If you already have loyal customers who are active Instagram users, why not take advantage of this valuable asset to grow your brand on Instagram?
Your existing customers are your best advocates and your best marketers. Encourage them to support you along the way by offering them some incentives like store credits or special discounts.
Consider running an Instagram Brand Ambassadors Program for your clients and fans. This is the most authentic and effective way to grow your brand on Instagram, with high ROI in the long run.
Who can be an Instagram brand ambassador?
Your existing and potential customers who love your brand and use Instagram to connect with their friends and family would be a perfect fit for this program. They don’t need to have a big following on Instagram — you can even work with people who have 200 followers — but they do have to show up on the app frequently.
Your brand ambassadors might not even be your customers yet. Sometimes people could be interested in trying your products but might have limited funds; they may, however, have extra time to spare.
Why work with Instagram Brand Ambassadors?
It is an effective way to build a loyal community and increase ROI.
According to a Nielson report, 83% of consumers in 60 countries say they trust friends and family recommendations over any other form of advertising. Brand Ambassadors' audiences are composed of a narrow group of friends and relatives, but this narrow group of 200 - 2,000 followers is very likely to be actively engaged and responsive to the ambassador's content.
It’s a small, low-risk investment with quite predictable results.
You can start working with one or two people and see how it goes. You don’t have to invest a significant amount of money to get a shout out from an influencer or run Instagram Ads.
You are building trust within your target audience.
Consumer trust is a highly valuable commodity for every brand. Your clients' recommendations are the most effective and authentic way to grow your brand online.
How Brand Ambassadors are different from Micro-Influencers?
Micro-influencers make high-quality posts in a short period of time and reach a wide audience, while brand ambassadors create numerous posts over a longer period, though typically at a lower quality and to a smaller audience.
Micro-influencers are great if you want to reach as many consumers as possible. Brand ambassadors are a long-term investment focused on engagement. Their audiences are smaller, but ROI is higher in the long run.
Six Steps to run a Brand Ambassador program
1. Make your program’s requirements clear
Cindy Collins from Euphoric Herbals added a section to her website where people can fill in an application to become an Instagram Brand Ambassador. It says:
“Apply to become an Instagram Brand Advocate for Euphoric Herbals. We select a limited number of people per year; we choose new brand advocates about once every 3 months.
- Brand Advocate term lasts 30 days.
- Earn store credit.
- Your Instagram account will need to be public, or you can create a separate account if you prefer.
She also asks applicants to answer the following questions:
How often do you go on Instagram per day? Per week?
Have you ever been an ambassador before for another company?
Do you have any thoughts or ideas you would like to share?
This way you don’t have to approach a potential participant on Instagram; rather, you can send them to your website to apply for a program.
2. See if your applicants qualify
See if your applicants qualify by asking for the additional info.
How often do they go on Instagram per day? Per week?
Have they ever been an ambassador before for another company?
3. Offer an incentive
You can offer your customers either a store credit or a discount, so they could buy the product they love. You can reach out to them directly by saying “Would you be willing to help me in exchange for some product or store credit?” Offer to let them try your product for free if in exchange they would post on Instagram and “story” their experience with your product.
3. Choose your ambassadors wisely
Choose people who share similar interests with you. For example, if you are a brand with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness, choose people who also care about these things.
4. Be clear on what content you expect your ambassadors to create for you
Let them know when and how often you want them to post.
Send them examples of content you’d like to see (both Stories and feed posts).
Tell them what content they could repost from your account. Explain how to repost your content and give their thoughts and opinions on it.
5. Make the process of working with you as easy as possible
Communicate with your ambassadors often. Give them the tools they need: graphics, post examples, and scripts for communicating with followers in comments and DM, so they will sound authentic and not “pitchy”.
If you are a small emerging brand that sells a very “niche” product and wants to grow authentically on Instagram, running the Instagram Brand Ambassadors program is a must for you.
At Salted Papaya we can help you choose ambassadors, set up this program for you, and scale the results with Instagram Ads. Sign up for free 30-min video chat with me here.
Message me to sign up for a free 30-min video chat.