In contrast to an influencer or endorser, brand ambassadors play a more active role in spreading the word about a company’s products or services. For a brand ambassador, promoting your company involves more than just posting a few photos on Instagram and calling it a day. Rather, they act as your spokespeople and have conversations with current and potential customers about your brand, increasing your social presence and boosting word of mouth.
Sounds appealing, right? To reap the benefits, you’ll need to hire the right ambassadors first.
Let’s look at how to hire brand ambassadors, including:
- Why you should hire brand ambassadors
- What qualities to look for
- What you should offer a brand ambassador to encourage them to sign on
- Top brand ambassador interview questions
Time to dive in!
Who is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador (sometimes called a brand advocate) is an existing customer or fan who is paid to promote or endorse the products or services of a particular brand. They already love your brand, and have agreed to represent it long-term. They will promote your products online (on their social media accounts, their website, or their blog), offline (at events), or both. A brand ambassador builds relationships with your target audience and authentically shows how they use your product in real life.
Even though brand ambassadors aren’t always your employees, they are still hired (formally recruited) like employees are. Most of the time, you’ll have candidates fill out applications and go through an interview process. And then, you’ll hand-select the ambassadors that best fit your brand.
Why hire brand ambassadors?
Some of the reasons you should hire a brand ambassador include the following:
- Trust: People trust peer recommendations (like recommendations from ambassadors) far more than they trust ads and other messages from your brand.
- Cost-effectiveness: Rewarding ambassadors for their efforts tends to cost less than other types of marketing campaigns.
- Brand awareness: Brand ambassadors can help enhance your company’s brand recognition. In today’s competitive economy, visibility is crucial.
- Lead generation: A brand ambassador’s main job is to help your company gain new customers. They can achieve this by producing leads and referrals through their networks, social media outlets, and blogs.
- Reach: Brand ambassadors can help you reach new and relevant audiences by creating content for you and conversing with new ears.
- Engagement: Ambassadors have engaged networks and can get people in these networks to engage with your brand in a way your brand might struggle to do.
Qualities of ideal brand ambassadors: What to look for
Below are some traits to look for in an ideal brand ambassador.
- Love for your brand: A good brand ambassador must love your brand and authentically use it in their daily life.
- Marketing knowledge: While brand ambassadors don’t need a marketing degree, they should at least have a basic understanding of the core principles of marketing.
- Niche relevance: A brand ambassador must be active in your niche and/or have an audience with similar demographics to yours
- Communication skills: A good brand ambassador must have strong online and face-to-face communication skills. They should be skilled at holding authentic one-on-one conversations.
- Value match: The best brand ambassadors must share your brand’s values and align with your brand image.
- Creativity: A brand ambassador must be creative and adaptable (they will often need to adapt their message to best reach each individual they talk to).
- Good reputation: The best brand ambassadors must have a good reputation and always act ethically, as what they do will reflect on your brand
- Leadership: They must have strong leadership and project management skills, plus a talent for building relationships
- Quality online content record: If a brand ambassador is active online, they must consistently create high-quality content. They must have high engagement from their audience (the number of followers doesn’t matter as long as those followers comment on and share their posts frequently).
- Offline event skills: If they will be active offline, they must be skilled at planning and/or running promotional events of different sizes
Be sure to define any other qualities and skills an ambassador will need in your program before starting the search and hiring process. Also, determine ambassadors’ responsibilities. For example, will they post on Instagram regularly? Blog about your products? Represent you at trade shows? Plan and execute guerrilla marketing events? Talk to interested individuals at conferences? This way, you’ll know the ambassadors you want to hire.
Hiring brand ambassadors: What’s in it for them?
Even if potential ambassadors are willing to promote your brand without compensation, you should still give them some incentive to encourage them to apply for the ambassadorship. Since ambassadors are hired in almost the same manner as regular employees, they should get compensation for their services. The compensation is almost like the brand ambassador’s salary, except it may be paid in advance, upon completion of tasks, or based on performance.
Some of the brand ambassador perks you should consider offering include:
- Branded swag
- Event tickets
- Free merchandise (including the chance to try new products first)
- Store credits
- Cash commissions
- Discounts to pass on to their network
- Access to an exclusive ambassador community
Aside from the rewards listed above, you can also provide brand ambassadors the opportunity to learn and grow in leadership roles, or even participate in new product development (as they can give feedback on products).
It’s essential to be transparent about compensation when searching for and recruiting brand ambassadors. Ensure you include a list of benefits and incentives in the brand ambassador job description that accompanies your application. Also, bring the benefits up in pre-screening emails, direct messages, and interviews.
How to hire brand ambassadors: 7 top ways
There are several ways to find and hire brand ambassadors, including the following:
Reach out to your best customers
Reaching out to your most loyal customers is smart because brand ambassadors need to use your products – and love them passionately – to be effective. They don’t have to have a huge follower base, as long as they have a dedicated following of people who trust them and who would be interested in your products or services.
Promote a brand ambassador application
This way, potential brand ambassadors come to you, and you can ask them anything you want to weed out unqualified candidates. Ensure the brand ambassador application is promoted on all your customer-facing platforms, including social media, email, and your website.
Search on social media
Find out which social media platforms your target audience uses most. Look for people who seem to truly love your products and services, and who can often be seen showing how they use your offerings in their posts.
Look for brand hashtags, see who has tagged you, or utilize software to find any mentions of your brand. Send suitable creators a link to your application for further consideration.
Use brand monitoring software
With brand monitoring software, you can scour the web for any references to your product. As a result, it could unearth references that indicate brand devotees, both on and off social media. Using a service like this, you can find influential bloggers and industry leaders who already use and promote your business and would make good brand ambassadors.
Manually search for niche blogs and websites
You can also do a manual search for specialists in your field (like dentists if you’re a toothpaste company or yoga teachers if you manufacture yoga gear). Or, search Google for a niche keyword and “blog.” This is more laborious than brand monitoring tools, though, since you must read through their content to determine if they have mentioned your products or services. But it’s still a good way to find brand ambassadors.
Pre-screened lists of content creators and bloggers are available in influencer and ambassador databases, with follower and engagement counts checked for you. However, you’ll still need to check whether these personalities use and have shared your products and services before hiring them as brand ambassadors. Because you want to ensure they are serious about making the ambassadorship a long-term relationship, they should go through the same application procedure as other ambassadors.
You can email everyone on your list with details about your new ambassador program, or you can focus on the subset of your subscriber base that has shown the most interest in your messages by clicking on them and forwarding them to others. A person already engaging with your business regularly is more likely to agree to your requests, such as participation in a brand ambassador program.
How to screen prospective ambassadors
The first step in vetting possible ambassadors is to screen their content to ensure they’re a good fit for your brand. Do they align with your values, image, and voice? If so, send them to your brand ambassador application and use that to ask specific screening questions.
If you found prospective ambassadors via their website, blog, or social media page, send them applications when you reach out. However, if the brand ambassador application is the first point of contact, ensure you ask for the applicant’s social handle, blog, or website so that you can reference these channels in screening.
Shortlisted candidates should move to an interview via Zoom or email. This will test their one-on-one communication skills (email will test written skills, and Zoom will test verbal conversation skills, so choose wisely). It will also open up opportunities to ask more detailed questions and get to know their personality better.
Brand ambassador interview questions
Some of the best brand ambassador interview questions include the following;
- Why do you want to become our brand ambassador? This will allow prospective candidates to show their passion for your product or service.
- What do you love most about our brand/products? This shows the candidate’s awareness of your products and services
- What three essential skills do you have that will make you a stellar ambassador for us? This will allow you to gauge whether the candidate is a good fit for your company
- How would you promote our brand and products if you’re selected as our ambassador? This will give you a sense of the candidate’s creativity and problem-solving skills
- What experience do you have as a brand ambassador? Ambassadorship experience isn’t a requirement; communication skills and brand love matter much more. Still, asking this question can be helpful
- What experience do you have in a customer-facing setting? The answer will give you a sense of whether the candidate can handle customer service situations.
- What experience do you have creating content on social media and blogs, professionally and personally? This will allow you to see if the candidate has the social media know-how necessary to promote your products.
- What experience do you have planning/running events? Brand ambassadorship is not all about social media posts and blogging. This question will allow you to gauge whether the candidate can organize and run an event that promotes your products.
Now you’re ready for brand ambassador hiring
A brand ambassador’s primary goal is to bring in customers for your brand. You can recruit brand ambassadors through the same channels that you use for marketing, including social media, email lists, and company events. Begin by informing your clients via email, social media, or in person that you are considering launching an ambassador program. With just that one first step, you’ll be well on your way to conducting a successful brand ambassador hiring program.