Ambassadors vs Influencers
Influencer marketing is a brilliant way to engage with your target audiences in an authentic and engaging fashion. Content creation by different athletes online can result in a plethora of stories and images that show your brand at its best. In the sports sector influencer marketing is still in its infancy and we are learning a lot along the way. A question we are often asked is, if an influencer promotes my brand are they then a brand ambassador?
We believe that there is a clear distinction between an ambassador and an influencer. They both provide value for a brand through collaboration, but have a different relationship with the brand. We recently sat down to discuss all things ambassador programs which you can view here. Alternatively, read on for more information.
An influencer will have built up a loyal following from the authentic relevant content they create (as would an ambassador). Influencers may have relationships with multiple brands, sometimes competitors and often short term. They are open to trying and posting about products they may not have used before but may not want to work with the brand again. Influencers often have a good reach with engaged followers.
- The brand is always reaching new audiences by working with different influencers.
- They produce more varied content.
- They have no loyalty to your brand.
- They may not show your brand in a good light or align with your brand ethos.
An ambassador has a long-term relationship with the brand. They will exclusively promote that brand over any of its competitors (though may be an ambassador for another brand that is not a competitor). An ambassador is much more likely to promote the brand offline as well e.g. by attending an event. Selecting the right ambassadors is crucial as they become the face of the brand. They should clearly align with your brand ethos and identify with its aims and story. Ambassadors are a great asset to brands because they are trusted by their audiences who have previously followed their journey using other brands.
- They are brand loyalty.
- They are authentic – having spent longer time using the products they know them better and will be able to talk in more detail about their advantages.
- They share the brand ethos.
- By working with the same content creators repetitively you are reaching the same audiences through their channels rather than new ones.
- It can be costly to maintain relationships as you need to provide a lot of product to ensure they don’t use competitors.
When considering influencer campaigns and ambassador programs, brands need to look at what they are trying to achieve and why each could achieve their goals. As mentioned, one of the major benefits with working with influencers in shorter relationships is you regularly work with different people meaning you can reach new audiences. If your goals are to reach a varied audience this would be the perfect approach for your brand.
Ambassador programs will allow your brand to build a relationship with the audience you are accessing via your ambassador. While their audience is likely to organically grow throughout your relationship, this approach is tailored towards those who want to have always-on contact with their audience and the ability to create constant User Generated Content (UGC).
Ambassadors become an expert in your brand. They do not work for your competitors and you have the opportunity to build a relationship. They answer product related questions from their audience. They can advise where to try out the products and they learn your brands tone of voice. Ambassadors are always-on advocates for your brand.
We have found the combined approach taken by brand 361° of working with both influencers and ambassadors creates the best impact. Over the last year, they have used influencer seeding campaigns to find and select those most dedicated to the brand to become ambassadors. This has resulted in consistently high reach and engagement. Through working with over 100 micro influencers and then selecting 35 ambassadors they have the best of both worlds. A loyal and dedicated core group of ambassadors, resulting in many other influencers hearing about the brand and spreading their positive stories about the product. On average their ambassadors produce over 300 pieces of content a month reaching 2 million people. On top of this, every 3 months 20-30 new influencers are introduced to the brand and share it with their followers. This European wide approach to influencer marketing has helped the brand reach new audiences and engaged thousands in their brand ethos of going #beyondexpectations.
For more information on how Freestak can help with your influencer marketing or ambassador plan email firstname.lastname@example.org.