Your brand ambassadors are your biggest fans, going out of their way to advocate for your product or service. When leveraged in your marketing, having loyal customers promote your brand provides a sense of authenticity that’s hard to match. 

To harness the power of brand ambassadors, they need to be identified first! 

Finding those customers who genuinely love your product or service can come from various sources. But it’s just as important that your advocates are equipped with the support and knowledge they need to be successful. 

Let’s cover some ways to identify and mobilize your brand ambassadors to empower them and drive meaningful engagement.

Identifying brand ambassadors

Analyze reviews and customer feedback:

Third-party review sites are a great place to start looking for happy customers to promote your brand. Beginning with customers who’ve already begun promoting your brand without your involvement means you’re starting with those already on board with supporting your brand. 

Customers who have left positive feedback through reviews may also be willing to participate in other activities to have their voices heard. And, by reaching out to them, you’re also acknowledging the work they’ve also done in supporting your brand by leaving their review.

Unleash the power of customer stories: Real advocate voices
How a product or service positively impacted someone’s life or business always tugs at the heartstrings more than any stats or corporate speak. Customer stories bring that emotional connection and credibility that keeps us engaged.

Sending them thanks and offering to magnify their voice through your ambassador program goes a long way to also supporting the top customers in your customer base. 

Some third-party review sites also allow customers to select if they are willing to be a reference for the brand. Those customers who select this option are opening up the communication channel for you, so the hard part is already done! You can use these contacts to grow your reference program and encourage other types of word-of-mouth marketing. 

Feedback from NPS scores is a great indicator of your customer satisfaction and can also be used to identify potential advocates of your brand.

NPS score calculation

Reach out to your brand promoters on an ad hoc basis or by automating follow-up emails to promoters, asking them to leave a review, provide a testimonial, and more.

Leverage engaged customers and existing advocates:

Watch for customers who actively engage with your content, emails, surveys, and social media posts. If a customer is often liking or commenting positively on your social posts, it’s a good indication they’re a fan of your brand!

If you’re finding people on LinkedIn, this is a good place to help promote your customer's work too, in an act of equal exchange. Encouraging acts of advocacy on social media, particularly on LinkedIn comes with the added perk of building up your customer’s personal brand as well as your own. 

Also take a closer look at customers who are already participating in advocacy programs such as references, referrals, or testimonials.

Advocates are far more likely to be customers who are already heavily engaged in your promotional activities. It will be easier to build on these existing relationships and encourage them to participate in additional activities.

Mobilizing your brand ambassadors

Communicate initiative expectations and benefits:

Once you've identified your advocates, effective communication is important for maintaining satisfaction and involvement. 

Clearly outline what they'll be participating in, including the time commitment required for certain initiatives, and the benefits they can expect. This ensures your advocates understand your requests and help you find the best matches for your program.

For example, if you are asking customers to take part in a reference program, let them know what the program is, how often they may be asked to speak to a prospect, and how being a reference is a great networking opportunity and helps prospective customers feel confident they are choosing the right product/service. 

Make sure that you’ve built in regular touchpoints within these initiatives to check in on your advocates to make sure they’re nurturing alongside your program. Regular communication also helps support these relationships over a sustained period of time.

Reward your advocates:

Offering benefits to your brand ambassadors to incentivize their participation and engagement ensures they feel valued for their contributions. Special discounts, access to exclusive content, swag, and sneak peeks at releases are a few ways to entice your advocates, to participate and feel valued.

Depending on the customer, many may not need an incentive but might appreciate the thank you, or personal recognition. As with any advocate initiative, rewards and incentives should be tailored to your specific advocates.

Some companies will donate to advocates' chosen charities every month, or conduct in-person meetups in popular cities.

Either way, these rewards, whether in the form of discounts, gifts, or experiences, should reflect the kinds of people that make up your advocate group. 

Offer ongoing support and resources:

Provide your brand ambassadors with the necessary tools, resources, and guidance to do great in their advocacy roles. Providing email check-ins, materials, and/or access to a dedicated channel to chat with team members or other advocates can help them navigate their journey and stay invested in your brand.

Make sure to personalize these communications too. Some may prefer weekly check-ins or monthly roundups. As your advocacy program grows, don’t lose track of these personalized experiences that will make your advocacy program stand out above the rest. 

To wrap up

To wrap up, once you’re able to find your fans, either from feedback channels, social, or current advocacy programs, make sure you’re:

  • Communicating with them, 
  • Recognizing their contributions, and
  • Providing them with the support needed to continue promoting your brand.

Want to hear more from Vicky? Make sure to join our slack channel to continue the conversation with Vicky and our other Customer Marketing Ambassadors!