In our earlier blog Benefits of a Brand Ambassador Program we dove into the brand ambassador world and provided some key metrics and information to consider before finding the right partner. Now, we are going to take it a step further and evaluate the different types of brand ambassadors and which may be the best fit for your business.
Individuals who typically work in the sports, entertainment, health and fashion spaces, that have achieved significant popularity and fame throughout their careers
Viewed almost as authoritarian figures, these ambassadors leverage their extremely loyal fan base and large follower count to secure brand partnerships. When evaluating potential celebrity partners it is important to ensure that they are authentic and passionate about your brand/product and their audience is aligned with your target demo.
- These partnerships usually include an official agreement where the celebrity agrees to meet certain standards (# of posts about your brand) in return for compensation (money, product, sales %, etc.)
Individuals who work directly for the company/brand and have a strong understanding of its products, brand goals and target audiences.
This is one of the trickier ambassador decisions to make as you will be faced with different pros/cons. While employees typically have a low comparative follower count, these followers are more reliable and trustworthy, usually being family members, friends, and close colleagues. This can lead to a much higher conversion rate as 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know more than any other form of advertising (Nielsen). Also, employees have a stronger sense of the exact type of audience their company is trying to acquire and understand the reasoning for the brand’s internal goals. At the same time, the employee’s familiarity with the business may make their content seem too repetitive and sales focused. Having an employee promote its own employer’s brand came come off as inauthentic.
Individuals who have purchased your brand’s products, have similar interests/needs and likely occupy the brand’s target demo.
Obviously you would want to select a customer that is passionate about your products and has already shared that affinity with their similar demographic of followers (friends, family, colleagues). A strong customer ambassador program is essential and “Word of Mouth” marketing provides the greatest opportunity for sales conversion and increasing brand awareness. Nielsen reports that people are 4 times more likely to buy from a friend referral and 92% of consumers trust these type of referrals.
- These partnerships tend to be more affordable than Celebrity and Influencer Ambassador deals.
Individuals with a large follower count that typically focus on a specific niche.
The Influencer’s niche can be related to their professional expertise or a specific industry/product they are passionate about. Focusing on a specific niche has allowed these individuals to be viewed as experts in the field and therefore have a loyal and trustworthy fan/follower base. There are also experiential/event influencers that specialize in representing brands at an event, creating personal fan experiences and activation opportunities.
- It is important to note that an Influencer is only an “ambassador” if they already have a familiarity and passion for your brand/products. Otherwise, you are simply using an Influencer partnership for their ability to reach a certain audience, even if they haven’t tried your product yet.
- Much like the Celebrity ambassador, these type of partnerships typically involve an official agreement and brand compensating the influencer.
- Niche Examples -> Cooking, Travel, Fashion, Style, Photography, Sport, Lifestyle, Design, etc.
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