Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free trial today! Click here

Take a page from Piper’s program

Flight schools have to use marketing dollars wisely, and few have the budgets to wage splashy social media campaigns. At the same time, many social media campaigns can be adapted and sized to work for a smaller operation.

Take, for example, Piper Aircraft’s Brand Ambassador Program. Piper has teamed up with flight schools and college aviation departments to promote its brand. It does this by recruiting young people who leverage their existing social media channels to showcase the pilot journey and, in the process, Piper’s aircraft. Currently, the company has brand ambassadors at the L3Harris Flight Academy, the University of North Dakota, Purdue University, and Minnesota State University at Mankato.

What does a Brand Ambassador get? Piper gives them “free Brand Ambassador merchandise, discounted Piper Pilot Shop products” and compensates them for social media posts.

What does a Brand Ambassador do? Takes photos and videos and posts them to his or her social media channels, making sure to tag Piper prominently. These flight schools and aviation departments use Piper aircraft, so photos with manufacturer logos are common. The Ambassadors’ feeds show them flying, celebrating aviation (most recently at EAA AirVenture) and generally illustrating the joy and adventure of flying.

Piper has its own social media channels, of course, which it vigorously maintains, but by recruiting people who come with their own audiences, the company gets its message and products out to an even wider group.

Why not adopt an Ambassador of your own? You can recruit from among your customers, give them branded merchandise from your flight school, and see how it works for yourself.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.

Related Articles