No one is surprised to hear that the fitness sector is booming in the wake of the growing interest in health and wellbeing. The industry's global value is upwards of $100 billion and rising.
Besides fitness facilities, the United States athletic apparel market is the world's largest, estimated to reach $69 billion next year. In comparison, the worldwide athletic apparel market is projected to surpass $580 billion by 2025. The market is massive!
It's not just about getting in shape anymore – it's also about feeling and looking good. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are endless. The individuals working out, buying fitness attire, and accumulating equipment know this.
If you're like most fitness companies, you're probably already doing your best to reach out to your target audience and spread the word about your brand and products. But there's one marketing resource that many companies overlook: their biggest fans.
Brand ambassadors can reshape your marketing results, whether you are a fitness apparel brand, supplement company, or yoga studio.
Create Your Own Marketing Channel
You don't have to do it all on your own if you want to grow your fitness business. Using a fitness brand ambassador program is one of the most efficient ways to achieve this goal.
A fitness brand ambassador program is essentially a sponsored partnership between an organization and a fitness influencer. You can reach your target market in personalized and highly relevant ways by connecting with an ambassador. For your business, this means more exposure and greater visibility.
By developing an effective relationship with a group of fitness ambassadors, you reach your target market in new ways that are highly personalized and relevant. For your business, this means more exposure and greater visibility.
What Is a Fitness Brand Ambassador Program?
A brand ambassador program is a way for you to get your fans, often called brand ambassadors, to promote your products and services with their community.
With a fitness brand ambassador program, you can give your ambassadors various tasks based on their strengths so that they can help you expand your reach and customer base without putting in a ton of time or money.
The Power of Fitness Ambassadors
Many small-to-medium-sized businesses understand that they can't reach their full potential with just one or two marketing channels.
Their brand ambassadors aren't simply a group of people who were handed free swag and told, Thanks for being a fan! They are true believers who actively share content on social media about your products or services.
Spoiler alert: Building an ambassador program can take time, but it's well worth it.
Fitness Brand ambassadors are the fundamental link between you and your potential customers. They help spread the word about your products and services and do this in an authentic, natural way. So it's no surprise that they are such an asset to fitness and well-being companies worldwide.
Because ambassadors actually use the fitness products, their social network knows it's heartfelt and authentic. This sort of word-of-mouth marketing is far more compelling than any other form of company advertising.
The founder of SME Pals, David Mercer, said this about WOMM,
"Word of mouth customers come with built-in levels of trust and confidence that other channels don't."
Salomon launched a thriving ambassador program. Their ambassadors reached 23 million people without a single ad. Learn more about Salomon's successful ambassador program.
Effective Fitness Brand Ambassador Programs
A brand ambassador program is a more sustainable way of marketing your company than traditional advertising. By giving people an incentive, such as samples or discounts, to talk about your product and wear your fitness gear, you're tapping into something that's proven successful in all sorts of industries: word-of-mouth marketing.
Think about how many times you've heard about a new restaurant or skincare line from someone you know—and then actually gone out to try it for yourself. People listen to those around them because they want their opinions on products.
What better way is there for them to make those decisions than by hearing straight from those people?
An effective fitness brand ambassador program isn't just beneficial for your company—it also benefits those who promote it!
Fitness Brand Ambassador Program For Max Reps
We've talked with many fitness brands over the years, and there's one question we get asked more than any other: How do we start a brand ambassador program?
Why is this such a common question? Well, because brand ambassador programs are incredibly powerful, and thus, they take planning and focus. And unlike an email list or social media followers, you can't just turn them on when you want.
If you want to succeed with your fitness brand ambassador program, you have to lay some solid groundwork before putting out that first call for ambassadors.
So let's walk through what goes into building a great program—and how your business can make it work for you.
Fortunately, starting a fitness brand ambassador program does not require a lot of money or effort. With a bit of careful planning and implementation, you can turn existing customers and fans into sales machines for your business.
To create a flourishing fitness ambassador program, you need to do the following:
- Clearly define your goals as well as those of your ambassadors
- Take time to select the right ambassadors for your business
- Educate them on how they can work with your company strategically
- Ensure that their messages align with what you want to communicate about your business
- Offer ambassadors incentives
- Track and measure results
The remainder of this article will focus on these six critical elements. You'll understand best practices and insider tips from the trenches so you can create a fitness brand ambassador program tailored to your needs.
#1 - Goals for Fitness Brand Ambassador Programs
First, you need to be clear on your brand's objectives. Typical purposes for fitness brand ambassadors are to have engaged communities that market and generate sales.
Is your goal to increase awareness? If so, choosing several ambassadors with an established following is the best way to reach your target market. Consider opting for someone who is already influential in your niche.
If you want to increase engagement with potential customers, find ambassadors skilled in creating content and promoting fitness brands. You can also look into hiring fitness influencers known for being community leaders.
The most important thing is finding ambassadors who will help grow your business by engaging with others and increasing exposure for your brand.
The right person can do this through personal channels, including social media, vlogging on YouTube, or more traditional methods like photography or videography.
Define Your Target Audience
Fundamental to all marketing initiatives is identifying your target audience. You want to ensure that the ambassadors you're working with represent the people you hope to reach.
Take, for example, an athletic wear company targeting women between 18-35 years old. Their want to create a fitness brand ambassador program that will help them reach their audience through social media channels.
The first step would be to identify the right ambassadors for this program. The company would need ambassadors who are active on social media and have connections in this age range. From there, they would put out applications and recruit ambassadors who fit these qualifications.
#2 - The Right Fitness Ambassadors
Fans and super-users are excellent for building a successful fitness ambassador program.
So, when launching an ambassador program, the wisest first step is to help your customers become brand ambassadors. Most likely, you are already connected with them through email and social media.
Tap into your loyal customers by announcing your fitness ambassador program on your social channels, including it in your emails, and publishing links on your website.
Recruit Brand Ambassadors
Listed below are five simple and effective ideas to invite fitness enthusiasts to join your ambassador community.
- Post on social channels
- Send an email to all your customers
- Include a banner in emails and on your website
- Application form on your website
- Include in product delivery shipments
When seeking out candidates, you'll want to find individuals passionate about your brand or business. Also, a vital factor is you attract individuals who already have a following online where they may be able to promote your brand.
It's essential to take time and assess each candidate and their skills before deciding whether they're suited for the position.
The following questions will help you vet your fitness brand ambassadors.
- Do they align with your brand values?
- Have they purchased or used your fitness products?
- Do they have enough followers or an established online presence?
- What is their average engagement rate?
- Are they enthusiastic about the opportunity?
Rely on the backing of your most steadfast clients. These connections have the potential to be turned into strong advocates for your company's products.
#3 - Educate and Empower Your Fitness Brand Ambassadors
A successful fitness ambassador program is based on developing an effective business-to-ambassador relationship. To cultivate this relationship, you need to know how to connect with your ambassadors in a way that is both valuable and authentic.
You want to make sure they correspond with your company's values and goals. Ensure they are committed to your brand and invested in your success. You can do this by providing them with all of the tools they need for success so that they can share their experience authentically with their audience.
In a study with 50 top brands, we found the primary role of brand ambassadors is to share and engage with their social networks.
They are asked to do many of the following avenues:
- Please spread the word to all of your friends!
- Share your enthusiasm for our brand with your friends and family!
- Tell us about your own experiences
- Take a picture or record a video of your experience with our products and share it
- Share your enthusiasm for our items with your friends
- Encourage others to use your coupon code
- Use our brand hashtags
- Be an advocate for our company
- Introduce an on-brand presence in stores
- Represent our brand
Aside from spreading your message, brand ambassadors aid in addition direct ways. Because they genuinely love your company, they are more likely to give honest feedback on what is (and isn't) working—in turn allowing you to make smart decisions about how best to move forward with new projects.
The role of a brand ambassador entails attracting attention and stoking meaningful dialogue. In this way, ambassadors assist in promoting the businesses and goods that they value and likely use every day.
#4 - Brand and Ambassador Alignment
Next, you need to establish what type of content they will be sharing online. This will depend on what is most relevant for the ambassador's audience and the goals set for them.
Often, people will be just as interested in following a fitness ambassador as they are in following a brand. One way to encourage this behavior is to have the ambassador create content for your business. The user-generated content should be informative and detailed about your products or services.
Not only do ambassadors find it easier to write about topics they know well, but also their followers are more likely to take notice because of the added credibility an ambassador brings to your brand.
You can promote the UGC by sharing it on social media, linked from the ambassador's personal website, or starred on an industry-specific blog.
In addition to increasing exposure, this tactic helps ambassadors learn more about your company and become better familiar with your products and services.
#5 - Provide Ambassadors Exclusive Offers and Discounts
Fitness ambassadors are more than just influencers. They are advocates for your brand, which is why you want to provide them with exclusive deals and discounts.
Giving them these deals will motivate them to share what they know about your business. It also helps show that you value their support of your company and product or service.
Instead of making deals limited to one social media influencer, offer deals to all of your fitness ambassadors. This way, they will be more likely to promote the offers on their various platforms and help bring attention to your business.
It's possible to group the perks of being a brand ambassador into 14 buckets. The truth is that there is no limit to the number of incentives available. What really matters is that fitness brands get their ambassadors motivated.
Although not a complete list, brand ambassador incentives include free and discounted merchandise, gift cards, referral rewards, and possible hourly wages. Organizations will hold events, contests, giveaways, and early access to product launches. Ambassadors can appear on websites, social media, and photoshoots.
#6 - Measure Results
Lastly, you want to evaluate how effective your brand ambassadors are at achieving your objectives. This means monitoring their progress and evaluating how well they meet expectations accordingly. As you monitor their progress, ensure their contribution aligns with what was intended when you engaged with them.
It's common for people to talk about products and services that may benefit their friends, relatives, and coworkers.
74% of consumers cite word of mouth as a significant factor in their shopping decisions. (Ogilvy)
But keeping tabs on what people are saying has proven difficult, if not impossible.
With solutions such as Wooly, you can measure word-of-mouth marketing in the same way that visits and clicks may be tracked. Marketers may track word of mouth and even pay for results.
The following are the most critical metrics and measurements for word of mouth.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube's current communication capabilities make it possible to monitor word of mouth. Using Wooly's social listening tool, firms can quickly find out who's talking about them and what they're saying.
One method marketers can measure the success of their fitness ambassadors is by capturing their posts and Stories. Social metrics such as likes, comments, and shares indicate how well posts and campaigns are doing.
Earned Media Value
Earned media value or EMV is a tool for measuring the returns on influencer and ambassador posts. Another way of understanding it is,
EMV is the price businesses need to fork over to get similar exposure and engagement that their ambassadors generate.
It shows how much a similar ad campaign would cost to achieve the same results. You may use EMV to determine how much value you get from the content shared by your fitness ambassadors.
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to buying purchases, people are more likely to rely on the advice of their friends and family members.
Referrals jump-start the marketing cycle, which feeds the brand's chain of visitors, leads, and sales.
With a clear link between actions and referral rewards, you encourage your advocates to spread the word about your business and encourage others to do the same.
Identify the ROI of your fitness ambassadors by keeping track of orders and sales by customer, campaign, and program.
Brand ambassador marketing is a fantastic method of expanding a company's client base via non-formal media channels. Companies use brand ambassador programs to elevate brand awareness and boost sales through traditional word-of-mouth marketing and social media communities.
Successful fitness ambassador programs begin with the end in mind by clearly defining their purposes and selecting the outstanding brand ambassadors.
The programs also work with ambassadors to strategically collaborate on messaging and campaigns. In turn, ambassadors receive rewards for their contribution. Measurement and evaluation are critical to the health of advocacy programs.
Feature image courtesy of fitness brand ambassador, JC @_jcreate_