A step by step guide for employers who are looking to recruit and manage their own Brand Ambassadors
How to get the best out of brand ambassadors (BAs) is a key question for many employers as they increasingly rely on BAs to increase awareness of opportunities and boost their brand awareness on campuses across the country. With a database of over 160, 000 students, connections to 100+ diverse student societies with a reach of more than 20, 000, over 850 academic department connections and more, Sanctuary Graduates has an extensive network of talent to source BAs for client BA campaigns. Brand Ambassadors have demonstrated time and again that they are a better return on your investment than attending careers fairs, representing clients’ brands and opportunities to wider networks over a set period of time. As such, we have set out a step by step guide for employers on how best to recruit and manage BAs.
In order to best identify the best potential Brand Ambassadors for your campaigns it is important to maintain a structured screening process assessing the skills, capabilities, and networks you deem necessary to meet your targets and appropriately represent your brand. As such, Sanctuary Graduates designs a structured set of questions for telephone interview processes to identify potential BAs with a set scoring criteria in order to objectively identify high quality talent to fill these roles and succeed in our clients’ campaigns. This feeds into our next point on client-set KPIs.
Client set KPIs are essential when identifying potential brand ambassadors. These allow you to objectively identify candidates with background interests, relationships, and networks that will allow you to access relevant talent pools for your opportunities. Further, with constant awareness of these KPIs throughout BA campaigns when monitoring the success of BA activities and adapting as appropriate, Sanctuary Graduates has retained all BA clients as a result of meeting all client-set, specific KPIs. For example, when Taylor Wessing was looking for Chinese speaking candidates for their roles, this was noted and prioritised when selecting BAs either with this skill set, access to other students with this skill set, or indeed both. This allowed our client to fill their roles with applications coming from high quality, relevant talent. An additional benefit to this, is by hiring candidates with skill sets and values that reflect that of what you seek for your employees, they could move on to be a hire when it comes to their graduating, performing better at interview due to prior knowledge of your company.
Balancing your talent pipelines is ever more important in order to best encourage and provide for diversity from gender, to BAME, to social mobility and more. As such, monitoring diversity is essential in order to access wide pools of talent from different backgrounds who could be extremely effective in your roles. Sanctuary Graduates makes use of our diverse networks, including women-in and ACS societies around the country in order to achieve this for our clients. Similarly, it is important to hire BAs who can do the same with their own, diverse range of networks. Selecting BAs with connections to a variety of societies, courses, and students of varying ethnic and/or socioeconomic backgrounds is thus essential to allow for this diverse pipeline of talent to your opportunities.
From excellent communication skills, to personal networks in order to put digital and on campus marketing techniques to use effectively, Sanctuary Graduates has 5 top capabilities to identify when looking for an excellent brand ambassador. Take a look at our article on these top 5 skills here.
The management of your campaign is equally important in getting the best out of your brand ambassadors. Whilst you may have found highly capable, relevant candidates to represent your company, its opportunities, and its values, it is important to provide support in order to make your BAs as effective as possible. For example, our Campus Relations Manager is dedicated to weekly BA calls, seeing how they’re doing, identifying barriers to high performance, and providing strategy and activity support.
Training days are essential to impart knowledge about your company, its opportunities, and its values to your BAs which will allow them to present you and your opportunities in the best light. As such, before you even begin to start managing BA workloads upon recruiting, these training days are key. Sanctuary Graduates facilitate these training days for the BAs we manage at client offices where they can meet current graduates at the company, conduct mock lecture shout outs, and listen to presentations from senior members of the business. This allows for a far greater understanding of the company and its values, allowing BAs to effectively absorb this and ensure they are on-brand when portraying the company at their universities and to their networks.
Measuring the success of campaigns is essential to see the return on your investment, and identifying even more effective strategies and activities for future campaigns and throughout live campaigns. As such, tracking application numbers from BA universities in comparison to non-BA universities and previous application years are a great tool to help you analyse this. Sanctuary Graduates also utilises BA tracking links and data capture platforms measuring interest in your company and opportunities in order to gain greater insight into the effectiveness of the activities undertaken by the BAs we manage for our clients. In all cases, we measure success against pre-agreed, client-set KPIs.
Maintaining consistent communication with your brand ambassadors is important to ensure their success in their role and clarity on what they can do to be most effective. Sanctuary Graduates has weekly chats with the BAs we manage for our clients to go through their activities, as well as give feedback and ideas for activities to fill BAs hours broken down into minutes. These ideas are adapted based on the real-time feedback we get throughout campaigns to be most effective. For example, social media, flyering, lecture shout outs and more will be encouraged based on KPIs set and the aforementioned real-time feedback we receive.
The adaptability these weekly chats provide is instrumental in the success of the Brand Ambassador campaigns we manage for our clients. With COVID-19, this has been particularly pertinent, and the adaptability of BA campaigns has been exemplified. Our BAs for ARK teaching, Kaira and Udoka excelled during the pandemic from as far away as Hong Kong! They shifted focus to social media and digital marketing techniques during lockdown to continue to successfully drive applications. This was a result of the support of our weekly chats with our BAs. Support was given regarding how to conduct various digital marketing techniques, from LinkedIn adding to social media strategies. One can thus see the importance of consistent strategy support and conversations with your BAs to manage them effectively. It is a result of this that Sanctuary Graduates is currently signing contracts for BA campaigns utilising entirely digital strategies from August.
Did this help you identify how best to recruit and manage your Brand Ambassador campaigns? Do you have any questions? Or do you want us to manage your next BA campaign? Get in contact and let us know!