Word of mouth marketing is a priority for many lingerie businesses. One way to boost word of mouth referrals is by creating a brand ambassador program.
What is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is someone who represents your brand positively to increase awareness and sales. Brand ambassadors are typically active on social media and have an engaged audience that aligns with your brand’s audience. However, brand ambassadors should not be confused with influencers. Influencers are usually hired for a short-term contract. For instance, your lingerie business may hire an influencer to boost awareness about a new store opening. You’d hire a brand ambassador to promote your lingerie business long-term.
How does a brand ambassador program work?
A brand ambassador program involves your lingerie business paying the ambassador to represent your brand. You may have one ambassador or 15. Lingerie store owners have the flexibility to create a program that’s beneficial for both themselves and the ambassadors. In many brand ambassador programs, the ambassador receives a discount code to provide her audience, and she receives a commission on the sales she brings the brand.
This type of program functions by providing the ambassador with a unique code she can share with her “community.” (Her social media followers, blog fans, friends, family, etc.) Let’s say your program allows her to offer her audience 15 percent off at your store with her special code. You’d keep track of all sales associated with that code, and pay her, say, 20 percent of sales she at the end of the month. Lingerie store owners should discuss expectations, compensation and contract details upfront.
A brand ambassador can be more than a digital spokesperson. She can host events, bringing her audience right to you. Of course, long-term, organic partnerships are the most effective partnerships. So, it’s important to make sure you’ll enjoy working with the ambassador.
How do you find the right ambassadors for your lingerie store?
Not every brand ambassador candidate is a good fit for your lingerie business. You’ll want to find someone whose brand, target audience, ethics, etc. align with those of your lingerie store. For example, let’s say your target audience is women ages 25-35 in Miami, FL. Your brand ambassador should fit this profile, and her audience should be mostly made up of this demographic.
Which is more important: social media engagement or follower count?
Lingerie store owners should pay more attention to a candidate’s social media engagement than follower count. You’ll want a brand ambassador whose audience loves and interacts with their content. There’s no point in working with an ambassador with 10 thousand followers if only 100 of them engage with her photos. This signifies that she’s not engaging her audience well enough or that they’re not interested in her content. Remember, your goal in working with an ambassador is to have her audience trust her opinion of your brand. But, her messaging must first resonate with her audience for them to be influenced by it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. A brand ambassador’s follower count is important. But, it’s better to have an ambassador with 500 highly engaged followers, than one with 3,000 unengaged followers. Keep in mind that someone with a high follower count will require more compensation than someone with a lower count.
Consider the management of a brand ambassador program when determining if it’s the right choice for your lingerie business. You’ll need time to create clear program guidelines for your program, interview ambassadors, answer their questions, pay them and possibly brainstorm new promotions. If your lingerie store can accommodate this workflow, a brand ambassador could be a good fit for bringing in new business.