A successful brand ambassadors campaign can help you increase your visibility, make your brand more trustworthy and increase sales. Influencer marketing is all about connecting with the people who already use your product or those who fit the model of your customer.

We know that, as a brand, you need ambassadors or influencers to help you spread the word about your company. But before you go about just grabbing any old Tom, Dick or Harry to jump onboard, there are some things you need to know.

Who Is An Influencer?

An Influencer is someone who has an impact on a specific group of people. But really, this is a loaded question because, quite frankly, an Influencer can be anyone, and anyone can be influential on something. In fact, everyone is influential on some level.

On the social web, an Influencer is someone who has a targeted network of followers in some capacity and when they speak, tweet, blog, or update, others listen and take action accordingly. Influencers can have 1 million followers online, or they can have 100 followers. As a brand, you will have to figure out what kind of Influencer fits your business best. A major player like Nike might be able to find celebrity Influencers that have millions of followers, but for a niche brand that’s very unrealistic.

In my humble opinion, it’s better to have an Influencer with 100 super, super, super targeted fans and followers that linger on each word they say, than someone with 10,000 followers who aren’t really engaged or listening.

Where Do You Find Your Influencers?

You can find those who are Influential about your topic everywhere online, but the first place to look is within your own organization. Employees are a great place to start. They know the ins and outs of your business already, so they make perfect candidates.

The next place to look is in your customer base. Do you have any customers who are die-hard fans? If so, this person is a great choice. Plus, they can speak from experience on your brand which is always a plus.

The next place to look is online, but this is going to require some research. There are Influencers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and blogs. You just know how to find them and reach them. The first thing to think about is what your ideal Influencer or brand ambassadors look like. They should be the spitting image of your customer because most likely their following will share those characteristics as well.

I’d search blogs first. Bloggers are super Influential and they have shelf-life. In other words, when they blog about you, that blog post is going to have a longer lasting effect than the campaign itself. Plus, bloggers often carry Influence in their other social channels. I love bloggers.  To do this, search for keywords and bloggers writing about your product, or similar products, or even trends based on your industry. If you are an organic food company, you’d probably want to look for recipe and food bloggers. Makes sense right?

Once you have your bloggers in place, it’s time to scour the web. Take your keywords and search for people accordingly. You’ll be able to find matches everywhere, so make sure you take the time to do so.

How Do You Build Relationships With Brand Ambassadors?

Now that you have your brand ambassadors in place, the success lies in the relationships you build with them. You don’t want to force them or use them. They will get uninterested fast. You want to empower them, communicate with them, and let them know that this is a relationship with mutual support.

Because they’re doing something for you, you want to make sure you do something for them. This could be in the form of money, product, or other incentives. There’s nothing wrong with giving away products or even paying for people to blog and talk about you. Everything they do for you will require their time and time is money. You are going to get much better results when you value their time and compensate them accordingly.

What Can You Expect From Influencers?

Remember, this is a relationship, and with relationships come expectations. It’s okay to lay down the rules in advance. In fact, you should do this. This way you’ll know up front whether the expectations are too high and if they can’t handle it. This will help you down the road in keeping your Influencers and Brand Ambassadors from jumping ship.

Well, there you have it, a quick guide to getting started with Influencer Marketing. How do you find Influencers and build relationships with super fans?