How to Find & Maximize Your Brand Ambassadors
If you look closely, you will notice you have some already (family, friends, and acquaintances that like your product), but there are always ways to build more Brand Ambassadors. Let’s first define “Brand Ambassador”. In the most basic sense, he or she is a satisfied customer who tells others about his positive experience with products of a particular brand name.
These individuals can be a very powerful marketing tool for you. Why?…..because word of mouth validation is more trusted than any other promotional tool you can use for marketing.
In this day and age consumers are bombarded with marketing messaging everywhere. They are overwhelmed with being marketed ‘at’ and prefer to gain their research in more conversational, friendly interaction, whenever possible. This interaction can take many forms: discussions with friends, online reviews, blog postings and all different forms of social media.
So how do you find them and how do you maximize the relationship? Here are a few places to try:
1. Think about people that have purchased from your store multiple times. Obviously they enjoy your product enough to come back again. Here are some ways you can engage with them:
- Thank them by giving them a special discount code they can use and share with their friends. This is a great way to encourage them to spread the word and have new people try out your products.
- Look for ways to engage your good customers in conversation. Part of the appeal of buying on Etsy is the highly personal aspect of the purchase experience. If they leave you very positive feedback, thank them. A simple thank you email can leave an amazingly big impression.
- Ask them if they would like to be on your mailing list to receive special VIP offers. These email addresses give you a great opportunity to stay in contact with your most supportive customers. I don’t recommend bombarding them with emails, but an occasional offer, holiday wish, or information about a show or event you are participating in is often appreciated.
2. Build relationships with respected bloggers and consider submitting a few of your products to their blogs for reviews. In this case, you need to do your research. Ask them how big their readership is; check to see if people are engaged with the blogger by making comments in response to their posts. You want to select someone who has a wide reach and good reader engagement.
- Start by emailing them with your pitch/idea; tell them what is special about your brand and how it could be a great fit for their blog and their readers.
- Afterward, if the review is positive (typically a blogger will not write a negative review if they don’t like your product, they simply won’t post about it), thank them and ask if they would like to have periodic reviews of your products. A blogger with a large readership can increase your exposure immensely, particularly if they really believe in your product and support it over time.
- You may even want to follow their blog and make comments if you are so inclined. This can help build a great relationship. Of course, the communication must be sincere on both sides. If it is forced, it will be evident to readers and will not leave a good impression.
3. Local engagement is also a great avenue to encourage Brand Ambassadors.
- Of course, your friends and family are great sources. Give them some of your business cards so they can hand them out to their friends who might be interested in your product. A business card with your logo, tagline and address for your Etsy store can be very helpful
- Do you have great relationships with independent retailers in your area? If so, can you let them try out or wear your product in their stores? Or, would they allow you to set up a small display of product or business cards on their check-out counter? Small businesses usually like to support other small businesses even if the product is in another category.
These are just a few ideas. These particular methods may or may not work for your product, but I encourage you to look for opportunities to build and nurture your Brand Ambassadors. They can be incredibly helpful to you for relatively little cost. Really it comes down to engagement and identifying those individuals that love the experience with your brand. Its human nature to share the things we like with others and in today’s conversational/social interweavings; there are so many opportunities to do so. Good luck in finding and maximizing your Brand Ambassadors!!