on a sponsored post.
Since they’ve already got the product, they already love it, they’ll be more likely to agree. And they may not even charge you anything for it.
To take things one step further, you can set up a discount code or a referral link so that you can easily and separately track the results of each creator and see which ones work better from a revenue standpoint.
Instagram has made it easier than ever to do this – even creators below 10K followers can now post links in their stories, and they can even customize the text that appears on the link.
So once you create your discount code or referral link, you can send it to the creator to post on their story and track the results on your end.
This is pretty self-explanatory — once you see content being posted by your creators, you should reach out to them and ask for permission to repost that content on your social channels.
This is a great way for your creators and customers alike to feel heard and listened to.
Now that you've taken the relationship forward and done further campaigns with these people, it's time to follow up and figure out which are the people you want to double down on, and which are the people that you can spend less money and energy on.
You want to find those people whose audiences turn out to be highly aligned - they are very effective so that if you put more effort into them you'll get more returns.
How do you find those people?
→ These are people who you can continue to send lower-priced products but more frequently.
→ These are people who you can send higher-priced products but less frequently.
→ These are people you can partner with for content creation — you can send them the products you most need content (photos, videos) created for.
Of course, this is just a small part of the potential world of opportunities that ambassador relationships can get you — but we hope this guide was useful to you in creating a pilot ambassador program for your brand.
If you have any questions, need advice, or want to talk about this content — feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to talk!