Ambassador marketing is an effective strategy for any social-media-aware DTC brand, but is essential for health, wellness and beauty brands. Whether athleisure wear or vitamin drinks, ambassador marketing integrates seamlessly with these brands’ products and ethos. More importantly, it will increase engagement and boost sales.
Here are five reasons why ambassador marketing is a must for health, wellness and beauty brands.
Health and Wellness Customers Find Brands Through Influencers
Social media influencers are one of the primary ways customers discover health and wellness products. That is why brands find it so effective to invest in long-term relationships with these influencers rather than a one-off campaign.
When DTC skincare brand TULA realized this, it took “a highly strategic approach to identifying and building partnerships with the right creators,” says the company’s CEO Savannah Sachs.
“We see influencers as entrepreneurs, as distribution channels on the front lines that are building our brand, telling our brand’s story to our communities and, essentially, acting as digital storefronts,” she explains.
Micro-Influencers Reign Supreme
Not any type of influencer will do. Micro-influencers, those with a few thousand followers, often drive much higher levels of engagement than celebrities. There is no shortage of them in the health and wellness space, either.
Vital Proteins used micro-influencers to forge strong customer relationships before shifting to a retail strategy, says CEO and Founder Kurt Seidensticker. With higher engagement rates than celebrities of 25% to 40%, micro-influencers can directly produce sales. The brand now compensates influencers for their help through an affiliate program.
Demand for Influencers May Outstrip Supply
With more and more brands understanding the value of influencers, there is a risk that demand may outstrip supply. The problem is particularly significant in health and wellness given the power and popularity of influencers in the space.
That is why brands are embracing ambassador marketing over influencer marketing, writes Joele Forrester, Senior Marketing Manager at Billion Dollar Boy. She predicts a shift to long-term partnerships and an investment in content that showcases an influencer’s natural affinity for the brand.
Products Are Perfect for Showcasing Online and in Real Life
Some DTC products are easier to promote via social media ambassadors than others. While toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap may run into trouble, health and wellness brands sell the kind of products that make for share-worthy posts.
Ambassador marketing does not start and end with social media content. It is also about building a community and increasing engagement with products. Health and wellness brands come out on top here too.
Take Lululemon, for instance. As the team at brand advocacy platform Duel explain, Lululemon ambassadors act as crucial parts of their community by hosting free yoga classes in-store or creating running clubs. “This perfects the customer experience, making every store feel trustworthy and integrated in the community,” they write. “Today, their 415 stores are hubs of activity in communities around the world that engage customers and drive sales.” It also means customers can interact with the products in-person before buying them.
Opportunities Abound to Collaborate with the Brand and Product
Unlike homogenous DTC products like mattresses and suitcases, it is much easier for ambassadors to collaborate with health and wellness brands on matters like design and ingredients. The more input they have, the more reason they have to promote the products.
This kind of ambassador engagement is a key part of Sephora’s strategy, writes Glossy’s Jessica Schiffer. “These ambassadors will be regularly invited to Sephora’s corporate headquarters for tours and information sessions, and will have opportunities to brainstorm with the product development team, with the hopes that it will help them feel more enmeshed with the brand.”
The brand hopes too that such engagement will help its ambassadors to create more meaningful content.
While ambassador programs may not work for every DTC brand, few health, beauty and wellness brands would not benefit from the high engagement levels and strong sales numbers these influencers can deliver.