Customer trust in influencers is decreasing, but peer recommendations for user-generated content (UGC) are on the rise, as reports note that these content types drive positive brand perception and purchase behavior. According to EnTribe’s 2023 The State of User Generated Content report, 86% of survey participants trust a brand that uses UGC over traditional influencer marketing.
In response to these findings, EnTribe, the first-of-its-kind SaaS platform designed for community content creation, launched an advanced ambassador program to help brands achieve more significant ROI through UGC.
Adam Dornbusch, CEO and Founder of EnTribe, says, “At EnTribe’s core, we are a SaaS platform that makes it easy for any brand to engage with their customers, fans, students, employees, whoever their community is and engage with them through visual content.”
More and more companies have come to EnTribe for ways to manage large numbers of ambassadors efficiently rather than through manual spreadsheets and emails.
Dornbusch shares, “We realized that we had a lot of those core capabilities already built it, but what we didn’t have was the next-level ambassador features that brands were looking for, so we worked with a bunch of brands that were already customers or potential customers.”
After collecting brand feedback, the EnTribe team developed their new ambassador program, launching it on September 7, 2023.
What Makes the EnTribe Ambassador Program Different from Other UGC Platforms?
Dornbusch explains that many UGC platforms scour social media, asking creators for permission to use content in digital marketing platforms and campaigns.
However, EnTribe’s approach differs, starting with a secure rights clearance process before working with creators to level up their content.
Dornbusch shares, “Ambassadors are a special group of creators that you peel apart from your everyday UGC, and you start working with them at a deeper level. Theoretically, you’re rewarding them, but everyone has a different process. You might even have events and things like that, but within our platform, we’re analyzing their social posts at a deeper level.”
Using AI Technology for Improved ROI
EnTribe uses seven layers of AI to analyze what ambassadors are posting. Whenever an ambassador hashtags a brand, content is assessed for likes, comments, and engagement rates.
Dornbusch says, “We use AI already in helping to filter and sort through content to make sure that you’re finding the best stuff as fast as possible and filter out anything that’s objectionable and not on brand. But, now we have new levels of AI that will actually analyze the content for sentimental analysis, logo detections, and lots of other things that can help a brand find the content that they’re looking for.”
In addition, the program helps ambassadors determine the kind of content brands are specifically looking for by providing a space to receive feedback and engagement directly from the brand.
EnTribe’s ambassador program has the following features:
- Search and uncover new creators
- Compare creator engagement, social post tracking, follower count, and potential reach
- Turn creators into official brand ambassadors that create consistent UGC
- Track brand ambassador impact
- Reward brand ambassadors (brands can choose to reward ambassadors with coupon codes, gift cards, social media credit, free products, payment, etc.)
These features create a system that helps brands build a pool of authentic content, increasing their online engagement and presence. The dashboard also makes a one-stop shop for these analytics, eliminating the need for manual spreadsheets and other tracking methodologies.
Dornbusch adds, “We make it really easy for one person with a few hours a week to manage a scalable ambassador program of thousands of ambassadors. You really don’t need to scale your employee base or your agency base to be able to manage these ambassadors… If, for any reason, brands don’t have the bandwidth for those few hours a week, we will supplement that with managed services.”
The Importance of Authenticity
More and more brands are realizing that consumers view many sponsorships as inauthentic, leading to influencer marketing campaigns with low ROI and even negative brand impressions. As a result, UGC content is quickly becoming a go-to for many brands.
Dornbusch explains, “We’re helping them [brands] listen to their customers, drive that authenticity home, and really build that brand authenticity.”
The importance of authenticity is backed by EnTribe’s survey, which found that 81% of customers think influencers have zero or negative impact on the brand’s messaging.
Broader Applications for EnTribe Technology
EnTribe is currently discussing several partnerships with companies interested in trying their technology in different industries.
For example, EnTribe’s new technology could greatly help HR departments build employee retention programs. Digital marketing consulting firms are also interested in the technology as it would provide deeper insights into the content being posted for brands and how it’s impacting and reaching others online.
Dornbusch says, “We’re working with multiple higher-education universities, so these are not brands that are trying to sell anything. They’re trying to promote student life, alumni support, and drive more community.”
Keeping Up With the Creator Economy and Industry Trends
Social media and the creator economy are prone to massive changes at any time. The EnTribe team prepares for this by staying nimble and pivoting as changes happen.
One way they’ve adapted in the last year to the explosion of TikTok is by offering TikTok consulting for companies interested in being more impactful on the platform.
Dornbusch shares, “We’ve built it into our upload widget, where users don’t have to upload directly from their phone to you. They upload from their TikTok account to the brands. There are other features like that which we’re layering.”
As for industry trends, Dornbusch sees the creator economy continuing to decentralize and shift towards UGC.
He adds, “One of the big changes that you’re going to start seeing is the segmenting of people’s interests and where they’re spending their time. Meta and TikTok really have captured the majority, but now they need to pivot as well to be able to really hone in on individual audiences.”
According to Dornbusch, brands that lean into building trust with their audience will stay ahead of the curve over brands that sit back to see what happens.
Huge Company Growth
Within the last year, EnTribe has built upon a substantial existing client roster of Fortune 100 companies, such as its addition of Hershey’s, Riot Games, and Kia Motors.
Dornbusch shares, “We have a team that works tirelessly with our customers to make sure that every one of their needs is met. That’s one of the biggest differentiators that we have. We spend more time and effort trying to make sure our brand and creators are treated right.”
Creator and brand feedback led to many inspirations and developments in EnTribe’s new ambassador program. EnTribe’s team welcomes more input and ideas regarding their new ambassador program or anything else related to influencer marketing.