By: Iris Matulevich, Creative Team
Love it or hate it, we live in the era of the Influencer.™
And with the constant demands for more content on social media and other digital platforms, influencers have snuck into the strategy of nearly every brand out there.
Yet, if you’ve ever tried managing a team of brand ambassadors, you might say it’s easier to wrangle a group of puppies that have been snacking on marshmallows and throwing back espresso shots all morning. Social media ambassadors often work on their own schedule or live in a cross-country-trekking Sprinter van, so they can be difficult to communicate with. However, these relationships can be incredibly useful to your brand and can bolster your content schedule. Here’s how to keep your sanity intact when managing a team of influencers.
Start With A Contract
Woohoo, who doesn’t love legal documents! Protect yourself and your brand by outlining exactly what your ambassadors will be doing: how many social posts, how they will tag you, how many photos or videos they will submit, and a timeline for due dates. Include the payment (whether in cash or gear or discounts) in this document and have both sides agree and sign before the ambassadorship starts. This helps get everyone on the same page and kicks off the partnership on the right foot.
Thoroughly Vet Your Team
Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there. Someone might appear to be a reliable influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers, only to disappear off the face of the earth after you send them a gear package. Prevent the frustration of being ghosted by your ambassadors by thoroughly checking them out beforehand. Research their previous partnerships (if they have any), their engagement rate, and their style. You can even message their references and ask what it’s like to work with them. Sometimes it’s worth it to onboard a reliable, devoted ambassador with a smaller following than a flakey influencer with a few thousand more followers.
Provide A Style Guide
When expecting photo content from your ambassadors, you need to be incredibly clear about photo guidelines and expectations. You might think “don’t include competitor products in your photos” is very clear, but spell it out for them: “no other shoe brands may be pictured in submitted images.” Explain how your brand crops images, define what the preferred editing style is, and provide examples for on-brand and off-brand images. This helps prevent receiving your first round of photos and realizing they’re all unusable. When expectations are clear from the get-go, you can coach the ambassador along in their first few months and create a great relationship where they understand the photo style required of them.
Hold Them Accountable
Once your ambassadors know what’s expected of them, you have to do the hard thing and check in regularly to see if they’re meeting their goals. Set up a spreadsheet with each influencer and track their performance each month. We use a monthly check-in schedule to run through each ambassador’s contracted requirements and send out an email to see how they are doing. Address anything lacking in their submissions, and see what trips or exciting events they have coming up. As ambassadors meet their expectations, send more gear or perks to encourage them to keep up the good work. The deeper relationships you build with brand ambassadors, the better evangelists they become!
User-generated content is key for a social media presence in this new decade, and an ambassador or athlete team can be incredibly beneficial to growing your brand.
The key to keep your ambassador team afloat: communicate, communicate, communicate!
copyright 2021 Wheelie, LLC.
I can't recommend Wheelie enough. Our website launch was almost too successful, and we could barely keep up with the amount of orders we received as soon as we announced the rebrand. They are ah.MAZING!"