According to Qualtrics XM, 93% of shoppers consult online reviews before making a purchase.
Customers, who are increasingly connected, have access to information in a few clicks, thus changing their purchasing habits. More and more demanding in their choices, they’ll take the time to find out about the quality of the products, the ethics of the brand...before making any purchase.
To do so, they’ll favor the content available on the internet (media and social networks), and more particularly the notes and online comments written by other customers.
Today, customer feedback is crucial, especially in the ecommerce sector!
Therefore, customer feedback is a key marketing element, a real stake in your communication strategy. You have to know how to exploit it to get the most out of it and manage the e-reputation of your products, services, brands, and company—a company that, like H&M, McDonald’s, or Nike, will be promoted as a brand, thus becoming a corporate brand.
You surely have brand ambassadors among your customers.
More than customers, they play a key role in the success of your web strategy.
What is a brand ambassador?
Brand ambassadors, regardless of their field of activity, represent a third-party entity.
In the field of influencer marketing, an ambassador is first and foremost a customer who loves your product, brand, or company, to the point of expressing it strongly to their network.
Beyond a single product, the authentic ambassador adheres to a whole: a philosophy, actions, environment, brands, quality of service, customer relations...
They promote you to their network by word of mouth, more or less voluntarily.
This can be a completely spontaneous process or an attitude encouraged by the brand through various means such as recruitment, product endowment, remuneration, partnerships, etc.
How to become an ambassador: different categories
- The “natural customer”
These are people who will speak completely spontaneously and naturally about your brand. They like you and want to promote you to their circle of acquaintances, without asking anything in return.
They’ll talk about you on the internet, as well as in everyday life with their friends and family. There is a true atmosphere of sharing here!
With a strong feeling of belonging to your brand, they’re real influencers for other customers!
- Ambassadors recruited among your customers in the framework of special and defined operations.
They’re more or less paid by the brand in exchange for active promotion on the internet.
With the rise of social networks and websites where customer feedback is king (Tripadvisor...), brands are increasingly using this type of ambassadors who aren’t necessarily, at the origin, customers.
They’re recruited, in exchange for financial or non-financial compensation, to achieve a specific objective with your target.
YouTubers, celebrities, influencers, or recognized experts in their field of activity, an influencer is recruited on a one-off basis to represent you on the web, notably by sharing content that promotes your brand.
They’re clearly paid for their notoriety in the framework of advertising contracts.
The interest? To increase your visibility and improve your brand image with their subscribers.
Employees, a separate category
There are also so-called internal ambassadors (managers, employees...). However, in this context, we cannot consider them as real ambassadors because you’re the employer, and this internal relationship will therefore bias the influence relationship.
A good ambassador can’t be judge and jury. Consumer trust and your credibility in speech would be tainted.
This doesn’t mean that your employees can’t be actors in your strategy. On the contrary!
With the aim of an employer brand, guaranteeing your image and your activity to your current and potential employees, it’ll be essential to integrate them.
You just need to distinguish between these two categories to avoid any conflict of interest.
Instagram, word of mouth, loyalty: what is the role of an ambassador?
When you consider that consumers trust their peers far more than companies, it’s easy to imagine the primary mission of ambassadors.
Whether it’s an ambassador or a customer, a good ambassador can play many roles. You can find them through different channels or be in the target perceived by your community manager, for example.
First of all, they convey your values and defend them to consumers and subscribers. They carry your company beyond its walls and your internal actions.
They ensure a mission of promotion and will be a determining factor in the purchasing decision. Prospects are gradually abandoning traditional media in favor of online comments and ratings that they find on the internet.
It’s therefore feedback that has the most weight in the purchase decision.
They’re also a very effective way to increase your brand’s visibility. In a guided way, or more freely, they communicate for you by allowing you to connect to your audience in a more human and authentic way.
They also allow you to reach ultra-qualified prospects for your online store. Who wouldn’t be more influenced by the personal opinion of a friend, a relative, or an influencer rather than a brand?!
The ambassador will be able to influence, for you, your prospects and future customers.
By taking this route, your results and your conversion rate will automatically be positively impacted.
In a word, ambassadors allow you to reach your target where you couldn’t!
Identify your brand ambassadors
By now, you likely understand the benefits of social media for ecommerce. To exploit the full potential of ambassadors on various social networks, the first step is to identify them.
A simple customer, who talks about you from time to time, won’t necessarily be considered as an ambassador. In addition, not all of them will be able to increase your visibility and your results.
It’s therefore essential to identify them in the middle of this infinite world that is the internet.
An affective relationship
An ambassador is characterized first of all by their attachment and their feeling of belonging.
They like your products and your brand, and they don’t expect any compensation to speak positively about them.
They act voluntarily because their support is real and concrete.
Their emotional commitment is strong. They share much more than a transaction with you. They share your actions, your commitments...
Be generous with your loyal customers
Above all, it’s then among your satisfied and loyal customers that your potential ambassadors will be found.
Without having contacted them, they talk about you on social networks and like, comment, and share your posts with their community. They even go so far as to encourage other internet users to buy your products and services. They provide you with feedback and give you their opinion...
No need to go any further!
Everything seems to show that this person has the profile of a real ambassador.
Following your notifications and monitoring your e-reputation will allow you to identify this type of profile more easily. By analyzing the content of their posts, you’ll be able to understand more about these people, understand what they say, why they like you, and ultimately, be able to approach them in the best way.
Reveal the potential of influencers
Who are the most active customers? The most loyal? Who are the people who can have an impact on sales?
By answering these types of questions, you can define the customers who will become good ambassadors on social media networks like Instagram for your ecommerce business.
Define a kind of “relationship ladder” based on the frequency of speaking, conversion following a campaign, the number of purchases, or even the number of interactions on social networks.
Use monitoring tools that will allow you to compile a certain amount of data on your brand and identify the most proactive people!
Widely used, the net promoter score (NPS), an internationally recognized indicator for measuring customer satisfaction, allows you to identify your ambassadors among your customers. You can then involve them and integrate them into your marketing strategy.
Not all your customers can become your ambassadors.
This is why precise selection criteria will allow you to identify those with the best potential.
How do you choose your ambassadors?
So you don’t have any identified ambassadors yet?
The choice of an ambassador is above all correlated to your identity (market, size, means, products...). They must represent you and reflect who you are.
A good ambassador generally has the following essential qualities.
A link with your brand
We can’t say it enough...the first criterion is, and will remain, the affection for your brand.
An ambassador will love your brand. Their speech, tinged with this appreciation, will be sincere and positive.
A person outside of your company
They aren’t part of your company. The choice of an external person is a guarantee of your integrity.
Values and mindset
They look like you. The choice must be consistent in terms of values and mindset.
To appeal to the widest possible audience, they must represent the attributes and essence of your brand. This is a customer who’s easy to identify with.
A passionate expert
This is somebody with enthusiasm and who knows what they're talking about. They know your industry, enjoy it, and are a true expert in it.
They like to test your products and use them regularly, and so they can talk about them with naturalness, enthusiasm, and spontaneity.
Ease of communication
They know how to communicate and express their opinions clearly. They must be comfortable writing content and especially sharing it.
They must therefore master technology and communication on social networks and other media.
Using an authentic approach, they’re able to synthesize real experience feedback by giving constructive and relevant arguments.
Involvement and activity
They must be involved and active. A good ambassador is, above all, a customer who is active on the internet in their daily life.
They must regularly share and relay your messages and news.
More than active, they must be influential. Influence isn’t only measured by the number of subscribers, quite the contrary. We’ll focus more on the engagement that the ambassador will have with their audience.
The higher the engagement rate, the greater the credibility, and therefore the impact on the audience, will be.
So don’t overlook nano-influencers for your first partnerships. They can be wonderful assets.
Last but not least, there’s sustainability.
A relationship is created over time. A good ambassador will never reduce you to an article and won’t leave you if a small problem occurs with your service as you build your ecommerce brand. Now that you have all the cards in hand to recruit your ambassadors, you must succeed in keeping them loyal.
Pamper your ambassadors to keep them loyal
Ambassadors have a unique and privileged relationship with you. Treat them as such! You need to establish a win-win relationship. This, along with other ecommerce tips, can help you find even greater success with your online store.
On one hand, the ambassador allows you to gain notoriety, improve your image, and increase your sales.
On the other hand, they must receive benefits that are reserved for them alone and not for ordinary customers. The ambassador must feel unique and special!
Pamper them by offering them specific privileges. Privileges that go beyond a simple discount. It’s a whole system that you need to think about, a permanent system that will prove to the ambassador that they have a special place in your company.
You can, for example do the following:
- give them exclusive information to share;
- thank them, within your community, for their investment and their feedback;
- consider them by really taking into account their ideas and feedback;
- show them that they’re a VIP, that they’ll be the star of your next product launch;
- offer them advantages (invitations to private events, gifts, prizes...);
- meet them to establish a close relationship;
No matter what path you take, it must allow you to develop the loyalty of your ambassadors. It’s a two-way relationship, so be as good as what you expect to get in return.
As you can see, if you manage to detect them and establish a relationship of trust with them, ambassadors will have a positive impact on your activities. They’ll add value to your company and increase your notoriety and sales.
A true branding weapon, ambassadors help anchor a brand in the consumer’s mind in the most natural way possible. They’re key assets for your online reputation, and more broadly, for your communication.
Take a look at your community. Your next ambassador may be hiding there!