It seems you can’t really move for celebrities gracing our TV commercials nowadays. From Clooney advertising coffee, to Cheryl Cole being “worth it,” to aging comedians offering windows and doors; the brand ambassador has never been more popular in the marketing world.

Of course it doesn’t always work – even if it is free fitting – but if you use a brand ambassador wisely, it can boost your business to no end and help catapult a small up-coming business into something big.

Rule number one is of course choosing the right ambassador. It’s all well and good throwing in Cannon & Ball to sell windows, but there’s no style or substance as to why they are experts on double glazing. Finding someone passionate (famous or not) is something that can really boost a business and be infectious in welcoming other consumers.

A Famous Face

clooney

Using a famous face is obviously a huge way to boost sales; if George Clooney loves a Nescafe Nespresso then of course I’ll give it a go. Plus, as an added bonus, using a highly recognizable face like Clooney creates a buzz surrounding it. The media pays close attention to the whereabouts of high-profile celebrities and will make the creation of the ad a story in itself, which is essentially free publicity.

Elsewhere, such as using the likes of sport stars to become ambassadors for a sports brand, is equally effective. Take Full Tilt Poker for example: the online card room has a series of ambassadors that represent them in major tournaments, with the idea being that if the Full Tilt Poker ambassadors – actual well-respected poker pros – are advocates of the site, then it’s a site worth playing on, as these are reliable and trustworthy opinions.

poker

It’s the same when dentists enthuse about Colgate or a musician about headphones; the voice of an expert will certainly resonate.

The Consumer

Or, simply use your customers as ambassadors. You can’t find a more enthusiastic representative than someone who already loves your brand, and when that’s shared on social media, you’re reaching potentially millions.

You’ve already built these fans, and using them to help promote your product is a perfect way to try and expand any business – big or small. Of course it’s not quite as simple as setting up a loyalty programme overnight. You must spend time carefully cultivating a loyal following of consumers, employees, and more importantly – prospects.

From there you’re ready to go, and can often call upon them to promote new campaigns, products, and services. Although with a loyal fan base, the opportunity could come straight to you…

Back in 2012 a 15-year-old boy wrote on Taco Bell’s Facebook page. His post read, ‘Is there any way you guys could make me a customized speedo that says think outside the buns on the back of it?’

Two weeks later Taco Bell asked for a size and address. The boy’s post received 2,600 “likes,” and their response gained over 1,000. But what’s more, it suggested to the world that they listen to and appreciate their fans, and that’s worth more than any celebrity-laden advert.

And it’s a lot cheaper, too. Along with being one of the most powerful forms of advertising, word-of-mouth is also the most cost-effective. It can simply start by employees becoming ambassadors. A survey taken in 2012 by Edelman found that not only is the customer’s voice being amplified, but regular employees of a business have more credibility than any executives – and that still resonates today.

Not only can enthusiastic and passionate employees spread the word of a brand but it also reflects on income, with high employee engagement levels seeing 3.9 times the earning compared to their competitors.

But What Next?

Of course, it’s all well and good building relationships with potential ambassadors, but how can they reach that wider audience?

Social media has already been mentioned, instantly reaching potentially millions of new consumers, whilst guest blogging or a blogger relations program will also help get your brand identity cast further.

It’s all about creating a good strategy. Get that in place, build relationships with ambassadors, begin your campaign, and your small business may not be that small anymore.