A corporate ambassador, more commonly known as a brand ambassador, is a person particularly hired by a company to promote and display the company in a positive light with a goal to increase awareness about the brand and ultimately increase sales figures. Brand ambassador essentially works as a link between the customers and the company. Customers see brand ambassador as the representative of the company and their values and ethics. Basically, their main function is to influence customers to buy more.The trend is to make such a person the brand ambassador who is a positive spokesperson and a public figure. Typically, a brand ambassador is a celebrity or a known personality and they are paid significantly to promote the company. But, companies are shifting to a self-branding approach nowadays and there is a relatively low chance of involving a celebrity.
Importance of the word of mouth
Of all the ways to promote your product brand or organization, the most effective is a customer-to-customer word of mouth. Advertising, personal communication, and social media are all great ways to give information to your audiences. But, they are the word of the marketer and that word is not always trusted because there is an inherent conflict of interest.
Your branding is not only how your customers see you but how they pitch you and how they are going to recommend you to other people. For example, if I ask someone, ”can you recommend me a restaurant or an online store to buy tennis shoes?” That person will be able to give me recommendations and each recommendation will be different from each other. This is so because each brand or store has a different image and way of presenting themselves and their product and services.
What is Corporate Storytelling?
Content marketing is about telling your brand’s story in an entertaining, educational and engaging manner without the hard sell. By using content marketing effectively, you can turn prospective customers into paying customers. By offering value and being generous with your content offerings, you become a trusted authority in your area of expertise and when the customer is ready to buy, they will choose your products or services over the competitors. The content can be anything from blog posts, news stories, and memes to infographics, videos, podcasts, and e-books.
How to convert customers into ambassadors?
There are several ways in which you can do this but it all starts with a great shopping experience. So, if you are an e-commerce store owner who has recurring purchases from recurring customers or even if your customers are happy with the shopping experience and you have a proactive customer care team in place to solve the issues in a timely manner, that is actually going to create a great shopping experience and will correlate to your branding.
So at the end of the day, as long as your customers are leaving your store happy and they are satisfied with the product that they bought, they are definitely going to recommend you to their friends and family. The bottom line is, turning customers into ambassadors, begins with a great customer experience.
Turning customers into ambassadors basically means that your customers are so delighted with the shopping experience at your store that they recommend their friends and family your store and in doing so, they eliminate the need of the company to hire a celebrity to endorse their product. This can also save the company a considerable amount of money.
Understanding ToFu, MoFu and BoFu
What are these funnels and why are they so pervasive in the marketing space today?
Funnels are a metaphor for the buyer’s journey that generally has 3 stages; ToFu (TTop-of-th-Funnel), MoFu (Middle-of-the-Funnel) and BoFu (Bottom-of-the-Funnel). Each stage is the part of the buyer’s journey that ends in a sale or some kind of goal completion.
The ToFu section refers to the problem awareness stage of the buyer journey. When the buyer starts to look for possible solutions to their problem, then they have entered the MoFu stage. When the buyer finds someone to fulfill these solutions, s/he has entered the BoFu stage. The funnel is typically viewed as these three steps.
Generating Sales at Every Step of the Content Marketing Funnel
To become a consumer, you have to travel through these three stages; awareness, evaluation, and conversion. These three stages are interlinked with each other. No one can provide a solution without knowing what exactly the problem is. And conversion is impossible until the prospect gets evaluated. ToFu content includes generating sales through blog posts, social media updates, and audio or video podcasts. MoFu stage involves the conversion of “problem aware” and “solution aware” prospects into leads. MoFu content includes case studies, white papers, reviews etc. BoFu stage includes giving the prospects an incentive to close the sales.
The perfect ingredient for content marketing is –“understanding present intent and predicting future intent” and then creating content assets accordingly. When the prospects see content about your company in blog posts, on social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on, then they slowly become enticed by your offering and ultimately become your brand ambassadors.
MoFu Content Marketing to Convert Customers into Ambassadors
Creating and distributing content to attract an audience with the aim to generate revenue is called Content Marketing. But why is it important for a marketer to leverage content marketing?
Let’s take the example of Apple to understand this. Apple is a company that predominantly sells mobile phones and is looking to tell their customers about their great products, amazing customer service, and super low prices. Apple noticed that their in-store traffic is low and the sales are declining. So, in an effort to drive more sales, Apple decides to try a content focused marketing approach. In the content focused approach, Apple shared relevant information with the customer, established their expertise, recognized the customer’s needs and then made the sales pitch. By sharing content with customers, Apple was able to engage with them, offer insights and information that was helpful, gained their trust and helped them connect with the brand. Having trust and feelings connected to a brand makes a customer receptive to any subsequent marketing messages which in turn can result in a positive action in the future.
MoFu content plays a very important role as it can convert a potential customer into a paying customer or it can completely turn off the customer. Moreover, MoFu content can turn a customer into an ambassador. When a customer wants to buy a product, they research the product and the brand and most importantly, they look for user generated content. User generated content consists of reviews, customer feedback and so on. Customers tend to go by the reviews of fellow customers when buying a product.
It takes a lot of efforts to convert a customer into a fan and even more efforts to convert a fan into a brand ambassador. Mentioned below are some methods apart from content marketing which you can use to convert your customers into ambassadors.
- Value customers: A customer knows when a company values him/her. Remember that discounts, offers, after sales services are little things which contribute to the htheiness of your customers. A happy customer is very likely to refer your brand to a friend or family.
- Your offering must be differentiable: Apple was not the first company that created a touchscreen phone or a music player for that matter. What they did was offer a premium product in all respects and in doing so, they made it a point to gain customer loyalty. Take a leaf out of Apple’s book and offer customers something that they are not likely to find anywhere else;
- Use user generated to engage larger audience: Give your customers freebies to try and review them. Tell them to add a photo, video or write a blog post or create written content which you can publish. The content generated is called MoFu content;
- Make the shopping experience worthwhile: This basically means doing business in such a way that the customers feel that it was worth their time and money. Send them a personalized video, or a message or a gift card on their birthday. These things do not cost much but they turn your fans into brand ambassadors. When the customers feel that they are important to a business, the price of the products matters less to them.
The amount of work to convert fans or customers into brand ambassadors is tremendous. But once a customer becomes loyal to a brand, they are hardly affected by the price of the products and believe that brand to be an indispensable part of their lives.
You need to create awareness, build engagement, drive thought leadership and gain revenue. Successful Business needs good content, so get out there and start creating your success one word at a time.
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