In 2020, almost 50 million people identified as being a “creator”, according to eMarketer. As the creator economy grows and brings new meaning to the influencer marketing industry, it’s predicted that 1 billion individuals will self-identify as creators over the next five years. This poses a big question for brands. How can they determine who to seek out and collaborate with inside this new saturated market?
Both brand ambassadors and influencers serve as an effective way to gain new customers, and the recommendations received from their content are more trusted than that of traditional marketing. However, even though brand ambassadors and influencers serve the basic same purpose in marketing a brand’s product or service, key factors separate the two.
What’s a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is someone who genuinely loves your brand, products, or services. These individuals energetically utilize your products or services and are passionate about your brand.
Additionally, ambassadors are experts at promoting your products to others through word-of-mouth marketing. Brand ambassadors do not always have a significant following on social media or are celebrities. Still, they typically are authorities in their field, therefore being an authority on your’s brands product or service.
For example, a fitness instructor or trainer would make a reputable brand ambassador for a company like Fabletics or Lululemon, or an explorer would make a credible brand ambassador for Hydroflask or NutraGrain. Certain brand ambassadors might receive compensation through money or product as an incentive for their content (social media posts, blogs, etc.), but it’s not required. Brand ambassadors will use their respected status and unique perspective to discuss your product or service, so it’s simple for them to genuinely connect with their following.
What is an Influencer?
Influencers are typically individuals with a considerable reputation and usually have a significant following on social media who promote your brand. Unlike ambassadors, instead of just word of mouth marketing, they influencer by example and often demonstrate with their followers how they use your product or service with their voice on their channels.
A key difference between brand ambassadors and influencers is that brand ambassadors might be spokespeople of your brand for many months, years, etc. An influencer will likely only promote your product or service once, maybe twice. It’s also important to note that the influencer may not have used your product before. Ultimately, it’s up to the brand to choose influencers based on analytics like following target audience and engagement.
Another difference is that influencers will expect compensation to promote your brands’ products or services, whether money or free products/services. Usually, an influencer will only promote a product if they genuinely like it and feel it fits in with their personal brand.
At the end of the day, brands may decide to recruit influencers and ambassadors for different reasons. Realizing that influencers are chosen for their reach, brand ambassadors are chosen because they are reputable in their field and already enjoy your services.
Both brand ambassadors and influencers are capable of obtaining the same primary goals for your brand, word-of-mouth promotion from trusted sources with their own words and in their own genuine opinion. Both can play an essential part in marketing your brand, so it’s important to determine what you’d like to achieve and how to best attract new customers to your company.
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