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Learn how to run an ambassador influencer program with our referral marketing software.
On the back end, the referral platform must add value and not create an extra burden on precious resources. On the front end, your referral program should appear as an integral part of your brand, ever-present and engaging.
You create coordinated campaigns for paid advertising, email marketing, and social media, so why wouldn’t you do the same with your referral platform? Many of our customers use Friendbuy to combine a referral program with an influencer or ambassador campaign, providing an elevated offer for these important advocates.
If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, consider going beyond the basic referral marketing best practices and branching out into additional campaigns.
Campaign management is a key component of any referral platform. Without the ability to seamlessly manage multiple campaigns, it is difficult to stay agile and pursue continual optimization because you must:
- Juggle data from multiple platforms and apps.
- Update marketing content in multiple places to ensure consistency.
- Manually segment customers.
- Gather and normalize data to get accurate reporting.
With Friendbuy’s campaigns feature, you benefit from:
- Unified campaign management across email capture and referral capabilities. Friendbuy enables sending four unique email types within each Referral Campaign flow. First, design your program's emails in the Emails section > then assign an email to the desired Referral Campaign > within Emails tab > click the (+) button next to each type to select an available email.
- Personalization and segmentation to target specific users.
- Unlimited widgets, so you can run evergreen as well as seasonal campaigns. Navigate to the widget builder on your campaign dashboard to create the different widgets you need for your campaigns.
- The ability to quickly update all the elements of your campaign—the incentive amount and structure (e.g., coupon or account credit), referral emails, widget and email design, and widget placements. Check out our Referral Campaign Management guide for step-by-step instructions.
Of course, it is possible to set up and manage the little details of referral campaigns without these features, but this isn’t a practical approach for businesses that aim to scale.
An evergreen campaign is a referral campaign that is always running. We recommend starting with our referral marketing best practices, including:
- Making referral widgets easily accessible throughout the customer journey
- Creating a compelling offer
- Writing a call to action that catches attention
- Promoting your referral program through other marketing channels
You can refine the campaign over time using A/B testing to optimize the referral offer and other content, but usually, once an evergreen campaign has been dialed in, it continues to work for you with minimal effort.
In addition to your evergreen campaign, you can expand your referral reach by creating exclusive brand ambassador and influencer campaigns targeted at your most active and influential advocates.
Friendbuy customer example:
Casper's business model is predicated on selling high-quality, high-consideration products, such as mattresses and bedding, which customers tend to purchase infrequently, often once every few years. To increase their sales and foster customer loyalty, Casper has implemented an evergreen referral program, Give 15%, Get $75, that provides a powerful incentive structure for both Advocates and their Friends.
Casper recognizes that simply offering discounts to Advocates is not always an effective way to incentivize them to refer new customers. Instead, they offer a $75 gift card to Advocates for each successful referral, while Friends receive a discount on their first purchase. This approach has been highly successful, with a 7x higher lift than their average marketing investment, demonstrating the power of a well-structured referral program.
A brand ambassador is an individual hired by a company or organization to promote and represent their brand or products. Their responsibilities typically include creating a positive image of the brand, promoting the brand through various marketing channels, building relationships with target customers, and providing feedback to the company. Brand ambassador marketing efforts can be an effective tool to boost brand awareness.
Friendbuy customer example:
Weight loss brand Lose It! launched an ambassador program in addition to its evergreen referral program. The Lose It! evergreen campaign rewards advocates with a $10 gift card when friends upgrade to Lose It! Premium after a one-week free trial. As with most referral programs, some shining stars rise to the top, and Lose It! wanted to grow that group of dedicated advocates.
Lose It!’s SuperTracker ambassador program takes the evergreen campaign a step further by enticing advocates with swag, special prizes, and other opportunities. After 10 successful referrals, SuperTrackers get more tools to help spread the word about Lose It!, including:
- A swag pack
- A social sharing starter pack
- Access to insider news and updates
- Access to a private Facebook group
This is a great example of true brand integration of a referral campaign. It extends to social media, email campaigns, and brand-based communities to create a pervasive presence at every customer interaction.
An influencer is a person who has established a significant following on social media platforms and has the ability to influence the opinions, behaviors, and purchasing decisions of their followers. When they are part of a campaign, they are expected to create high-quality content that resonates with their audience, build and maintain their social media presence, and collaborate with brands to promote products or services that align with their personal brand and values. Influencers are expected to be authentic and transparent in their collaborations with brands and to disclose any sponsored content.
Friendbuy customer example:
Nutrition brand Persona Nutrition complements its evergreen campaign with a social media influencer program. With this evergreen offer, advocates can give $25 and get $50 when friends make their first purchase.
The company has made referral marketing part of the brand by introducing the #PersonaPack, a social media influencer community that also benefits from exclusive opportunities such as:
- Opportunities to try new products first
- One-on-one time with nutritionists
The more influencers share, the more they are rewarded. This stackable rewards approach provides extra encouragement to influencers who are motivated by earning more perks based on the effort they put in.
The beauty of influencer campaigns is that your loyal advocates generate creative content on behalf of your brand. The PersonaPack shares personal success stories, nutrition habits, and the benefits they get from the products with their followers. Because there is already a foundation of trust (and an incentive to try the products), influencer followers are more inclined to make a purchase than they would be if they had just seen a paid ad.
As the name suggests, a time-bound campaign runs for a limited period of time, whether seasonal or related to a special event. Many marketers use time-based campaigns to create a sales boost, generate new advocates, or spur growth. One of the greatest advantages of time-bound campaigns is that you can be truly creative with what you offer. In fact, the more unique the offer is, the more engagement you’ll get. Check out these examples from real Friendbuy customers for inspiration.
Friendbuy customer example:
Casper, a popular bedding and mattress company, recognized that the discovery process for their product may take longer than other products in the market. However, once their potential customers are intrigued by their offerings, they tend to make quick and decisive purchase decisions. To leverage this sense of urgency and capitalize on the momentum generated by customer interest, Casper employs a well-crafted marketing strategy.
One such tactic employed by Casper is the use of "referral blowouts." During these promotions, Casper offers an increased incentive for referrals for a limited period, thereby creating a sense of urgency and encouraging customers to act quickly. This strategy has proven to be very effective in boosting conversion rates, with a 29% increase reported in the most recent quarter compared to the previous one.
Casper's approach of using referral incentives in conjunction with a limited-time offer creates a sense of exclusivity and scarcity, two powerful psychological triggers that compel customers to act. By carefully timing these promotions to coincide with slow business periods or when no other promotions are running, Casper is able to maximize the impact of these campaigns and drive sales during times when the demand for their products might otherwise be weaker.
Overall, Casper's marketing tactics exemplify the importance of understanding customer behavior and using that knowledge to craft targeted, effective campaigns. By leveraging the power of urgency, exclusivity, and scarcity, Casper is able to drive conversions and generate buzz around their products, ultimately leading to greater success in the marketplace.
SmileDirectClub runs a limited-time offer to enter a sweepstakes in conjunction with its evergreen referral program. With the CTA “Share Smiles,” the evergreen campaign gives friends a discount and advocates a $100 gift card. Because the brand doesn’t offer a product that lends itself to repeat purchases, this is a smart strategy for encouraging advocates to refer friends.
Because its teeth aligners are high-consideration purchases, the brand also runs periodic sweepstakes campaigns to help convert potential customers. The annual Gift of Grin sweepstakes encourages potential customers to share their personal stories about how teeth aligners would change their lives. The winners get free treatment, and the brand benefits from exposure to a larger audience.
A contest campaign incentivizes customers to refer their friends or family members to a product or service through competition. In a contest campaign, the company or brand sets up a referral program where customers can share a referral link with their network. To encourage more referrals, the company or brand may offer prizes, such as discounts, cash rewards, or free products to customers who refer the most people or achieve a specific milestone in terms of referrals.
The contest can be run over a certain period, and the winners are usually the top performers who achieve the most referrals or meets the set criteria for the contest.
Friendbuy customer example:
Snack subscription brand NatureBox runs periodic referral contests to boost sales, re-engage advocates, and capture new subscribers. The evergreen campaign gives friends 20 percent off and gives advocates $20 for every friend who signs up. These stackable rewards can be used toward monthly subscriptions, which also keeps advocates coming back for more.
In one contest, the top three referrers won $300 in snacks and a $100 Amazon gift card. When running a contest, making the incentive extra compelling is one of the keys to engagement. The reward has to be much better than the evergreen campaign to prompt advocates to share with multiple friends.
Let Us Help You Run Referral, Influencer, and Ambassador Campaigns Simultaneously
When you run a time-bound campaign, push it through all the same channels and highlight the extra incentives that will encourage advocates to engage.
Use your referral program data to identify potential ambassadors and influencers, then give them the rewards and tools to support them. Personally reach out to micro-influencers to make them loyal brand advocates. Build a community of brand ambassadors and followers who are excited about sharing your brand with friends. Whatever approach you take to influencer and brand ambassador campaigns, referral marketing can only enhance it.
Friendbuy gives you all the tools you need to create evergreen and time-bound campaigns to amplify your marketing efforts. To learn more about referral strategies you can implement for your brand, read Referral Marketing: The Essential Guide.
Q: What is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is an individual who is hired by a company or organization to represent and promote its brand or products. Increasing brand awareness is the main goal of a brand ambassador program. Brand ambassador programs create a positive image of the brand through the brand ambassador sharing their personal experiences and interactions with the brand.
Potential brand ambassadors may be celebrities, athletes, influencers, or everyday people. Ideal brand ambassadors have a large social media following, and many brand ambassadors are respected within a particular community. They could also be micro influencers that can tap a niche audience. They are often chosen for their ability to connect with and influence a specific target audience.
The duties of a brand ambassador may include attending events, creating content on their social media accounts, participating in advertising campaigns, and providing product demonstrations. They are typically compensated for their time and efforts and may receive perks such as free products or exclusive access to events.
Q: What is a brand ambassador program?
A brand ambassador program is a marketing strategy in which a company or organization recruits individuals to represent and promote their brand or products. Brands start a brand ambassador program to leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing by using individuals who have a large social media following or are respected within a particular community to share their positive experiences with the brand.
Brand ambassador programs typically involve recruiting a group of individuals who have a strong connection to the brand or its products. These individuals are given the opportunity to promote the brand through various channels, such as social media, events, and word-of-mouth referrals. They may even be asked to host events or they can be store ambassadors and assigned a physical store location. In exchange for their efforts, brand ambassadors may receive perks such as free products, exclusive access to events, or financial compensation.
The goal of a brand ambassador program is to create a community of loyal customers who are passionate about the brand and can help to spread awareness of its products to a wider audience. A successful brand ambassador program can lead to increased brand recognition, customer engagement, and sales.
Q: What are the responsibilities of brand ambassadors?
The responsibilities of brand ambassadors can vary depending on the company or organization they are representing and the nature of the product or service they are promoting. However, some common responsibilities of brand ambassadors include:
- Representing the brand in a positive and professional manner: Brand ambassadors must be able to convey the values and mission of the brand to potential customers.
- Promoting the brand through various channels: Brand ambassadors may be responsible for creating social media content, participating in advertising campaigns, attending events, and providing product demonstrations.
- Building relationships with customers: Great brand ambassadors engage with customers in a friendly and approachable manner, answer their questions, and address any concerns they may have.
- Providing feedback to the company: Brand ambassadors can be a valuable source of feedback for the company, providing insights into customer preferences and opinions.
- Maintaining a strong online presence: The best brand ambassadors, especially celebrity brand ambassadors, are expected to have a significant social media following and should be able to use various digital platforms to promote the brand and engage with customers.
Overall, brand ambassador programs work since they create a positive image of the brand, increase brand awareness, and promote products or services to potential customers.
Q: What makes a good brand ambassador?
A good brand ambassador is someone who has a genuine connection to the brand and its products and can effectively promote and represent the brand to their audience. A brand's marketing team has to do their research to find the right person who loves the product and ties in with the brand's goals. Here are some key qualities that make a good brand ambassador:
- Passion for the brand: An ideal brand ambassador is passionate about the brand and believes in its mission and values.
- Strong communication skills: A good brand ambassador is able to effectively communicate the brand's message and engage with their audience in a friendly and approachable manner.
- Knowledgeable about the product: The right brand ambassadors have a deep understanding of the brand's products and can provide recommendations and answer questions from customers.
- Trustworthy and authentic: A brand ambassador is trustworthy and authentic in their promotion of the brand, which helps to build customer trust and loyalty.
- Influential within their community: The best brand ambassadors have a strong influence within their community, whether it be on social media or in person, and can effectively reach and engage with the brand's target audience.
- Ability to create engaging content: A good brand ambassador is able to create engaging and creative content that effectively promotes the brand and its products.
- Flexibility and adaptability: A brand ambassador is able to adapt to changing circumstances and effectively represent the brand in a variety of situations, whether it be at an event or online.
Overall, a good brand ambassador is someone who can effectively represent the brand, build relationships with customers, and promote the brand's products in a genuine and authentic way.
Q: How can a brand ambassador program be successful?
Successful brand ambassador programs effectively promote the brand or product to a wider audience and create a community of loyal customers who are passionate about the brand. Here are some ways that a brand ambassador program can succeed:
- Clear objectives: The brand ambassador program should have clear objectives and goals that align with the company's overall marketing strategy.
- Recruitment of the right brand ambassadors: Brand ambassador candidates should be carefully selected based on their connection to the brand, their social media following, and their ability to connect with the target audience.
- Proper training and support: Brand ambassadors should be provided with all the details, proper training, and support to effectively promote the brand and its products during the length of the ambassador program.
- Measurable metrics: The brand ambassador program should be tracked and measured using metrics such as engagement rates, referral traffic, and sales conversions to determine its effectiveness.
- Incentives: Brand ambassadors should be incentivized to participate in the program by receiving perks such as access to events, free products, or financial compensation.
- Continuous communication: The company should maintain continuous communication with the brand ambassadors to provide feedback, address concerns, and ensure that the ambassador program is meeting its objectives.
- Authenticity: The brand ambassador program should encourage brand ambassadors to be authentic and genuine in their promotion of the brand and the brand's mission to ensure that customers perceive the brand as trustworthy and reliable.
Some of the key performance indicators (KPI) to track are engagement, referral traffic, sales conversion, and cost-effectiveness. Overall, a successful brand ambassador program requires careful planning, proper execution, and ongoing evaluation to ensure its effectiveness.
Q: What is an informal brand ambassador program?
An informal brand ambassador program is a type of brand ambassador program that does not involve a formal agreement or contract between the company and the brand ambassador. Instead, the brand ambassador may be a satisfied customer or fan of the brand who promotes the brand voluntarily and without compensation.
For this type of brand ambassador program, the brand ambassador may share positive reviews of the brand on social media, recommend the brand to their friends and family, or wear the brand's merchandise. The company may acknowledge or reward these informal brand ambassadors with shoutouts, social media features, or special offers, but there is no formal agreement or set of responsibilities for the brand ambassadors to follow.
Informal brand ambassador programs can be an effective way for companies to generate word-of-mouth marketing and build a community of loyal customers who are passionate about the brand. However, it is important for companies to ensure that the actions of their informal brand ambassadors align with the company's values and goals to avoid any negative impact on the brand's reputation.
Q: What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who has established a significant following on social media platforms and has the ability to influence the opinions, behaviors, and purchasing decisions of their followers. Influencers have their own personal brand and can be found across various industries, including fashion, beauty, fitness, lifestyle, and more. They typically produce social media posts in the form of photos, videos, and captions that engage their audience and promote products, services, or ideas. Influencers can be categorized by their number of followers, engagement rate, and niche expertise. Many brands collaborate with influencers to reach a broader audience, build brand awareness, and promote their products or services.
Q: What is an influencer marketing campaign?
An influencer campaign is a type of influencer marketing strategy that involves collaborating with social media influencers to promote a product, service, or brand. In an influencer marketing campaign, a company or brand partners with one or more influencers who have a large loyal following and relevant expertise to reach new customers.
The influencer has to create content such as photos, videos, and posts that showcase the product or service in a creative and engaging way. The influencer's content is then shared on their social channels with their followers, who may become interested in the product or service. Long term influencer relationships aren't common since the influencer usually makes one-off posts, but they can occur if the brand and the influencer like working together.
The goal of a campaign is to increase brand awareness, generate buzz around a new product launch, drive sales, and reach a broader audience. Influencer marketing campaigns can be particularly effective because influencers have established trust and credibility with their followers, who are likely to view the influencer's recommendations as authentic and trustworthy.
Influencer marketing campaigns can be executed in various ways, including product reviews, sponsored posts, and collaborations with influencers to create custom content. Brands can measure the success of their campaign by tracking metrics such as engagement rates, clicks, and conversions. An effective influencer campaign can result in increased brand loyalty and customer trust.
Q: What is an easy way to find influencers?
You can use influencer marketing platforms; these digital marketplaces connect brands with social media influencers. Through these platforms, brands can search for and connect with influencers who match their audience and values. These platforms also have a database of influencers that brands can browse, along with tools for managing influencer campaigns and tracking results.
Some platforms also provide analytics and insights into an influencer's engagement rate, audience demographics, and performance metrics. These insights can help brands make informed decisions about which influencers to work with and how to optimize their influencer programs for maximum impact.
Examples of popular influencer marketing platforms include AspireIQ, Upfluence, Influencer.co, and Tribe Dynamics.