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All brands want to extend their marketing efforts while keeping costs low – which means passing the baton to influential consumers. But brand ambassador love only goes so far if you aren’t incentivizing their efforts. Here are some motivational options that won’t break the bank.

A little recognition goes a long way

One way to encourage more of your audience to become brand ambassadors is to interact with them so they feel seen. Just responding to and thanking someone for sharing about your brand can be enough to make them feel special – though of course you want to encourage them to keep doing it!

That’s when you offer some extra perks to those whose passion – and passionate following – makes them an ideal candidate for joining your social team.

Exclusive, not expensive

Exclusivity is the most important thing when it comes to rewarding your influencers. It’s not about spending money – it’s about giving them access to things no one else has, like:

  • First-looks at new merchandise/features
  • VIP status at local brand events
  • Early-bird shopping opportunities
  • Exclusive/personalized designs not available to the general public

Though the idea is certainly to encourage other consumers to spend on your brand – you also want them to be motivated to be brand ambassadors themselves.

Think of Taylor Swift giving out Christmas gifts to her most devoted fans. That kind of love from the face of a brand is what inspires casual fans to take things up a notch. Call it the FOMO effect.

Let them shine

One great strategy that puts brand ambassadors – and your brand – in the spotlight is encouraging user generated content (UCG).

UCG is a fabulous way to encourage widespread engagement – and find a few brand ambassadors along the way. Something as simple as a selfie with your product can get your brand a ton of social traction – without being too big an ask. The simple act of being noticed, or featured on your social feed or website, is reward enough for many.

Put them in charge

People like to feel knowledgeable – and Entrepreneur claims Millennials in particular “get a psychological boost from giving advice.”

Ask your most loyal fans to be part of the decision-making process for new products, marketing campaigns, etc. Aside from nicely appealing to their egos, they’ll be super invested in the finished product because they had a hand in creating it – and share on social as a result.

Also encourage brand ambassadors to share their knowledge with other consumers for another win-win. They feel smart and useful, while instilling trust in other consumers because they’re a real person, not a marketer or brand rep.

And don’t forget to seek out product experts in your category and turn them into brand ambassadors. That YouTube makeup guru with millions of views? Supply him or her with your makeup line in exchange for it being used in their tutorials.

Give them what they want

Ultimately, there are several ways to incentivize brand ambassadors. How do you know which of these ideas will strike a chord with your particular posse? Social listening!

Once you find the most passionate voices in your audience – those with a dedicated following of their own – you apply your social listening and sentiment analysis tools to uncover what moves them.

Maybe you’ve got a brand ambassador who’s a cancer survivor, and loves your brand for its organic ingredients. And maybe they constantly talk about a charity they love. Could giving a donation in their name make them sing your brand’s praises for the next year?

Only the social data can tell you that – but that’s exactly why you’ve got to seek out those insights. Treat each brand ambassador as the individual they are and they’ll love you all the more.

It doesn’t have to cost you much to get priceless returns in brand awareness, share of voice, and consumer loyalty. Just find the people who love you most and follow their lead.

Ready to learn how to use social listening to find and incentivize brand ambassadors? Reach out!

Image from Images Money

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