Advocacy Marketing

“Set It & Forget It” Strategy for Your Advocacy Program

December 9, 2020
Bryce Morgan

This article explores the work done by Wild Rye, a women's mountain clothing brand, to launch an engaging Insider Program. The strategy benefits the business by creating more social awareness and referral sales while running with very little bandwidth.

Wooly recommends setting up a Welcome Campaign without an end date to welcome newly approved applicants into your program. We refer to open-ended campaigns like these as evergreen campaigns. Another example of an evergreen campaign is a Referral Campaign, which incentivizes advocates to share their custom codes with friends.

More from Wild Rye’s founder, Cassie:  

“We are a small but mighty team constantly trying to juggle too many things at once. Our ambition is overflowing, but our time is lacking, if you know what I mean!
We’ve been excited to grow our Insider program with Wooly but initially struggled with how to stay on top of engagement and activating our insiders given our limited resources.
Needing a “set it and forget it” option, we worked with the Wooly team to create two evergreen campaigns to drive awareness on Instagram and incentivize our Insiders to share their custom discount codes with friends.
Now, when someone applies to our program, we can accept them, add them to both campaigns and feel confident they have the resources and direction they need to start spreading the Wild Rye love in an authentic way." 

Wooly typically recommends setting up a Welcome Campaign and then launching a new monthly campaign that aligns with your brand’s editorial calendar or monthly initiatives. But if you are like Cassie and have limited bandwidth to manage an ambassador program, these two types of evergreen campaigns can serve as a blueprint for getting started and sustaining an engaged program: 

  1. Welcome Campaign - to encourage advocates to continuously post on social media 
  2. Referral Campaign - to incentivize advocates to share their custom codes with friends

Before launching your new campaigns, make sure you take a moment to create an exciting welcome email to send to your ambassadors when they sign up.

Welcoming Your Ambassadors

After your fans sign up to join your advocacy program, they will receive a welcome email. This email serves as a chance to excite your ambassadors and help them understand what to expect.

Wild Rye’s welcome is a perfect example as it covers the following:

  1. A simple yet exciting welcome message
  2. Details around what it means to be in the brand’s program (expectations and possible incentives)
  3. An invitation to reach out with questions and/or feedback (optional)
  4. A call to action (to join the campaign now!)

Welcome Campaign: Immediately Equipping Your Ambassadors

As your fans join your advocacy program, it’s important that you give them something to do right off the bat something to do. Without creating a welcome campaign, they will end up staring at a boring empty advocacy portal. 

Wild Rye greets new ambassadors with a simple welcome campaign. The campaign explains the ambassador program, insider campaigns, extra discounts, and other opportunities to share Wild Rye’s products.

Their welcome campaign is successful because it focuses on the following items:

  • Ambassador Program Overview: Welcome your advocates to your brand’s program! Give them more details around what’s next. Why are they here? How can they share? What they can expect from you? And what they should do?
  • Campaign Activities: help your ambassadors know where to post, which hashtags to use, and how to tag your brand.
  • Imagery: add some of your brand imagery or best posts from your fans to help your ambassadors know what content is best received, but remind them to make it personal
  • Campaign Do’s: add general guidelines to follow as they complete your campaign. Wild Rye simple states to “Use the #GirlsGoneWildRye AND @wild_rye_ tags.”
  • Turn on the Auto-Add Feature: enabling this feature ensures people will be added to the campaign when they join your brand.
Step 4 in creating a campaign inside Wooly.

Something Wild Rye chose to do that is somewhat unique is they encourage their Insiders to post about the brand whenever if feels natural, not just one time for the campaign. They choose one post/person to feature every month (and they get a $50 gift card) which incentivizes their Insiders to post every month so they have more chances to win!

Welcome Campaign by Wild Rye

Referral Campaign: Driving Sales Through Unique Promo Codes

Incentive your ambassadors to share your brand and reward them for new referrals. 

Wild Rye’s second goal for their Insider Program was to incentivize their advocates to share their custom discount codes with close family & friends. Everyone who joins their program gets a 15% discount code to share, so they set up this referral campaign and is immediately available to those who sign up in Wooly. See below for how they set this campaign up. It’s a simple recipe that your brand could likely also follow if referral sales is a priority: 

A referral campaign is another simple evergreen campaign you can set up and let it run forever within your advocacy platform. Simply follow these steps to help your fans act and get rewarded:

  1. Start a new campaign and call it a “Referral Campaign.”
  2. Write a short campaign overview letting them know what to expect. I.e. refer 5 people and you’ll receive a $25 gift card.
  3. Create the campaign activity rules. Add the task the ambassador must do to receive the reward (Share Discount Code) and select how many times it must be shared in order to get the incentive.
  4. Highlight the incentive. Call out the reward for following the campaign steps. 
  5. Launch the campaign and invite ambassadors to join the campaign.

Again, Wild Rye provides us with a super simple example of how to create simple, yet actionable, campaigns with this referral campaign:

Refer a Friend Ambassador Example

Watch Your Evergreen Campaigns Grow

These two campaigns are great ways to always have something for new ambassadors to complete. These campaigns can also help you identify ambassadors for future special campaigns that you will run.

Check your results anytime to see the number of posts, follower reach, engagement, participation, and purchases driven from your evergreen welcome and referral campaigns.

download the free brand ambassador guide and playbook

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