How to Turn Customers into Brand Ambassadors, with CrewFire’s Alan VanToai

With 15-years of direct experience in the marketing industry, and my time working with DTC brands, I have noticed some rather large shifts to this space over the past few years.

While organic reach for brands is plummeting and bids for paid ads are spiralling upwards, word-of-mouth has consistently reigned the supreme method of promoting products to consumers. Although social media has skyrocketed the power of marketing, it has also saturated the ad space like never before.

While it might seem daunting to try and grow in this space, there is one highly-effective strategy that can help DTC eCommerce brands flourish and reach their target growth goals.

That strategy is brand ambassadors.

Brand ambassador marketing has become the quiet killer, so to speak, in the ever-changing digital marketing realm, and we have seen this strategy provide a powerful and effective boost to traditional advertising methods for brands looking to beat out the competition and reach more people online.

However, for brand ambassador programs to be effective, you need the right framework and strategy to succeed.

And we're here to help guide you to structure that framework. So today, we are going to show you how to turn your customers into your team of brand ambassadors.

Let's hop into it!

What is a brand ambassador?

A brand ambassador can be defined as any individual within your existing customer base that acts as an authentic voice for your brand. ‍

These are the people that already know and love your product. They buy it consistently, they use it, they always talk it up to their friends and family. They are the type of customers that are generally passionate about your brand and support your company.

Brand ambassadors are your number one fans! They are eager to help grow your brand and genuinely care about your success.

What brands should use brand ambassadors?

There are a few things we recommend any brand to examine before preparing to launch. Analyze that your brand has the following characteristics:

  • A product or service that has proven traction (ideally a minimum of $500,000 in annual revenue)
  • An existing audience from whom you can recruit and build your program, or at least 10,000 email subscribers or 30,000 Instagram followers
  • A dedicated marketing manager
  • Bandwidth to dedicate 1-2 hours a day to program management
  • A fanbase that is already raving about your product online and/or to friends, family, and followers! Think of those brands that have a cult-like following

If you can check off each of those items, you are in a good place to start building out your ambassador program.

How to recruit brand ambassadors

Now, you might be wondering how to find brand ambassadors, and this is where creating a recruitment strategy comes in.

Recruiting is the moment where you will be able to watch your already passionate fanbase turn into your team of brand ambassadors.

For a detailed breakdown of strategies for reaching out to your customer/fanbase to spread the word about your ambassador program, head to the DTC Blog.

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