Blog Ambassador Programs
It’s no secret that using brand ambassadors in marketing is a winning strategy. Celebrity endorsement is perhaps the most obvious form of an ambassador program – and it’s very lucrative. It was only a couple of months ago that Peyton Manning explicitly mentioned Budweiser™ in his championship speech – a trivial statement that reportedly added $3.2 million in advertising value for the company.
In this case Manning was not paid by Anheuser-Busch to mention their beer, but simply has a genuine liking for the brand. Typically, high-profile names like Manning are very expensive and consequently not a realistic option for America’s small businesses. The key takeaway here is that genuine brand representation is actually rather common and can put a company far ahead of their competition.
The way brand representation works is that it taps in psychologically to peoples’ minds. Therefore, a blogger might influence just as well as a celebrity endorser, given that they have followers. There are six fundamental principles that explain how the human mind reacts to factors of influence. Two of these will be utilized when a business brings on a fitting brand ambassador – Authority and Liking. The principle of authority suggests that people tend to obey authority figures. Liking explains that people are easily persuaded by other people they like.
Small businesses can profit tremendously from a blog ambassador program. Bloggers make excellent brand ambassadors as they usually have profiles across multiple social media platforms. And that means that your brand will reach a large number of people. Here are the main areas to consider when adopting a blog ambassador program:
Identifying the Right Blog
It’s important to remember that a blog is not a magazine or a newspaper. While a newspaper always cares about the story, and the value of that particular story, a blogger cares about themselves and what value a post will bring them. Therefore, always make sure that your company and the blog is a good match. Chances are that your company is already mentioned in a blog, in which case there is a strong and genuine connection that would bring value to both parties. If the representation isn’t credible, the blog will lose authority and liking among its readers, and thus the influencing principles will fail.
Engagement is a significant reason as to why bloggers can influence and why it is so successful. Good bloggers know to care about their followers, and they are celebrated like gurus for it. Check out a blog’s comment section, social posts and replies to tweets to determine the level of engagement from the readers. The higher the liking is for the blogger, the higher the impact of the recommendation will be.
What Compensation to Offer
Your company will be getting some really valuable word-of-mouth, so make sure that the blogger receives deserving compensation for their work. However, what you prefer to pay is entirely up to you and your strategy. Common ways of compensating include paying the blogger commission per lead/sale or to pay per post. Another central part of blog representation is to send the blogger your product. This will allow the blogger to personally enjoy your brand and thus also authentically post about your brand. This exchange of value is the beauty of blog ambassador programs. All parties gain value; the blogger in commission and products, the customer in authentic recommendations that the blog stands behind, and your company gets authentic and positive word-of-mouth.
Written by Mimmie Helgesson.