Another term for influencer? Not exactly.
Brand ambassador is not just another term for influencer. The main difference is that brand ambassadors will sign on with your brand for an extended period of time, while an influencer will usually partner with you on a post-by-post basis. A brand ambassador is an enhanced version of an influencer partnership.
The face of your brand
The recipe for a brand ambassador goes something like this: someone with a substantial following on a social platform who is also a true believer of your product and brand values. They are able to speak to your product’s main highlights organically, and from the heart. This is a deeper relationship between the brand and the creator of the content because in this case, the creator has authentic and longstanding support for the brand. Basically, they’re a fan!
Leveraging an ambassador partnership
According to Pixlee.com, in 2021, 71% of marketers believe that ongoing ambassadorships are the most effective form of influencer marketing. Repeat partnerships are proven to be more effective than one-off partnerships. More often than not, it takes someone a few instances of being exposed to a brand or product to actually make the purchase. This is why it is so important for brand ambassadors to really know their stuff when it comes to talking about your product.
The ambassador’s source of authenticity
- They may be a professional in the area in which your brand markets
- ex: a pro athlete for Nike or a dentist for Crest
- Ambassadors are next-level experts in their field and align perfectly with your brand
- ex: a popular YouTuber who built a channel based on fishing content partners with a fishing pole brand
- Superfans of your brand make great ambassadors
- ex: a skincare brand that partners with an influencer who uses its product religiously
The advanced knowledge and deep passion for their craft or hobby, as well as consistent brand support, create unmatched authenticity. Depending on your brand and product, you may find it beneficial to discuss exclusivity with your ambassador partners in the contracting and negotiating phase. Failing to set terms and regulations surrounding partnerships with competitor products and brands, could significantly hinder the authentic nature of your brand partnership.
The sales funnel
Brands that manufacture big-ticket items are more likely to reach bottom-of-funnel consumers through brand ambassadors. This is because ambassadors are such experts in their field that most of their following is incredibly interested in that specific niche. The best ambassadors are aficionados of the topic at hand, and their audience comes to their account or follows them to get information about the subject. For example, someone who is interested in hunting will follow another hunter’s page and take their recommendation on gear.
A true brand ambassador believes in your product so much that they are always singing your praises and recommending your product on social media and in real life. It’s common for them to have stories about people they have converted into customers for your brand. Once you start to see this kind of relationship form with one of your influencer partners (someone who posts about the brand from time to time), lock it down! Ask for that long-term contract and treat them well.
Read that again. Treat them well.
If a creator with a large social following is willing to become an ambassador for your brand, they are adding incredible value to your social presence. Do not undervalue this service. You should still be paying your ambassadors for every in-feed post you ask them to make, and pay them when they create content for you to use on your channels. If you are a CPG brand, you should not expect your ambassadors to post for product alone. If the product your brand produces is high-dollar, this *might* be acceptable if the product value is equal to the monetary amount of the influencer’s rate for the agreed-upon deliverables.
Don’t do this
Please don’t ask brand ambassadors to sign a contract wherein they are required to post for your brand in exchange for SWAG. The brand might get away with it with nano-influencers — but it is not a good look. Most influencers with 10k followers or more will walk away, and you will be missing out on a quality partner who truly values your brand. If you put together a group of brand ambassadors who agree to post for swag, your marketing team is probably losing money by spending all the time it takes to maintain such a program. The initiative most likely yields very little in the way of reach, engagement, and social media value but takes a high amount of attention, budget, and capacity from your team. Brands are better off with a smaller group of brand ambassadors who have higher followings but require monetary compensation to post.
If your brand is considering leveraging the power of brand ambassadors, give us a shout! We can help your brand connect with the right influencers, ambassadors, and content creators.