What if we told you that you can reach your audience in an incredibly impactful way using your existing content and without increasing your marketing budget?

You (yes, you!) can do it and we’ve got some advice to help get you started. You can thank us later!

Here’s the nitty gritty of it—every brand has a story, and the most powerful storytellers of all are your own brand ambassadors. Some of your most promising brand ambassadors are what we call “grass-tops”: influencers that are committed to your cause and want to help spread your message.

How do you find, active and leverage these brand ambassadors? The Alberta Cancer Foundation’s iMedia session on March 12th will give you lots of case study examples and advice on building a successful social media ambassador program. But in the meantime, here are five quick tips and tricks to get you started:

 

1.    Make a “Wish List”

By sharing your content, ambassadors will become an extension of your brand. Therefore, it is incredibly important to ensure you’ve hand-picked the best candidates based on the following attributes:

  • Their views must be consistent with your brand’s voice
  • They should fall within your target audience and/or communicate frequently with members in this audience
  • They need to have a credible online presence as well as a willingness and reputation for sharing relevant content

Seems straightforward, right? Now onto the next step…

2.    Supply Compelling Content

Now that you’ve hand-selected a winning team of ambassadors (look at you go!), you will need to supply them with compelling and relevant content to share with their networks. Remember to give the ambassadors creative freedom to adapt the supplied content to fit their unique voice and tone. You want them to feel comfortable sharing the message and to add their own special flare to it!

Our fave guideline when developing this type of content is, “Tell, Don’t Sell!”  Storytelling versus push advertising will draw your audience in. Try to captivate their imagination so that you and your message will be remembered.

3.    KISS!

Sorry to get your hopes up, but by KISS we mean applying the “Keep It Simple Stupid” principle. Your ambassadors are volunteers; therefore, you want to reduce the amount of work needed on their end. Provide them with everything you can–pre-made tweets, Facebook posts, email copy, relevant hashtags, logos, photos, videos, etc.– so they literally just have to copy, paste and share the content with their networks.

Remember: remove the guess work & KISS!

4.    Spoil Them Rotten

You should remember to SPOIL your ambassadors! They are an amazing group of VOLUNTEERS who are allowing you to reach new audiences in the most impactful way possible by using your existing content and without increasing your marketing budget.

You obviously love them, but you need to constantly make sure that they genuinely feel the love. The extent of your ambassador stewardship plan will depend on the resources available, but just keep in mind that something as simple as a handwritten card, that includes the progress they made possible, goes a long way in making someone feel appreciated. Your number one focus is to ensure your ambassador constantly feels appreciated and excited about helping your organization.

 

5.    Beware of the “Over-Ask”

Your stewardship plan for ambassadors doesn’t just stop at the “thank you”; it continues on throughout your entire marketing strategy. It is important to keep a record of the number of asks you are requesting from each ambassador to ensure you are being strategic and avoiding the “over-ask”. After all, your ambassadors are volunteers and this is something they do on the side because they are passionate about your brand. We definitely don’t want to lose that passion by annoying them with too many asks! 

Another reason why it’s important to be strategic in the number of asks is to ensure that your ambassadors’ networks aren’t constantly being bombarded by your brand.  If this is the case, the content won’t feel genuine and the message will be ignored by audiences.

So, avoid the “over-ask’ at all costs!

 

That’s it! Short, simple and successful!

We can’t wait to dive deeper into how you can find, activate and leverage your brand ambassadors at the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s breakout session at iMedia 2016! See you there!


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ABOUT ASHTON: 

A BCom graduate from the Alberta School of Business, Ashton Paulitsch started working with social media through Co-op student positions at Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and the Edmonton International Airport, later opening her own small business to build marketing and communications solutions for a diverse portfolio of clients.

In 2012, Ashton was pleased to join the Alberta Cancer Foundation as a Communications & Marketing Associate and was responsible for the growth of the Foundation’s social media presence into an award-winning program with a strong, province-wide community of ambassadors.

ABOUT BREANNE: 

After completing her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Alberta, Breanne started her career with Poppy Barley leading Customer Care and Marketing Insights while serving as a committee member for various events at the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

In 2014, Breanne was pleased to join the Alberta Cancer Foundation full-time as the Chief Bust-a-Mover for the Bust a Move for Breast Health event, a 6 hour fitness extravaganza that has raised over $1.6 million for breast cancer research at the Cross Cancer Institute.