It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re planning out an affiliate marketing strategy for your brand. With so many buzzwords being tossed around these days it can be frustrating knowing where to start. In this article, we’ll explore an integration with the loyalty and rewards marketing platform, Yotpo, and how it can be used to build a successful brand ambassador program.
Before we begin, let’s briefly discuss several popular types of affiliate programs. You’ll hear terms often thrown around describing these people that introduce brands to their social circles or audience.
These people are collectively known as affiliates or influencers. Don’t get hung up on the linguistics here, they mean the same thing. Sometimes they are also referred to as brand ambassadors, program reps, and even partners. For this article, we’re going to refer to them as brand ambassadors, because we’re talking about building a brand ambassador program. Once again, they are still technically affiliates, influencers, and program reps.
Affiliate marketing strategies generally revolve around three types of affiliates:
- Social media influencers — Youtube personalities, Instagram celebrities, Tik Tok creators
- Publishers who act as affiliates — Coupon websites, large websites like Business Insider, or blogs focused on niche topics.
- Customers who become your affiliates — a.k.a. Brand Ambassadors
Building a brand ambassador program focuses on recruiting and incentivizing your customers to introduce your products and services to their social circle. This social circle can consist of family members, friends, or members of their community. Brand ambassadors can drive sales by introducing your brand to their circle, but there are other goals that can be accomplished by launching an ambassador program. Maybe you want to raise the average order value (AOV), simply use the program to raise brand awareness in the market, or create an exclusive community of loyal customers that you can use as your brand’s focus group. Make sure you think about what goal your program will be aiming at before going any further. Once you’ve settled on a goal, make sure you review the 3 KPIs of affiliate marketing.
How Brand Ambassador Programs Work
A great example of a brand ambassador workflow revolves around you creating an exclusive community for customers to be invited to join. This invitation is usually extended immediately after they complete a purchase from your store. We’ve written a
That sounds like one awesome deal, but you can go a couple of steps further. Do you remember when we mentioned an “exclusive community” above? Creating a private club doesn’t take a giant marketing team to develop. It can be as simple as making your customer feel unique and special. Creating excitement and exclusivity will help motivate your customers to join your brand ambassador program. Going one step further is where our integration with Yotpo comes in.
Yotpo offers a plethora of different services, but for the scope of our integration and your brand ambassador program, we’re going to talk about their loyalty service.
With Yotpo’s loyalty program, you can award customers points when they complete different actions. They can then use these points to earn things like store credit that can be applied to future purchases. There are lots of ways you can award points, for example here are a few popular ways; when a customer shares their purchase on Facebook, follows you on Instagram, spends $100 on your products, and writes a review of your store.
Our integration with Yotpo allows you to award your customers when they apply as an affiliate for your program, hence they become your brand ambassador. Your brain might be spinning right now, but let’s go back to the beginning and use a real-life example of what an ambassador program looks like.
Customer Success Stories
Here’s an example from Mermaid Straw. They offer a textbook definition of a brand ambassador program. First, let’s look at their ambassador landing page. You’ll notice a few things listed here, an explanation of the program, perks for joining the program, criteria for being accepted, and navigational links to applying/signing into their program.
By examining the perks of the program we can see how Mermaid Straw uses incentivization to motivate their ambassadors. It’s worth noting that all of this is possible by using Refersion to power your program. Each ambassador is given a unique code to share with friends, family, and followers that gives them 15% off every purchase. Meanwhile, the ambassador’s code will give them a 10% commission for each purchase they refer. Ambassadors can use the code to give themselves 15% off as well. Finally, each ambassador is invited to join an exclusive private Facebook group where they’ll receive sneak peeks at new products and be part of a community of like-minded peers.
Another fantastic example is from Pura Vida Bracelets. Pura Vida goes even further with their brand ambassador program. While utilizing our Yotpo integration, Pura Vida awards its customers with special points when they register to become an ambassador that can then be used for rewards the brand offers. They’ve successfully tied their loyalty program with their brand ambassador strategy.
Having the right recipe for brand ambassadors will guarantee you success. Let’s review the keys to success.
- Recruit — Aggressively push sign-ups to recruit your customers.
- Communicate — Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is the key to keeping them engaged.
- Incentivize — Combining discounts, commissions, and your Yotpo loyalty program will give them the proper motivation.
If you’re just launching your first brand ambassador program then we recommend finding the best offer that works for you. Remember, the more aggressive the offer, the higher chance your program has of recruiting ambassadors. If you already have a Yotpo account then you should definitely consider starting an ambassador program. Once you find the right offer you can then continue to build out the rest of your program.
The Bottom Line
For those brands that already have a brand ambassador program that is succeeding then you should give some serious thought to incorporating your loyalty program to further incentivize your customers.
Check out our support article on how to get started with this integration.