How To Find Brand Ambassadors & Influencers

 

A successful brand ambassadors campaign can help you increase your visibility, make your brand more trustworthy and increase sales. Influencer marketing is all about connecting with the people who already use your product, or those who fit the model of your customer.

We know that, as a brand, you need ambassadors or influencers to help you spread the word of your company. But before you go about just grabbing any old Tom, Dick or Harry to jump onboard, there are some things you need to know.

Who Is An Influencer?

An Influencer is someone who has impact on a specific group of people. But really, this is a loaded question because, quite frankly, an Influencer can be anyone, and anyone can be influential on something. In fact, everyone is influential on some level.

On the social web, an Influencer is someone who has a targeted network of followers in some capacity and when they speak, tweet, blog, or update, others listen and take action accordingly. Influencers can have 1 million followers online, or they can have 100 followers. As a brand, you will have to figure out what kind of Influencer fits your business best. A major player like Nike might be able to find celebrity Influencers that have millions of followers, but for a niche brand that’s very unrealistic.

In my humble opinion, it’s better to have an Influencer with 100 super, super, super targeted fans and followers that linger on each word they say, than someone with 10,000 followers who aren’t really engaged or listening.

Where Do You Find Your Influencers?

You can find those who are Influential about your topic everywhere online, but the first place to look is within your own organization. Employees are a great place to start. They know the ins and outs of your business already, so they make perfect candidates.

The next place to look is in your customer base. Do you have any customers who are die-hard fans? If so, this person is a great choice. Plus, they can speak from experience on your brand which is always a plus.

The next place to look is online, but this is going to require some research. There are Influencers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and blogs. You just know how to find them and

reach them. The first thing to think about is what your ideal Influencer or brand ambassadors look like. They should be the spitting image of your customer, because most likely their following will share those characteristics as well.

I’d search blogs first. Bloggers are super Influential and they have shelf-life. In other words, when they blog about you, that blog post is going to have a longer lasting effect than the campaign itself. Plus, bloggers often carry Influence in their other social channels. I love bloggers.  To do this, search for keywords and bloggers writing about your product, or similar products, or even trends based on your industry. If you are an organic food company, you’d probably want to look for recipe and food bloggers. Makes sense right?

Once you have your bloggers in place, it’s time to scour the web. Take your keywords and search for people accordingly. You’ll be able to find matches everywhere, so make sure you take the time to do so.

Turning Employees into Brand Ambassadors
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually. By Company.com

 

How Do You Build Relationships With Brand Ambassadors?

Now that you have your brand ambassadors in place, the success lies in the relationships you build with them. You don’t want to force them or use them. They will get uninterested fast. You want to empower them, communicate with them, and let them know that this is a relationship with mutual support.

Because they’re doing something for you, you want to make sure you do something for them. This could be in the form of money, product, or other incentives. There’s nothing wrong with giving away products or even paying for people to blog and talk about you. Everything they do for you will require their time and time is money. You are going to get much better results when you value their time and compensate them accordingly.

What Can You Expect From Influencers?

Remember, this is a relationship, and with relationships come expectations. It’s okay to lay down the rules in advance. In fact, you should do this. This way you’ll know up front whether the expectations are too high and if they can’t handle it. This will help you down the road in keeping your Influencers and Brand Ambassadors from jumping ship.

Well, there you have it, a quick guide to getting started with Influencer Marketing. How do you find Influencers and build relationships with super fans?


(c) Can Stock Photo

About the Author Stephanie Frasco

Stephanie Frasco, VP Social Media Marketing at Convert With Content, started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!

  • dancristo

    Hey Stephanie,
    Great post. It’s so important for brands to recognize the power and value of online influence.

    Kind of surprised you didn’t mention some of the new Influencer marketplaces springing up like Triberr. Those times of communities are designed to help brands find and work with social influencers.

    Shoot me an email at dan@triberr.com if you’d like some more details on how the Influencer campaigns work.

    • Hi Dan,

      Happy New Year to you and the Triberr team! It looks like 2014 is going to be an exciting year for influence marketing marketplaces. Thank you for sharing.

  • Understanding influence is so important – yet many do not understand it at all. We need to educate businesses and brands in how to do blogger outreach and evaluate blogs. There are some excellent tools to make that easier. One you’ll definitely want to look at is Inkybee. I created a video to show people what it does and how I use it because it is easier to grasp how useful it is by actually seeing it.

    You search by keywords and the tool finds blogs, gives you their approximate traffic and influence so you can put them on a list. It then pulls in stats on each one including Domain Authority (DA), MozRank (mR), Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc. You can then sort by any metric.

    Inside the tool you can easily keep track of your interactions with each blogger. This is all clearer if you watch the video in http://growmap.com/inkybee-blog-outreach-solution/

    • Hi Gail,

      Inkybee is definitely a great tool for identifying and approaching bloggers as part of blogger outreach campaigns. Your video provides a very clear and informative walk-through for using this excellent tool. Thank you for sharing it here!

      • Thank you, Ron. Some hate volunteered information, but others I take a chance on and hope they accept what I offer in the spirit intended. Many might have considered that an advertisement instead of useful information.

        One thing that we do have to keep in mind though, is what really matters is driving sales. While researching what is ranking for a new client I discovered that their top referrer of clicks that convert is a blog that most doing blog outreach would have ignored because their numbers are not strong enough.

        In this case, the audience is a perfect fit, so even though they may not have strong traffic or influence otherwise, their readers trust them enough to go and buy what they have covered.

  • Henley Wing

    You make a great point in saying the # of followers doesn’t indicate the influence level of a person. I’ve seen people with 50K followers but never engage with their followers at all.

    BTW, I’ve released a tool called Buzzsumo.com that helps you find the most influential authors, journalists, and bloggers for a particular topic. Was wondering if you or Ron can review it or mention it in this blog? I think your readers would find it very useful. You can give it a shot to see :)

    • Hi Henley,

      Number of followers does not mean much nowadays. With access to Google+ Communities, Pinterest Group Boards and Facebook Groups, the number of followers has lost its glory. Thank you for mentioning Buzzsumo.com, I read about in on Moz.com and the BuzzStream Blog this week, it definitely looks promising.

  • Great post Stephanie – this was included on my blog’s content awards for 50 best digital marketing articles!

  • Great Post…Thank you for writing this post… After reading some nice stuff in your article I really feel speechless brand ambassdors.