Top 5 Use Cases for Leveraging Athlete Ambassador Content
By Dennis O'Malley
ATHLETE BRAND AMBASSADORS PROVIDE A VALUABLE RESOURCE TO ACTIVE LIFESTYLE BRANDS by generating buzz about your brand and increasing brand social reach. But how can you best use their content to effectively drive sales and conversions? We've offered up the top five use cases for how best to leverage your athlete ambassador content, with examples of brands that are already successfully working with athletes in these roles today.
Most recently, Dennis hosted a panel during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market titled “Maximizing Athletes & Ambassadors Through Your Digital Marketing.” Here’s a look at what was discussed.
Case #1: GETTING AUTHORIZED PRODUCT REVIEWS
When about to launch a new product or campaign, seeding the product being promoted to your ambassadors in advance offers a way to gather a large amount of social content quickly. Athlete ambassadors can write reviews of the product, post images of it on social media, and gain visibility and following for your brand.
Authorized reviews with disclosures let your brand gather high-quality social proof from your ambassadors while remaining compliant by disclosing the relationship between ambassador and brand.
You can require your ambassadors to write reviews as part of their duties as brand ambassadors. Encourage them to show the product in an active situation whenever possible. Images of the product in action are more interesting and more likely to get engagement than images of the product alone. Ex. BTO Sports' product pages include reviews of its products with a gallery of customer photos, so customers can see products in action while they shop.
Case #2: RESPONDING TO SOCIAL POSTS
Have your athlete ambassadors respond to your brand's social posts to hype and draw attention to your profile. Your ambassadors' social comments on brand posts will reach their fans, generating buzz and increasing awareness about your brand.
Case #3: USE ATHLETES IN HASHTAG CAMPAIGNS
Launch a hashtag campaign for your ambassadors to create images around a particular event or subject in a single place. Choose a catchy, concise hashtag and request your ambassadors tag all content relevant to it with that tag.
To increase the amount of high-quality content for a hashtag campaign, you can incentivize your campaign by offering rewards to ambassadors who create the best content or get the most engagement. The FTC clarified in the last year that hashtag campaigns need to be identified, so follow its guidelines to avoid legal hurdles.
O'Neill Women's offers their unique hashtag (#TodayisPerfect) on their Instagram account to show ambassadors how they should tag relevant content:
Smith Optics allows users to tag content relevant to a particular sport by creating separate hashtags for that sport. For instance, #smithissurf and #smithisski are unique hashtags, allowing ambassadors to tag content for a specific sport.
Case #4: OBTAINING RISK-FREE SOCIAL PROOF FROM ATHLETE AMBASSADORS
In order to establish a high degree of trust with your audience, you want to ensure that all content you use on your website and social profiles is authorized by the user before displaying it. At ReadyPulse, we have taken the stand from the beginning that all content belongs to its creators. You should only use it with their permission.
When writing the athlete sponsorship agreement, include a clause that brand-specific hashtags or content mentioning your brand should be licensed to your brand automatically. You can also get permissions via email or on social if the sponsorship agreement doesn't cover content licensing, or if the content is out of the scope of the sponsorship agreement.
Case #5: DRIVING TRAFFIC TO A CAMPAIGN LANDING PAGE
Tell your ambassadors to link to a campaign landing page where visitors can click a call to action to purchase the product. This will allow you to track the amount of traffic generated by your ambassadors' content to your website and increase brand awareness among your ambassadors' audience.
Ex. COOLA Suncare encourages users to upload their photos with its products; these are then included in the gallery on the COOLA Community page.
ABOUT THE EXPERT:
Dennis O'Malley leads ReadyPulse, a system of record for social content and social ambassadors for over 60 brands and retailers such as Nickelodeon, The North Face, and Reebok. Pulse Marketing Suite, the company's B2B, enterprise SaaS content commerce platform, leverages social media and influencers helping enterprise brands and retailers drive commerce with 100% authorized, high quality, product relevant social user-generated content.