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Why Small Businesses Should Tap Ambassadors to Reach Customers

12 Dec, 2021 - by Joe Zappa

Many of the 30 million small businesses in the US may have heard of social commerce, but few have the resources to develop sophisticated marketing strategies on social channels. Leveraging content on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to reach customers and drive revenue requires finding the right content creator, managing content projects, and setting standards to generate and measure results. For most small businesses, that’s too tall an order — in terms of time, money, and sometimes digital savvy.

But the $600 billion global social commerce market is becoming more accessible to small businesses thanks to emerging technologies that connect brands and ambassadors. And there’s ample reason for mom-and-pop shops and boutique digital natives alike to embrace the trend of deploying ambassadors to create content that can help them better communicate with customers on social, e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, and their own digital properties.

Below are some of the reasons small brands should explore partnering with ambassadors eager to market their products for a commission. Chief among the benefits of engaging ambassadors are leveraging diverse salespeople who connect with your audience, meeting your customers where they are, offloading marketing efforts, and communicating your mission

Deploy ambassadors who relate to your customers

Relating to your customers and telling stories about your brand that speak to your customers’ own personal stories and desires is key to forging brand loyalty. Indeed, as many as 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with brands that personalize marketing efforts, and 90% call personalization “appealing.”

Yet no one business owner or operator can speak to all of the constituencies, local or digital, that make up their customer base. No one person, however savvy a marketer they are, can intuitively understand the messages that will resonate with every possible customer.

This is an arena in which brand ambassadors shine. Leveraging a diverse team of ambassadors can help businesses tailor their messaging to various ideal customer profiles and demographics. For example, an apparel retailer might show a product on models of different body types, genders, and ethnicities. A retailer catering to multilingual or even global communities might enlist ambassadors who speak different languages fluently. In either case, the ambassadors act as an extension of the business owner’s capabilities, maximizing marketing potential.

Be where your customers are

As COVID underscored, today’s marketers, even small businesses primarily catering to a local community, need to reach customers where they spend most of their time: online, especially on social channels. US consumers spend more than 2 hours per day on social apps. That is an opportunity for connection that small businesses cannot pass up

Vetted ambassadors deeply familiar with the social platforms where they operate, be those Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok, can help small businesses reach customers on social and create content that feels native to those platforms. What’s more, once a business has partnered with an ambassador to create digital content, they can repurpose it beyond social, beefing up their presence on e-commerce pages and their own websites.

Strengthening content in the channels where your customers spend the most time is the point of departure for any strong content marketing strategy. The case of small businesses is no different. Brands that tap ambassadors to create content that their customers will see on Facebook or Snapchat will reach the more than 50% of consumers who discover local businesses via Facebook and other social channels.

Save marketing time

One in five small businesses do not engage in digital marketing, and one in ten don’t engage in any marketing whatsoever. If that reflects a lack of know-how or interest among some, it likely reflects among just as many small businesses the common wisdom that small business owners and operators simply lack the time to spend on marketing — especially when it comes to creating engaging and aesthetically pleasing videos on Instagram or TikTok.

Here, again, the ambassador can prove helpful. Not only can businesses tap ambassadors to create social content for standardized and affordable rates, but also, a vetted content creator enthusiastic about TikTok is likelier to create dazzling content for the platform than a small business owner with many other responsibilities and a different set of skills. By offloading digital content to ambassadors, small businesses get time back and stronger social media marketing results.

Tell customers who you are

Many businesses attempt to tell their stories via an About Us page or earned media such as journalistic coverage. While those traditional brand-building exercises can certainly work, the first strategy requires that customers go to the brand when ideally the brand should be going to customers, and the second strategy cannot be implemented repeatedly on a timeframe of the brand’s choosing to ensure maximum exposure.

By contrast, ambassadors who speak about what they love about a brand in a social media video offer the business a way to connect with customers that comes across as authentic and seeks out the customer, instead of expecting the customer to seek out the brand. In addition, brands can calibrate the cadence of their brand building via videos on social channels, something a dependence on earned media cannot replicate.

With ambassadors, small businesses can build diverse and representative brands. And they can broadcast that branding across digital ads, social media, and owned channels.

Relatable, omnichannel, efficient, affecting

Ambassadors allow small businesses to create marketing content that is relatable, omnichannel, efficient, and affecting. By tapping expert content creators to create relevant and beautiful content for customers, small businesses can build a stronger brand and drive sales online — without spending a fortune or taking the time to become TikTok celebrities themselves.