By Lisa Major
Experiential marketing has come a long way since its inception, making a name for itself as one of the most effective marketing strategies around. This is mostly due in part to technological advances and the boom of social media networking. But, there is one very important component that has nothing to do with technology that is the heart of experiential marketing. That is the face-to-face aspect, the connection made between the people representing your brand and your target audience. Those interactions are what make experiential marketing so memorable and are the reason the strategy is so successful. With that in mind, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when hiring brand ambassadors for your campaign.
Ten or fifteen years ago, the main role of a brand ambassador involved flashing a smile and handing out samples or flyers to help spread the word and promote a product. Fast forward to the present day and the role has shifted into a more interactive and engaging role. Today’s brand ambassadors must be able to relate to today’s savvy consumers, carry out meaningful two-way conversations, and deliver authentic interactions that build trust in the brand. A good brand ambassador will know how to work a crowd, engage with consumers on a personal level, and win them over with their charm.
Whether you realize it or not, your brand ambassadors play a huge factor in the success of your event. It’s critical that you hire brand ambassadors who can easily relate to your audience, your message, and your brand image. Here, we take a look at 7 tips that will guide you in hiring the right brand ambassadors for your experiential marketing campaigns.
Consult with an experienced staffing agency that specializes in providing brand ambassadors. They will have the resources in place to identify and pair you with the ideal brand ambassador for your brand. Those resources often include internal staff management systems and dedicated recruitment and account management teams that know the ins and outs of recruiting, screening, and interviewing brand ambassadors. They know which questions to ask, what to look for, and how to handle any issues that may arise.
Your brand ambassadors should be high on your planning checklist and your timeline. Don’t wait until the last minute to secure staff for your event or you may wind up with a sub-par team.
The old saying, you get what you pay for couldn’t be truer when it comes to brand ambassadors. After all, they can make or break your campaign. Don’t cut corners when it comes to your staffing budget. Pay rates can vary by city, role, job duties, event, venue, and how much competition you have with other brand activations. Do your research, or consult with your staffing company regarding pay expectations.
The key to building trust with consumers is to have brand ambassadors that align with your brand image. Personality and attitude play an important role in brand image and how your brand is perceived. Sure, a brand ambassador can look great on paper and in a photo, but can their personality carry your brand? There really is no way to know unless you physically speak with them over the phone to get a read on their level of interest and enthusiasm. And while it may be oh so tempting to try out an online staffing platform for convenience’s sake, keep in mind, without a phone conversation, you never know what you’re going to get in the personality department.
Experience definitely matters, but that doesn’t mean that a brand ambassador needs to have 20+ events under their belt to qualify them as experienced. What matters more is that the brand ambassador meshes with your brand and is completely comfortable approaching and talking to consumers with their enthusiasm shining through. While experience as a brand ambassador certainly helps, those with customer-facing experience, in retail or hospitality for example, also tend to perform well.
You should examine your activation and what you are promoting to determine what you really need out of a brand ambassador. For example, if you are promoting a health and wellness brand, you should hire brand ambassadors that have an interest in healthy living, fitness, and/or sports. Matching your brand ambassadors to the product you are promoting helps to personify your brand image.
A brand ambassador should have a genuine interest in the product or service that they are promoting. When a brand ambassador can confidently relay brand messaging, the consumer will be more receptive to what they are saying. Immersing themselves in the brand and taking the time to learn about the brand is something that all brand ambassadors should do as soon as the land the position. However, you will need to set them up for success by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to learn about your brand, and your products and services.
It’s important to think about your expectations and your goals before hiring brand ambassadors. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for in your ideal candidate. And when you have the right brand ambassadors in place, you’ll increase awareness, consumer engagement, and brand loyalty.