A brand ambassador and influencer program are ways to partner with celebrities, influencers, or other public figures to promote a product.
They can be similar in some ways but also have key differences.
This article will explore how ambassadors and influencers are different and how they work together to create mutually beneficial partnerships for brands.
Who Is an Influencer?
An influencer is someone who has a large following on social media and can influence followers. They can influence their followers to make purchases, engage with brands, share content or engage with the brand itself.
Influencers can help you reach new audiences: When you’re looking for someone to promote your product or service on social media, it’s important to consider who they have an audience with that might be interested in your brand.
Benefits of The Influencer Program
An influencer program aims to get a specific number of influencers to post about your brand.
Influencer programs are the best option for brands trying other than traditional advertising for the first time.
When multiple influencers start speaking about your product or service, the height of your brand getting noticed for a short span of time is very high.
The exposure would bring considerable views and leads if not for 100% conversions. It’s the best way to create awareness for your product or service, especially in an industry that may not be as well known.
Influencers can reach audiences across geographic locations and demographics, making them perfect for reaching new audiences.
Cons of Influencer Program
You’ll have to pay for your influencers, which is much more expensive than partnering with an ambassador.
If you ask how, here’s how: When collaborating with influencers for your brand, you might go with at least more than one influencer. And the cost of every influencer changes based on their following, engagement rate, and expertise in the category.
Finding and recruiting the right influencers is highly time-consuming and resource-intensive. You can expect to spend significant money, effort, and time on this process.
To make the con a plus point for your brand, approach influencer marketing platforms to reduce your research time and select the right influencers.
Influencers may not have the same expertise as ambassadors regarding your niche or industry.
For example, suppose you’re a financial services company that wants to partner with luxury travel influencers who are experts in high-end resorts. In that case, they may not be able to speak as authoritatively about financial products as they could about luxury travel destinations.
Example of an Influencer Program
The above screenshot shows how many influencers posted content about the brand Vilvah.
Vilvah is no longer a small business but a giant in the beauty industry that attained its peak via influencer marketing and its incredible products.
When brands launch new products or run an offer, influencers get on board with their coupon codes (if applicable) and get the desired reach for the brand.
Who Is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is a person who promotes a company or brand. They can be found at shows and events, in ads and on social media, or even just around town wearing their favorite product.
Brand ambassadors are usually paid for their service. For example, You may have seen an influential person wearing a T-shirt from your favorite band at the grocery store or local bar, but did you know that when they’re wearing it, they’re likely being compensated to do so?
The role of an ambassador is different from that of an influencer because ambassadors represent the entire company (or product) rather than just themselves.
This means that their social media posts are more focused on promoting the company’s message than on promoting themselves as individuals.
Benefits of The Ambassador Program
Ambassador programs are a unique way to engage your customers and get them talking about you. They allow you to create lasting relationships with your most loyal customers and give them an inside look into how you operate, your goals for the future, and why you do what you do.
Ambassadors are also often willing to share their experiences with your brand on social media, which can generate buzz for your company relatively quickly.
In addition to these benefits, ambassadors are more likely than influencers to become long-term customers or business partners.
Cons of Ambassador Program
Lack of control over the ambassador is a significant disadvantage to look out for. Given their popularity and following, brands might find it hard to get complete control of the content or campaigns to proceed with.
In addition to the lack of control over an ambassador program, the major issue brands could face is that brand ambassadors overshadow the brand itself. Though this is not intentional, brands cannot escape this con and do something about it.
Overshadowing again has it on both sides. People can automatically remember your brand when speaking of the brand ambassador. On the other hand, any activity from the brand ambassador might affect your brand’s credibility.
Here’s an example to understand this better:
In the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo moved the coca cola bottle aside and showed interest in drinking water. This small gesture of his affected coca cola’s shares dropped by 5 million dollars.
Though Cristiano Ronaldo was not a brand ambassador of coca cola nor the water bottle he preferred, his small gesture affected the brand’s worth.
This incident is a classic example of how a celebrity or famous person’s even small action would affect the brand’s credibility.
The popularity of the brand ambassadors is a blessing in disguise to look out for.
Example of a Brand Ambassador
However, other brands have multiple brand ambassadors who can best represent their brand. Here’s an example of Adidas:
You could have also spotted these celebrities endorsing Adidas products as their airport look.
Can You Be a Brand Ambassador And an Influencer?
Although they are both effective marketing tactics, there are differences between them.
Remember that a brand ambassador can also be called an influencer, but this isn’t the same for influencers.
For a better understanding, here’s scenario 1 for you:
A brand ambassador will endorse only one shoe brand or a handbag brand. In comparison, lifestyle influencers tend to promote every good or shoe/handbags brands that pique their interest.
Or scenario 2 to understand better:
A brand ambassador cannot endorse competitor brands, while most influencers do.
Hence, you can call a brand ambassador an influencer, but not all influencers are brand ambassadors.
What Are the Similarities Between Brand Ambassadors and Influencers?
Both brand ambassadors and influencers are advocates for a brand, meaning they help promote it to their audience.
As such, both types of program participants should be paid for their efforts.
Both program participants must also be credible and trustworthy to be effective in their advocacy work. For example, if you were looking for an ambassador who could represent your company at events or on social media, you would want someone who’s standing among peers is sound and well-established.
Similarly, if you’re seeking an influencer rather than an ambassador—which could be any individual with a considerable following who has something valuable to say about a topic—you’ll want someone considered an expert by others in their field (e.g., sports nutrition).
You’ll also need to find the right influencer based on your marketing goals before contacting one directly through social media (if possible).
This will ensure that any agreements between the two parties align with what each party wants from this partnership moving forward because there’s nothing worse than having spent money only to realize later that it wasn’t worth it!
Facts That Overlap With Brand Ambassador and Influencer Program
From a marketing perspective, ambassador and influencer programs are similar. Both programs leverage existing relationships between your brand and those who use your products or services.
Both programs can effectively drive sales, but each has unique qualities that make it better suited for specific situations.
The main difference between an ambassador and an influencer program is that ambassadors are generally personally connected to you by name. In contrast, with an influencer program, you’re getting access to someone who influences many people (and may not even know what they’re influencing).
The differences between these programs are primarily in the details. They both have the same goal of reaching your target audience in a new way and rely heavily on relationship building.
In most cases, an ambassador will focus more on product quality, while an influencer is concerned with how that product impacts their lives or community.