An Influencer Marketing Campaign and a Brand Ambassador Program are two very different strategies. Yet they are often confused. We compare them in this article.
Influencer or Ambassador: what’s the difference?
The main difference lies in the recruitment. An influencer will be approached by the brand to promote its product or service for a campaign with a limited duration. It’s likely that the influencer had no contact or even affinity with the brand before the partnership. But their presence on social networks or their blog traffic make them an investment of choice.
By contrast, a Brand Ambassador is already familiar with the brand, a loyal user or even a fan. Sometimes they will spontaneously talk about a brand they’re already fond of.
The second big difference is the duration of the partnership. With an influencer, two weeks minimum, one quarter maximum. With an Ambassador, the partnership is supposed to last several months, even several years if the collaboration works really well.
Which strategy is preferable?
As much as Influencer Marketing can be adopted by almost all brands, an Ambassador program is not always possible. Indeed, your brand needs to be able to arouse admiration, passion or keen interest, so that “fans” are eager to represent it in the long run.
Another difference: does your brand need a long-term partnership with one or more Ambassadors? For example, an e-commerce site operates non-stop and requires continuous communication. On the other hand, a video game publisher doesn’t launch a new flagship product every other day, so the occasional use of an influencer can make more sense. In this case, regarding social networks, you can approach influencers directly or go through a specialized agency that will propose profiles from its pool. For specialized blogs, read our article on ways to collaborate with influential bloggers, or go directly to our networking platform, getfluence.com.
The benefits of the program
An obvious advantage is the visibility offered by the Ambassador, and their personalized way of communicating about your brand. But it doesn’t stop there!
With Brand Ambassadors, you have a representative of your consumers. So take advantage of their interest, experience and goodwill, to get their opinion or recommendations on your next communication campaigns or even on your next launches. They know your brand and their audience by heart and will provide valuable feedback.
The more mature your program is, the more you will want to transfer decision making to your Ambassadors. They can demonstrate the creativity and originality required to come up with innovative campaigns, “work” that you would otherwise have to pay an advertising agency for.
If you’re new to the field, it’s advisable to hone your skills by collaborating with influencers first; then you can move up a step and implement a Brand Ambassador Program. That way, you’ll have the experience to maximize the success of such a program.