According to Wommapedia, a leading Internet resource on Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM), 72 percent of people claim that reviews from family members or friends exert a great deal or fair amount of influence on their purchasing decisions. This is just one of many statistics pointing to the importance of word-of-mouth endorsements from people who trust your brand.
Yet in light of how vital these influencers are to any business, brand ambassadors remain highly underutilized assets, but why?
1) Many companies don’t know who their brand ambassadors even are or how to recognize them. Whether they’re employees, loyal customers, fans, or even friends of fans, finding and tapping into your star brand ambassadors can be a challenge, but one of the most important things you do to boost your business. A good place to start is by simply looking at your pool of customers who are repeat buyers, or employees who have served for your company for more than a year. They are likely to be your biggest supporters.
2) A company’s army of brand ambassadors is difficult to organize. In other words, it’s one thing to hope for a positive review from a happy customer, and quite another thing, to ask them to do specific things to support your brand. You need to tell your customers and fans what you want them to do in order to get a desired outcome. For instance, if your goal is to grow your fan base on Facebook, then invite your brand ambassadors to share a photo or testimonial on your Facebook page, or invite their Facebook friends to like your page. A specific action will lead to a tangible result.
3) Everyone is busy. Even if your company’s best supporters have good intentions and want to share their positive experiences with your products and services with other people they know, getting them to find the time and do something about it is not always easy. A couple suggestions are to reward them with something they will appreciate and making it easy for them to take action.
Every business has its own valuable pool of fans, supporters, employees, customers, etc. who have the potential to make a difference. So find them, utilize them and nurture the relationship.
Olivier Baudoux is the founder and CEO of DrivAd, a unique customer engagement program that matches organizations with their ideal brand ambassadors, turning them into motivated influencers for their products, services or causes in exchange for valuable rewards and a great sense of pride.
DrivAd was born in 2012 from Baudoux’s vision to create powerful and cost-effective ways for businesses to tap into their natural and most loyal brand ambassadors, who are typically under-utilized.