Creator Prospecting

Influencer Marketing on autopilot: How to find ambassadors with ads

Checkout this step-by-step process to attract ambassadors to your brand with ads, so you free up your time for strategic decisions
Posted on
December 1, 2022
9 minute read
Priya Nain
Marketing at SARAL

If you were to create an ideal scenario for your influencer marketing, your top wishes would look something like these —

  • You don't pay upfront. You only spend money when a sale is made i.e., Pay Per Sale. Doesn’t this sound better than PPC already?
  • Your program runs on autopilot, so you can focus on other strategic priorities.

These can be a reality if you create a system to get influencers via ads and nurture them via emails to finally bring them into your ambassador program and make your brand ambassadors.

You might have a million questions right now — how does it happen, ads for creators sound new, what is the ambassador program — so this article aims to explore this strategy in detail, give you steps on your own and tell you about the ambassador program.

At the end of this post, you will have a step-by-step framework to run your influencer marketing on autopilot while de-risking your investment and building long-term, sustainable relationships with influencers.

Who Are Ambassadors & Why Them Instead Of Traditional Influencers?

Ambassadors are people who partner with your brand for long-term engagement, unlike traditional influencers who work on one-off campaigns. The goal of long-term engagement is brand awareness and sales. The incentive for the ambassador to promote the brand can be an association with the brand, free products, affiliate commission, or other VIP benefits.

They don't necessarily have thousands of social media followers, and neither are they celebrities. However, they are often experts in their field and the one that your brand caters to. For example, a chef would be a great brand ambassador for a company that makes barbeque equipment.

Content creators who would only produce work for a one-time payment tend to create inauthentic work and may endorse stuff they don't enjoy or use. You should refrain from such partnerships and instead get the brand endorsed by people who actually love & use your products.

How do you find these ambassadors (which sounds like finding a unicorn!)? — You run ads to attract them to your ambassador program.

How will ads help when others contact creators for free? Let me explain.

Why Run Ads To Find Ambassadors

Save time — We recommend running ads if your creator pipeline is otherwise dry. It is better than waiting for people to stumble upon your creator partnership page or hoping to stumble upon the right creator from the sea of options available. This saves you time to focus on strategic opportunities, company culture, or your family and friends.

Moreover, creators likely aren’t aware that you’re looking for partnerships or don’t know where to start this conversation. You will have a better relationship from the creator side if they approach you instead of the other way around. So running ads to get ambassadors to work in your favor.

Find exactly the people you are looking for — When you run ads with the right copy and offer, you will only attract people that align with your product and offer because you've stated that in your ad or on your landing page. Plus, you can automate the qualification flow using tools like Zapier to instantly disqualify bad apples.

Ads to Ambassador: A Tried & Tested Funnel to Find Brand Ambassadors

The idea is to create a funnel with ads, forms, a landing page, and emails, just like how you would do for potential customers. The only difference is that here you are targeting creators, and the ultimate goal is to onboard them as ambassadors.

Here's a visual summary of what the process looks like:

Let's explore each step in detail.

Run Facebook/IG Leadgen Ads

You can create ads that ask people to fill a form or ads that have a CTA to visit a page where your form is hosted. The latter will give the creator more information to decide why they should sign up, but it might have a higher drop-off rate, so we recommend testing the two methods.

  • Here's what you should collect in the lead qualification form to judge whether someone should be part of your ambassador program or not:
  • Name & email — for sending email drips in case they are a good creator to partner with
  • Social media handle — to verify that their audience would resonate with your brand & checkout their content creation skills
  • Audience size — to know what kind of creators relate to your offer

Take Them to Affiliate/Ambassador Landing Page

When someone has filled out the form, take them to a landing page where you will provide all the information about the ambassador program and get the creators to buy one of your “ambassador product packages” to qualify as an ambassador. This will weed out people who are not genuinely interested in trying your products and might just be looking for freebies.

The ambassador package is usually a bundle of your most popular products. You can create 2-3 types of bundles that people can choose from. This bundle is priced at a 50% discount or more for these potential ambassadors. You can discount in such a way that you cover only the cost of goods instead of making any profits on this 'sale.'

Here's what you should talk about on this landing page:

  • Mention the perks of being a brand ambassador, such as commissions, exclusive creator community, insider news and event invites, in-store credits, etc. Purvavida explains it well with visuals and exact commissions and discounts one can expect.
  • Explain how the process works with clear text and visuals. Check out how Vitali-Chi and Purva Vida do it.
  • Add social proof from other creators if you have previously worked with anyone. Add reviews about your product so the creators can build trust in your brand.

Create & Ship the Ambassador package

Once they purchase the ambassador bundle from your page, they become an ambassador. Send them a welcome email with their unique code or affiliate link. You can check out sites like   Refersion or Tapaffiliate to automate this process. You can also tell them in detail about the payouts, cookie length, terms, or service, etc.

If you want someone to become a brand ambassador, you must go above and beyond their expectations. The likelihood that a consumer will become an ambassador can be significantly increased by the welcome package or the product packaging.

Here are some ideas for brand ambassador packages:

  • Include free samples of your product

Run Email Drip To Persuade People Who Aren't Convinced Yet

Creators who didn't purchase your ambassador package but align with your brand should be added to an email drip of 3-5 emails that explains the benefits of joining the ambassador program.

Here's how your first email can look like

Hey {{influencer.first_name}},

I’m {{your name}}, {{job-title}} at {{brand}}. I saw that you showed interest in becoming our ambassador but didn't complete the process. Is there anything I can help with?

Your content on {{channel}} fits perfectly with what we’re doing with our new ambassador program. {{one line describing your brand/product and how it aligns with their audience/message}}.

To remind you again, we're looking at sharing {$$} for every {{conversion}} you drive. It could be cool to work together!

Would you be interested?

Cheers

Sign-off

Remember to follow up with 2-4 more emails. Each email should highlight what's in it for them and build social proof by showing how many other creators are already a part of the program and building some kind of urgency.

Here's a follow-up you can send:

Hey {{influencer.first_name}},

I thought I’d ping you since I didn’t hear back regarding our ambassador program. X number of creators have already joined up and are ready to enjoy a long-term partnership with our brand.

Here's what you can expect:

  • {{Describe their payout}} Eg: Every month, we PayPal you $10 for every purchase that comes through you.
  • Your followers get a 10% off coupon code! {{Tease other influencer results}} Eg: Some of our ambassadors with a similar reach as you are making ~$500 in passive income per month!

Have questions? Hit reply.

Are you interested? Let me know either way :)

Cheers

Sign-off

Tools like SARAL can help you create, send, and track these emails easily at one place without cluttering your work or personal inbox.

[product screenshot]

Additional Tips To Work With Ambassadors

Don't just onboard ambassadors and leave them to figure out how to be successful with your products on their own. Help them, encourage them, and in turn, your sales will grow. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Share tips, FAQs, or messaging that make your audience go from being a lead to making a purchase
  • Send regular emails to creators to check in if they have any questions, how they feel about the brand, and what kind of response they get from their followers
  • Boost commissions whenever you see them doing well
  • Share their content on your social channels to thank them and build relationships beyond transactions
  • Set up a separate email for them to contact you if they face any issues. Priority treatment for your ambassadors is a must if you want to keep them loyal to your brand

Examples Of Brands That Run Successful Ambassador/Affiliate Programs

Puravida

Check out their ambassador program here.

Vitali-Chi

Check out their ambassador package and program here.

Shopify

Check out their partner program here

Fiverr

Check out their affiliate program here.

Final thoughts

Should you go with this strategy or just collaborate with a big, famous influencer? — It's valid to face this dilemma because companies with their selfish motives (such as selling their service or acting as middlemen for connecting with creators ) are trying hard to convince you to run influencer marketing and make themselves a quick buck.

But we believe in building long-term relationships with creators because the value of a creator promoting your brand over and over is much higher than the immediate sales you generate off the placement.

This is why at SARAL, we built our tool to enable relationship-based influencer marketing. Relationships that you own completely and don’t disappear if you stop using our tool. The tool is just an assistant that enables the relationship.

How your creator relationships will look inside SARAL

With the affiliate model, you might get an influx of orders, but they might be discounted. You have to factor in commissions and offers given to creators to calculate the average order value and lifetime value of a customer who comes through an ambassador.

Even then, it's a better model than advertising, where the costs run into hundreds of dollars per sale.

Are you convinced about this, or do you have any follow-up questions or thoughts? Connect with us by signing up for our newsletter and responding to one of the emails we will send out super soon. We read & reply to all the emails. As a bonus, you get juicy and exclusive content we share in our newsletters. Signup here.