We recently had a chat with Alan VanToai, the Co-Founder of CrewFire to discuss how ecommerce brands can utilize brand ambassador programs and grow with user generated content. In case you haven’t heard of them, CrewFire is a brand ambassador platform and marketing tool that’s helping ecommerce companies streamline their ambassador program and generate amazing results.
In this interview, we discuss:
- What brands are suitable for a brand ambassador program
- Strategies you can implement today if you don’t have an ambassador program
- How you can boost your existing ambassador program
Brand Ambassadors: What Do They Do and How Can They Help?
Brand ambassadors are essentially your customers, or fans, who can help grow your brand in exchange for rewards. Your brand ambassadors can help with a variety of activities, from sharing referral links, coupon codes, user-generated content (UGC), and branded content to engaging with your brand on social media. Brand ambassadors typically earn affiliate commissions from the sales they help you drive.
I Already Have An Ambassador Program, Why Should I Consider CrewFire?
If you already have a community, affiliate or rewards program, it’s likely that you and your team are spending a lot of time managing multiple platforms. Whether it’s an email list, affiliate software, spreadsheets or some combination of these tools, we know that it can be extremely inefficient and hard to scale.
Instead of using 5-6 different tools, your entire ambassador program can be streamlined into 1 single platform with CrewFire. This means that your team can save up to 10-15 hours per week while driving more referral sales, engagement and user generated content (which is better than sex for ecom brands!). Brands that are spending only $1-3K per month on their CrewFire programs are generating $30-50K per month in sales, but are also collecting thousands of pieces of UGC.
How Does CrewFire Work?
CrewFire makes it easy for you to reward ambassadors when they help grow your brand. It’s a win-win experience for both brands and ambassadors.
- Have a clear dashboard where you can track performance and a CRM-like feature to manage/contact ambassadors.
- Ability to notify your ambassadors via text message/SMS when new campaigns are available. This has been proven to drive higher retention for the program.
- Get access to a private community and social platform.
- Ambassadors can participate in content activities and receive exclusive rewards.
- A fun and engaging way to be involved with brands they love.
Who Should Utilize a Brand Ambassador Program/CrewFire?
Brands that see success with brand ambassador programs typically:
- Generate at least $1 million in annual revenue (approximately $83K per month)
- Sell consumer products that are popular on Instagram. For example, beauty, health & wellness, and fashion products.
- Have an emotional connection with their audience and resonate with people on an identity level – whether it’s through the product’s results, social mission, founder’s story, etc.
- Have a clear brand voice that ambassadors are aligning with.
Don’t fit in the criteria above? No worries! If you have a budding community and want to implement strategies to grow your community, hop on a call with us here and we can help you out.
What Are Some Strategies We Can Implement?
Strategy #1: Bring ambassadors together in a community
Give your fans a chance to engage with individuals like themselves and connect as a community. Alternatively to CrewFire, you can bring people together through a Facebook group, Discourse plugin, or any other message board app for your website.
Strategy #2: Drive referrals with word of mouth
With CrewFire, there is a referral and coupon code system built in but alternatively, you can check out tools like Referral Candy, Refersion, etc. You want to give your customers referral links and coupon codes, so that they have an incentive to refer their friends and share it on their social media channels.
Strategy #3: Get ambassadors to create user generated content (UGC)
You can start crowdsourcing UGC by asking your customers to leave reviews, create testimonials, take photos and videos of them using your product, and more. Once you collect some UGC, start using this content in your ads and on your website. UGC is more cost effective than a high-gloss production and it’s extremely effective. The goal is to show your customers that your brand is more than just a product, it’s a movement.
How You Can Improve Your Current Brand Ambassador Campaign
An interesting piece of insight that Alan shared about CrewFire’s partner brands, Tally Weijl, is to create new UGC campaigns every month.
Giving your ambassadors a theme or framework can actually
- Keep things exciting, fresh and fun for your ambassadors.
- Encourage ambassadors to create fun and creative content, rather than just asking them to share their code.
What does the execution look like? Tell your ambassadors that for this month, you want them to create the most unique content around a specific theme (for example: a new fall collection). Come up with a new theme for the next month and repeat.
Remember that your ambassadors are creators – give them creative boundaries to work within and watch the high-quality and engaging content flow in!
Final Words of Advice
Think of your brand ambassadors as a division within your organization. Ambassador programs are not the same as your paid social ads or influencer marketing, where you can constantly test and change your messaging. Trying to make too many changes with your ambassador program is like trying to turn a crew ship, rather than a rowboat.
The bottom line: make sure your company is truly ready (and is a good fit) for an ambassador program before you invest the time and energy into it.
Ready to turn your customers into your army of brand ambassadors? Book a demo with CrewFire here.