Take Me To Your Leader

The idea of a spokesperson is nothing new in the world of marketing.  For years companies have been paying celebrities to endorse their brands and products in hopes that their target audience will follow suite. These days the face of celebrity has changed.  In a world full of reality TV, blogging, and YouTube, today’s “celebrities” are just everyday people.  Now that the public is more exposed to everyday faces, the influence of celebrities has slightly decreased.  Enter Brand Ambassadors.

A brand ambassador is a key influencer in any given topic that agrees to endorse your product to their audience.  For example, this year The Limited clothing brand launched a new plus-size brand called Eloquii.  Instead of reaching out to one of the many full figured actresses in Hollywood, The Limited hired plus-size fashion blogger Gabi Gregg of gabifresh.com.  Gabi’s blog is read by thousands of readers who look to her for plus-sized fashion inspiration.  If Gabi posts a blog about a gorgeous piece from Eloquii you better believe tons of her readers, who already emulate her style, will run to the site and purchase that very article of clothing.  

Even your existing audience can serve as brand ambassadors.  Whenever someone in your company’s social network shares content linking back to you, they are spreading the word.  If you are still warming up to the idea of social media (and you really should be on board by now!) try creating a traditional marketing campaign that encourages your network to serve as brand ambassadors. Perhaps you can send out stickers for clients to display on their doors or windows, or maybe infuse an incentive into a referral-based campaign. The idea of brand ambassadors works for two reasons: it is based on the fail-proof equity of word-of-mouth and second it allows your brand to tap into the trust already built between an influencer and their audience. If you are unsure exactly who is the best person to reach out to for an ambassador  partnership you can try tools like  Klout.  Klout is a website that measures peoples online influence and  can help you get your products/brand in the right hands.

By building partnerships with brand ambassadors you will be able to precisely pinpoint your audience. So stop playing phone tag with Tom Cruise’s people and start identifying the attainable celebrities that will help give your brand some real cred.

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