One of the most vital aspects of successful brands is visibility.

Reaching out to the target prospect is the only way to get your products and services across to them.

In recent times, the ways with which to reach the client have changed drastically.

What worked just a decade ago doesn’t have the same impact anymore.

Avenues such as TV commercials, radio and full-page spreads in magazines no longer work like they used to.

Marketers have had to come to terms with the fact it is a
different ball game.

Unidirectional communication no longer brings back the numbers you expected a while back.

The new way of getting through to customers involves using brand ambassadors.

Think of your own purchasing habits and see how many instances you have bought an item because someone recommended it or a
friend spoke about their good experience.

These are brand ambassadors who can influence conversions through the simple, effective yet often overlooked word-of-mouth.

What does a brand ambassador do?

A good brand ambassador embodies the brand they are pushing in every way. Their role is to give the brand visibility, mostly for a specific, targeted market.

A company seeking to launch a product they are not known for can gain traction in the market by assigning brand ambassadors who appeal to the specific audience.

It is one of the ways that sport wear companies have made seamless transitions into urban wear. A brand ambassador can inject a new lease of life into a company’s name.

Some of the best-known brand ambassadors are celebrities and high profile personalities.

There is another breed of brand advocates who are emerging.

Social media personalities such as Youtubers and Instagrammers as well as bloggers are also achieving the same marketing goals for product advertisement campaigns.

Social media brand ambassadors are the new crop of influencer marketers who are proving to be a valuable addition to the progressive marketing strategy.

In an ever-changing landscape where new trends are always competing to catch on, the social media brand ambassador (SMBA) helps a company stay visible on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other online platforms.

What do the statistics say about using brand ambassadors?

· The lifetime value of a referral client is 16% higher than that of other customers

Digital channels have made things a bit easier for the brand ambassadors that millennials will respond to.

Word-of-mouth marketing is much simpler when you can talk to hundreds of social media friends about your purchase.

This information is shared in a chain and in the win-win fashion too.

This means that brands can expect improved customer satisfaction, higher conversion rates, lower churn rates and better customer engagement.

· 68% of consumers trust opinions from other buyers and users of a product

This number has gone up 7 points since 2007, which means that influencer marketing is working much better than anticipated.

Most consumers surveyed confess that they trust the product information they receive online.

· 43% of social media users have made purchases after encountering the product on their social media feeds

A lot of sharing and ‘favoriting’ goes on in social media, be it Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

A good number of users actually move forward and buy the product after sharing or liking it on social media.

For most consumers, the purchases take place in a week after sharing or liking on social media.

· Millennials and Baby Boomers agree that word-of-mouth does influence purchases

Purchasing decisions about items such as concert tickets, used items, clothes and accessories and even big-ticket items such as electronics are heavily influenced by word-of-mouth according to these two generations of consumers.

With all this information, it seems the logical thing that companies would maximize the use of brand ambassadors in their marketing plan.

However, the sad truth is that while 83% of consumers satisfied with a product are willing to refer, in reality only 29% actually do.

To capitalize on all the traffic and conversions they are missing out on, companies need to take a different approach when it comes to brand ambassadors.

Aside from using well-known figures and professionals to push brands, companies can take advantage of the new type of marketing influencers.

Existing customers and social media personalities are the best brand ambassadors to talk on behalf of the company; they are not dull or predictable, which cannot be said of the typical TV advert.