Every business needs strategies to expand its reach and grow sales. While you may keep marketing and sales in-house in your earliest days, you should explore options to use external parties to promote your brand.
One option to consider is brand ambassadorship, which involves engaging a notable thought leader or influencer to promote your brand. Another option–partnerships–can help you link up with other companies to expand your sales footprint.
How do you know which path is right for you? Start by learning the benefits of brand ambassadorships and partnerships. Chances are, you’ll find both have some value at different points in your business journey.
How Can Brand Ambassadorships Benefit Your Business?
A brand ambassador is a public persona who represents your brand. In most cases, companies pay a brand ambassador for their endorsement.
You may wonder why you’d pay a brand ambassador instead of funneling dollars into advertising or marketing. The truth is, many people don’t trust ads or attempt to avoid them. Consider this fact: According to data from Edelman, nearly three-quarters (74%) of people affirmed they use at least one advertising avoidance strategy–such as ad blockers or paying for subscription services.
By contrast, Edelman found that many people do trust influencers and experts. Sixty-three (63%) of people say that they trust influencer messaging more than they trust what brands say about themselves in ads.
What does that mean? Engaging an influential person to endorse your brand can earn trust and help you gain credibility in the eyes of your audience. Because people are attentive to influencer messages, you’ll likely gain more for your marketing investment. Working with the right brand ambassador can position your company in front of new prospects.
How Can Partnerships Benefit Your Business?
Partnerships are another avenue to reach new audiences–and they can take many forms, based on your business needs. For example, you can set up a partnership with a company that refers leads to you, with you agreeing to pay them a commission on any resulting sales. Also, you can resell products from other companies or allow them to resell your own products.
Another approach is to form an alliance partnership with one or more companies. As allies, you agree to a mutual set of objectives and work together to achieve them. You may collaborate to design, develop, or market products, or you may focus exclusively on promoting or delivering goods and services.
Keep in mind you may partner with companies to pursue a single opportunity together. Or you may build a long-lasting partnership that lasts years, or even decades.
Partnerships can help you gain new customers, expand your offering set, and enter new markets. But you need to be selective about partners, and make sure to form relationships that are mutually beneficial.
When considering partners, Inc. magazine recommends you look for three key qualities. First, look for partners to fill in gaps. For example, if you have a small sales team, you can seek partners with a robust sales organization to generate business more quickly. Next, make sure the partners you choose are trustworthy. You also want to work with organizations with a collaborative, growth-oriented mindset. By focusing on these qualities, you can choose partners that empower business growth.
The Right Relationships Can Elevate Your Business
Most businesses benefit from forming strong relationships with brand ambassadors and partners. No matter the size of your business, you should explore the idea of working with others to grow your business.
In the past, most brand endorsements came from well-known celebrities. While high-profile public figures still promote brands, social influencers and thought leaders have massive appeal. You don’t need to limit your brand ambassadorships to high-paid advertisements. Sponsoring a video or social post series hosted by an influencer can generate significant name recognition for your brand. Also, you should know many brand ambassadors accept goods or services as payment. That means you can potentially secure a brand endorsement without spending much money.
Look around and you’ll see many household-name brands have successful partnerships. Have you ever visited a Starbucks inside of a Target store? If so, you’ve encountered the power of partnerships in action. With some research and relationship building, you can form positive partner relationships that take your business to new heights.