Your employees may be your best marketing assets.
With the new year almost here, it's time to start working on marketing strategies. Brand ambassadors should be a top priority for boosting your brand visibility and increasing sales.
Now that we are winding down Q4 and preparing for the new year, many companies are beginning to work on their business strategies. It's also a perfect time to begin implementing or trying new tactics that have been on your radar for some time.
While business and sales strategies are usually a big priority, your company should also be analyzing and working on a marketing plan. A lot of what worked this year will carry over, but the fresh start also lets your company dive into more tactics that can amplify the business.
One valuable aspect of marketing is developing the brand. In fact, depending on the size of your company, there may even be a specific department dedicated to branding. Regardless, one focus of your company's marketing strategy should be developing brand ambassadors and making sure they are involved in social conversations consistently.
Below, we'll define the brand ambassador and explain more as to why this aspect should be a priority in your marketing strategy.
What is a brand ambassador?
Based on the term, you can probably take a solid guess as to what it means. Basically, a brand ambassador is someone who promotes a brand to people in their network to boost brand awareness and revenue.
Most of the time when you think of a brand ambassador, you probably think of someone with huge influence or name recognition, like a celebrity, who is paid for their efforts to promote a brand. While influencer marketing like this is still popular, brand ambassadors can also be customers and, just as importantly, employees.
Why you should focus on employees as brand ambassadors
When you have a great product, brand, services and work environment, people are more excited to promote your company organically and get involved. While it's important to reach out to these people and help get them more involved, they'll often be doing it on their own, so you can turn your attention to your employees.
Here are some ways getting employees involved and enabling them to become brand ambassadors will amplify your marketing efforts and boost ROI.
Increases social reach
The most obvious benefit is essentially boosting your company's social reach. A Nielsen study showed that 84 percent of people trust recommendations from friends, family, colleagues over other forms of marketing.
While you still can reach audiences with your branded accounts or advertising, the voices of your customers and employees will resonate more with their social networks.
So imagine your company has a few hundred to even thousands of employees, all of whom are advocating your company, sharing content, posting jobs, etc. Now, alongside your marketers, other employees from different departments and customers act as an organic marketing extension.
Boosts leads and their quality
Similarly to the Nielsen stat, employees' social followers are seven times more likely to convert on your company content than other types of leads are. For most businesses, increasing the number of leads is a top initiative next to growing revenue. With a team of employee ambassadors engaging with their networks, your brand is hitting a huge new audience.
Yet the quantity of leads doesn't really matter if the quality is not there – i.e., not equaling new sales.
Because you have customers advocating for your brand, the people who are engaging with them already know your company and why they might need the product or services. Similarly, people value employees who are sharing and engaging about the brand they work for. Your company looks even more respected and trusted when this comes from all job levels and departments.
Reduces paid advertising spend
While enabling brand ambassadors can be fairly organic, you probably will invest in some sort of brand, customer or employee advocacy tool. This is generally a good idea, as it makes everything much easier and more accessible. Additionally, it helps more people get involved in promoting your company.
While you will have to pay for a platform, it's actually much cheaper than paid advertising. Essentially, this type of platform will yield greater ROI than traditional PPC.
Why? When you spend money on advertising, like in Google AdWords, you are paying and competing for keywords that continue to rise in cost. You are constantly fighting for space against the competition as well. Also, you are advertising to people searching specific terms who are often clicking your ads cold, meaning they may have never heard of your brand previously.
It can be challenging convincing people to purchase or buy your product based on just a Google ad. Brand ambassadors promote more trust and have a far greater reach.
This doesn't mean that you need to abandon traditional advertising outlets. What it does is allow you to focus less on it and save on your marketing budget. I see paid advertising more as a complement to the reach your brand ambassadors will have.
Hopefully, the above reasons show you why developing brand ambassadors and implementing them in your marketing strategy is key. Social media is only growing stronger, and the people who work for and value your company will be the ones driving important conversations online.
While these points are important, they are only a few examples of why your company needs to adopt brand ambassadors in marketing. Other benefits include boosting social recruiting, enhancing the number of brand searches and driving more organic PR placements.