Sharing your brand’s messaging with your audience is the best way to get people excited by and engaged with your products. One of the most efficient ways to do this is to make use of brand ambassadors i.e. individuals who advocate for you privately and publicly.
Although most brand ambassadors will be outside of the company, engaged as affiliate marketers or social media advocates, they can exist anywhere. This includes within your organization.
Turning your employees into ambassadors can be a hugely cost-effective and organic way to boost brand awareness, reputation, and sales. Here’s how.
Your employees and company culture are the ideal opportunity to practice what you preach.
A positive company culture can have a remarkable impact, with 92% of people willing to consider switching jobs for a business with a good company reputation.
Employer branding is your opportunity to formalize your company culture and reputation for being an excellent place to work with a worthwhile mission.
In practice, this means streamlining your hiring process, career progression programs, and daily employee management to provide a positive and cohesive experience. This may include:
- Focusing on core values during the hiring process
- Encouraging employees to align their professional social media with your brand
- Internally promoting employee events and training opportunities
- Being transparent about progression options
For example, you might offer remote working using tools like RealVNC to better support employees with caring responsibilities.
By turning your focus inside your organization and creating a culture your employees are proud to be part of, you’ll be on the right foot for turning your staff into brand ambassadors.
Benefits of employee brand ambassadors
Your employees are an integral part of your organization. In many ways, they are your business. So, it’s clear they must demonstrate an understanding of and allegiance to your brand and its messaging if you want your customers to do the same.
The major benefits of employee brand ambassadors include:
- Raising brand awareness
- Building an organic network of connections
- Supporting future recruitment
- Contributing to a positive company culture
- Shaping public perception of your brand
But it isn’t just your business that benefits. Employees who fully engage with your employer branding demonstrate improved morale, reduced absenteeism, and better work performance as they begin to understand the motivation behind your venture.
The goal of brand ambassadors within your company isn’t purely to drive sales. The idea is to create opportunities for genuine engagement, within the business and externally, to support long-term growth.
How to turn your employees into brand ambassadors
Your employees can be the number one champions of your brand. They understand your mission and interact with your business every day—but could they be doing more?
Here’s how to turn them into stellar ambassadors.
1. Formalize internal messaging
Get your employees fully immersed in your brand by formalizing your internal communications.
This means anything you send out to either all your staff or a large segment should be branded and reflect the ethos of your business. This might include:
- Internal emails
- Email signatures
- Staff events
- Printed information posted in the office or store
Take every opportunity to put your brand out there internally.
You might also consider introducing regular communications, like weekly email blasts, that recognize a particular team or achievement or offer support in different areas.
This way, you can keep your team engaged and make sure they’re feeling supported.
2. Training and development
Your training process is a great opportunity to encourage brand ambassadorship among your team because everyone will go through it and a lot of training takes place early on.
Through thorough training, you can show rather than tell your employees, both new and existing, why they should be brand ambassadors for you.
How does this work in context? Let’s look at an example of a customer support center.
You’ll obviously want to follow up-to-date contact center training best practices, such as:
- Setting clear goals
- Outlining development opportunities
- Providing solid technical onboarding
- Offering opportunities for feedback
- Focusing on good communication and customer outcomes
Beyond this, you can use initial training as an opportunity to outline how your staff can be brand ambassadors, what content they should share, and how you can help them help your business.
For a call center, this could be a particular mode of language to be used while speaking to customers, opportunities for cross-selling key products, or how to handle dispute resolution.
You should also use development opportunities to create organic brand ambassadors. Giving your staff the chance to grow and progress in their career helps provide them with a positive experience—one they may well tell others about.
In the long term, this can help expand your talent pool and enhance your workflows. Strong talent management is integral to creating employees who work hard, love your brand, and deliver top-tier performance.
3. Embracing social media
Social media is the core tool for brand ambassadorship. You can reach new audiences with ease and share your messaging every day. You can also get your employees in on your social media activities for that added boost.
Encourage staff to share your branded content with their networks, particularly if it offers value to clients or customers.
You should also encourage and incentivize staff to give your brand a shout-out on their social channels, particularly in professional settings such as LinkedIn.
A word of caution would be to carefully think about what you want your employees to say about your brand before you ask them to post online. Otherwise, you could end up inadvertently giving your business bad publicity—and no one wants that.
4. Mutual feedback opportunities
Opportunities for sharing feedback are about keeping your staff engaged and excited about your brand. By giving individuals the chance to contribute in a meaningful way, you’ll create empowered ambassadors who believe in your messaging.
This may take the form of a mutual feedback session, in which you provide individual or team feedback, and they then provide feedback about the brand and its internal style of management, communication, and promotion.
This is a great way to efficiently give and receive feedback in a low-pressure environment.
You can also get your team involved in implementing feedback to provide them with further agency and enhance brand loyalty.
5. Team events
There are two major approaches you can take to using events to encourage brand ambassadors—external events and internal projects.
Using them in conjunction with one another is a great way to support your team while exposing your business to new audiences.
Internally, you can use projects to unite teams from different areas of your organization and create a stronger sense of community, which will pave the way to more proactive brand ambassadors.
One way you might do this is through an enterprise collaboration system. This involves staff at an enterprise-level company working together across different teams to deliver a project. While not specifically designed to target brand ambassadors, the opportunity to meet with individuals from different departments, share ideas, and give suggestions can help create a united team that’s passionate about your business.
On the other hand, external events are a great chance to put your brand ambassadorship into practice. Industry conferences and trade shows allow employees to meet people within the sector and share new ideas, as well as advocate for your business.
In addition to the event itself, the leadup is equally rich with opportunities to share content on social media to encourage organic promotion by your team.
6. Get marketing involved
Brand messaging starts and ends with marketing. They know your brand identity inside-out (likely having developed it themselves), so they’re best placed to support staff in promoting your business.
If your team isn’t technically minded or external promotion isn’t a big part of their day, you can ask marketing to create social media templates or ready-to-go email signatures to make sharing your messaging a breeze.
Be sure to remind them about your ambassadors when they reinvent or rejuvenate company branding so your messaging is always up to date.
Your employees are your number one brand ambassadors. Having chosen to work for your business, they’ve already seen something exciting in your company’s messaging and vision.
You can enhance engagement with your brand internally by implementing formal messaging, encouraging feedback, and putting a comprehensive career development plan in place for each employee.
By leveraging this, you can cost-effectively raise brand awareness and enhance the work environment for all your employees.