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6 Cost-Effective Ways to Acquire Brand Ambassadors Boost your brand's visibility and credibility with budget-friendly strategies for acquiring brand ambassadors.

By Ksana Liapkova Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • Encouraging customer advocacy can significantly boost trust and increase purchase likelihood without high costs.
  • Partnering with small and micro-influencers, utilizing flexible affiliate programs, and involving employees as brand ambassadors are cost-effective strategies to enhance brand visibility and credibility.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Brand ambassadors are crucial in boosting your brand's visibility and credibility. They influence consumer opinions and extend your brand's reach. However, partnering with high-profile ambassadors can be expensive. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly ways to attract and engage brand ambassadors effectively.

1. Encourage customer advocacy

Leverage something invaluable already at your fingertips: User Generated Content (UGC). It's extremely effective, primarily because consumers often look up reviews before making a purchase. 86% of consumers trust brands more when they see content from other users compared to only 12% who are influenced by traditional influencer promotions. Moreover, a recent survey found that UGC increases the likelihood of purchase by 79%.

Your current customers are natural ambassadors. Encourage them to share their positive experiences online through reviews or social media posts. Genuine endorsements from real customers are incredibly persuasive. Offer them rewards like discounts, cashback, exclusive deals or helpful tips. With the right incentives, you can turn happy customers into your best advocates. Develop a referral program that benefits you and them over the long term.

Related: Your Startup Needs Brand Ambassadors Now More than Ever

2. Discover and support emerging influencers

We notice a shift in how companies allocate their marketing budgets toward small and micro-influencers before committing to bigger names. On TikTok, for example, these influencers typically achieve 60% better average engagement and 20% higher conversion rates under brand posts compared to macro influencers. Additionally, 82% of consumers are more likely to act on a recommendation from a micro-influencer.

Use social listening tools to monitor relevant hashtags and track conversations. This strategy helps pinpoint individuals who love your brand and could become potential ambassadors. Don't hesitate to approach influencers who post authentic and credible content. Often, these influencers will grow their following over time, and those spotted early may remember your brand, potentially leading to cost-effective long-term partnerships.

3. Implement affiliate programs with flexible compensation models

Affiliate marketing is a budget-friendly approach where influencers promote your products in exchange for a commission on sales generated through their referral links. The affiliate network ConvertSocial reported a 25% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous year. Choose affiliate marketing networks that allow you to customize your affiliate program to match your budget and marketing objectives, offering flexibility in compensating and collaborating with influencers. Recent data shows that 81% of brands are now using affiliate marketing as part of their strategy, reflecting its growing importance. Investing in affiliate marketing over the long term can be a strategic move to discover ideal brand ambassadors.

Right now, you have a great opportunity to speed up this process. ConvertSocial is working on a project that offers the chance for long-term partnerships with influencers on a content subscription basis. This allows brands to secure ongoing posts from a selected partner, saving both costs and time spent searching for new ambassadors. All within the cost-per-action (CPA) model.

4. Host contests and giveaways

Contests and giveaways are excellent for engaging potential ambassadors and your broader audience. By requiring entries that involve creating or sharing content about your brand, you not only boost visibility but also identify engaged individuals who could be potential ambassadors. You also notice which pieces of content align with your brand's needs. This speeds up the process of finding a brand ambassador and allows you to save your resources. For example, a well-executed contest can increase your social media following by 34% within a month.

5. Offer insights and knowledge

Rather than offering monetary compensation, consider providing potential ambassadors with early access to new products or service features. These kinds of rewards can attract enthusiasts eager to engage with your brand without requiring significant upfront payment. Organize exclusive brand experiences with a sneak peek behind the scenes or create an online community for ambassadors, where you ask them to provide feedback. Creating these unique experiences fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty, which can translate to long-term advocacy.

Related: So, What's a Brand Ambassador and Why Are They Important?

6. Utilize employee advocacy

Your employees can be effective ambassadors. When they share positive work experiences or company products on their personal social media, it authentically enhances your brand's reputation. Start an employee advocacy program that supports and rewards employees for sharing brand-related content. This can help extend your reach organically. Research indicates that content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared through brand channels.

Recruiting brand ambassadors doesn't need to be costly. By employing creative and strategic approaches and utilizing platforms like ConvertSocial for flexible affiliate arrangements, you can build a network of ambassadors effectively. These cost-efficient strategies help minimize financial risks while fostering authentic connections between your brand and its audience, ultimately supporting growth and enhancing your brand's reputation. A well-planned ambassador program can lead to sustainable and scalable brand growth. Ready to get started? Your next great brand ambassador might just be a click away!
Ksana Liapkova

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of ConvertSocial

Ksana has been a speaker at world-class conferences on affiliate marketing and is in contact with more than 35,000 clients of ConvertSocial - a Mitgo company, involved in the blogging industry, which allows her to always be aware of the latest trends in the world of influencers.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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