what-is-an-ambassador

What is a Brand Ambassador & Are They Different From an Influencer?

Today we'll explain what exactly a brand ambassador is, how they are different from an influencer, and how to use them in marketing.

What is a Brand Ambassador?

A brand ambassador strategy is often beneficial for many businesses to reach new audiences, acquire new customers, and increase profits. But how exactly does brand ambassadorship work, and what exactly is a brand ambassador?

Let me explain how to use this popular promotional method in your marketing plan to grow your brand awareness.

what-is-a-brand-ambassador

What exactly is a brand ambassador, and who qualifies to be one?

A brand ambassador is a person who, in collaboration with an organization, represents and promotes the company’s brand to diverse audiences. Their positive public image is meant to increase brand recognition and aid in the conversion of new clients. Furthermore, they are usually compensated in some form for their efforts.

Depending on the level of exposure they want and the budget they have to spend on this type of campaign, brands can work with a variety of brand ambassadors. Let’s take a look at how diverse the brand ambassadorship umbrella is.

Here are a few instances of beauty industry ambassadors, what they do for the company they work with, and how they are compensated:

The Famous Person

  • Serves as a spokesmodel for a major cosmetics firm and its “face.”
  • Reaches out to a national or international audience.
  • Participates in print and digital ad campaigns as well as promotional events.
  • In press interviews, he discusses their brand collaboration.
  • For taking on this role, he receives a considerable salary and works under a formal agreement with the company.
  • Maye Musk is one of the numerous real-life celebrity ambassadors in the cosmetics industry (longtime model and mom to Elon). She was signed on as CoverGirl’s oldest spokesmodel and the face of the Simply Ageless range at the age of 69.

The Influencer

  • The influencer promotes the brand’s cosmetics through sponsored posts and may also conduct paid advertisements on behalf of the firm.
  • With 10,000 to millions of followers, this will reach a wide audience.
  • An influencer operates under the terms of a written agreement with the brand.
  • For their efforts, they receive money, free or discounted products, and increased social media exposure.

Through her collaboration with Bobbi Brown, Rosie, the lifestyle blogger and social media influencer behind The Londoner, occasionally posts sponsored material. She advertised a lipstick shade and co-hosted a giveaway in the above photo, which she described as an “ad.”

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The Micro-Influencer

  • On a casual basis, promotes a favorite makeup brand on social media.
  • With fewer than 10,000 followers, will reach a smaller audience.
  • Followers are given a referral code that can be used to place an online order.

Through this agreement, you can get discounts, free products, and some social media visibility.
You might have signed up for the brand’s ambassador program online.
@khrisscontours acts as a brand ambassador for Morphe on Instagram, tagging their products and offering a discount code, GLAMFAM449. This code can be used by the company to track Khriss’ financial impact.

The University Student

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  • Spreads the word to fellow students about a beauty brand.
  • On-campus, distributes branded goods, and hosts pop-up booths.
  • Has an employment arrangement with the brand and considers this to be a part-time job.
  • Earns low pay and may be eligible for discounts and free items as a result of their labor.

Through the Sephora College Ambassador network, for example, Sephora collaborates with students like Amaris Gonzalez. Amaris held an event table at Syracuse University to build awareness about the Sephora Collection brand and deliver samples to fellow students.

Oh, the ambassadors, advocates, and influencers! (But what’s the difference, really?)
The answer to the question “what is a brand ambassador?” varies depending on the situation.

You’ll designate a different budget, put in a different amount of effort, and target a different audience depending on the type of ambassador your brand partners with.

Because brand ambassadors are such a large category, it’s important to understand how they relate to other sorts of influencers and advocates. Your relationship and marketing strategy may differ in some circumstances.

Influencer Versus Brand Ambassador

Given that we’ve already discussed how mega- and micro-influencers can act as brand ambassadors, it’s evident that the two phrases are related. However, there are a few key differences between an influencer marketing plan and a brand ambassador program.

Influencers have a large following and are always working to develop and maintain their own personal or professional brand. They may be picky about who they work with and, in terms of content development, they usually take the lead. Promoting a brand after all, cannot detract from their own carefully built image and message.

For example, Courvoisier teamed up with blogger and social media personality Signed Blake to promote a values-based campaign. Blake created the content in order to appeal to her fans and to fit in with her general style. She isn’t selling the stuff directly. Instead, she’s discussing her own values and demonstrating an ideal lifestyle that Courvoisier fits neatly into.

Brands pitch their collaboration ideas to renowned influencers because an endorsement from a well-known influencer can provide a lesser-known company a lot of street cred. However, those influencers are likely to have already partnered with other firms. As a result, collaborating with a powerful figure is both costly and competitive.

Micro-influencers are typically used as brand ambassadors by organizations with a limited influencer marketing budget. With these connections, the audience is smaller, and the stakes are lower. They also provide opportunities for both to benefit from the relationship.

 

Often times micro-influencers, college ambassadors, street team members, and others will approach brands they like and apply for ambassadorship programs. An emerging professional or aspiring authority can use this mark of approval from a well-known company as a feather in their cap.

In most cases, an influencer marketing campaign is a one-of-a-kind initiative. It could be temporary, lasting only for the period of a single product’s marketing campaign, or it could persist for years. However, for long-term partnerships, a pre-built brand ambassador program can serve as a one-size-fits-all option. The latter establishes a structure within which the corporation can collaborate with a variety of ambassadors.

Consider this in terms of the actual power that is being wielded:

  • Companies work with well-known influencers to improve their brand’s visibility.
  • Brand ambassadors (who aren’t A-listers) work with businesses to promote their own personal brands.

Brand Advocate vs. Brand Ambassador

Both brand ambassadorship and brand advocacy are similar in that they both include people who promote a firm in a favorable light. Brand advocates, on the other hand, are frequently passionate, engaged fans rather than paid partners. In the internet age, advocacy marketing might be compared to word-of-mouth marketing.

A B2B company, for example, may use case studies to transform delighted customers into brand champions. A client-turned-advocate, unlike an ambassador, may not spread the word about the company to their own network. Instead, the company will collect good feedback, create content, and distribute it to their own consumers.

In a B2C situation, a brand advocate might mention their favorite firm in a Facebook post about how pleased they are with a new product they purchased. Alternatively, they may inform their Twitter followers about a brand’s planned product launch or promotional event. Although there is no formal connection here, this type of user-generated material can benefit the brand.

Companies can utilize calls-to-action on their social media channels to increase brand advocacy. A brand advocate can be anyone who replies by using a branded hashtag, writing a review, or sharing their own stories.

Employee Advocate vs. Brand Ambassador

It is not necessary for a brand supporter to be an outsider. Employee advocates are brand promoters who work for your company and promote it from within.

Of course, given their closer association with the company, your target audience understands that an employee who advocates for the brand has a different perspective than an outside brand ambassador. It may also be their work responsibility, depending on their position, to show their employer in a flattering light.
Despite this prejudice, taking advantage of employee support and converting employee advocacy into content marketing ROI is still worthwhile.

Ask employees to re-share your company’s LinkedIn posts with their contacts, or have them participate in video material then tag them on social media.

Employees may also share a combination of branded and original content, as in the case of Orangetheory Fitness coaches like Kate Howe. It’s a chance to engage their own customers while also chanting the company’s praises.

Employee advocates can be industry thought leaders or simply highly engaged employees. In either case, businesses may utilize this type of advocacy to magnify essential messages by tapping into the spheres of influence and brand loyalty of their employees.

Employee advocacy campaigns are a good place to start when it comes to brand ambassadorship. Working with internal stakeholders on various sorts of content and learning from their mistakes might help you establish a more formal ambassador program.

Using Brand Ambassadors in Marketing

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A brand ambassador is more than just a fan of your products and services in this sense. Rather, it is their responsibility to assist your company in important ways.

Businesses can profit from a successful brand ambassador program in a variety of ways:

  • Allows brands to reach a broader audience.
  • Presents a genuine and trustworthy message that will be well-received by the audience.
  • Increases brand recognition among new potential customers organically.

  • Encourages happy customers and new followers to feel like they’re part of a community.
  • Innovates new ways to demonstrate the value and characteristics of your products and services.
  • Makes a lot of noise.

To summarize, brand advocacy aids in the expansion of your audience’s reach and the development of trust.

According to industry research, 76% of individuals believe that material shared by other consumers is more honest than content created and posted by brands. And, whether in B2B or B2C content, more than 80% of people look out for recommendations when making a purchase of any kind.

If people are looking for other people’s perspectives, developing a strategic brand ambassador program makes it even easier for them.

What is the Best Way to Start a Brand Ambassador Program?

Are you looking for a way to magnify your brand by partnering with ambassadors?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started:

  • Create a marketing strategy for your brand ambassadors.
  • Defining meaningful and quantifiable goals is crucial to getting outcomes from content creation.

If you want to know what a successful brand ambassador marketing campaign looks like, you must first define success for yourself. You can then create an overarching strategy and choose the actions that will get you to your goal.

Define the ideal brand ambassador for your company.
A micro-influencer, a college student, or a thought leader in your sector could be your ideal brand ambassador. A social media content producer from another country could be an excellent brand ambassador with whom to collaborate. You could want someone local who can attend events and spend time learning (and discussing) what goes on behind the scenes at your company.

 

Look for people who are a good fit for the job.
You may start searching the community for people who share your vision after you know who you’re looking for and what criteria they must match. You might create a shortlist of influencers to contact or issue a call for social media brand ambassadors.

Convince them.
You’ll need to present the benefits and practical considerations of teaming with you in order to attract the suitable brand ambassador.

 

what-is-a-brand-ambassador

For example, if you want to recruit social media brand ambassadors, tell them they can share an exclusive referral code with their followers in exchange for special rewards like free products and a VIP event invite.

Provide as much information regarding the timetable, expectations, and pay as feasible. Also, be open about your company’s values and policies. Potential ambassadors will be able to see if a partnership with you aligns with their own interests and core values in this way.

Establish a mutually beneficial partnership.
It’s now time to put your strategies into action. You may be finalizing collaboration agreements, co-creating content, shipping out merchandise, and other activities depending on the ambassadorship program you’ve built. This is the most exciting moment, but your work isn’t over yet.

Examine the progress and outcomes of your ambassador marketing campaign.
You’ll need to keep an eye on how things are doing as your ambassadors start promoting your business and engaging their own audiences. You’ll already know how to measure your goals since you made them measurable in the first place.

You might be keeping track of how many new customers have utilized their referral code if you’re working with a group of social media ambassadors. Alternatively, if you choose a celebrity to be your brand’s face, you might check to see if you’re getting the quantity of media placements you expected.

In Closing

Given the broad scope of the brand ambassador role, it can be tempting to squeeze as many ideas and ideal partners as possible into your pitch. The limitless choices, on the other hand, can lead to analytical paralysis and keep you in your marketing comfort zone.

Starting with a modest, focused program is a low-risk way to evaluate how brand ambassador collaborations can help you grow your business.

A rising tide, as the phrase goes, lifts all boats. You’ll get to see how fantastic it is to cooperate with like-minded creatives and grow together with brand ambassadors by your side.

Thank you for stopping by today. If you enjoyed this article you may also like: What Is Influencer Marketing & Why Do You Need It?

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