Even before the words digital marketing and advertising came up, word-of-mouth marketing already influenced consumers’ purchasing behavior hundreds of years ago. Over the years, the concept of word-of-mouth marketing keeps on evolving. It’s not only your friends and neighbors that spread the news about a good brand. These days, businesses now have the so-called brand ambassadors and brand influencers.
But, what’s the difference between the two? And which is the right one for your business? Understanding the differences between ambassadors and influencers will help you determine if the former is superior to the latter or vice versa.
Read through this article as it helps you unveil the difference between the two and determine what’s suitable for your brand.
Who Are Brand Ambassadors?
Brand ambassadors can be anyone you think has a deep understanding of your brand. They can be bloggers, celebrities, and other influencers who sign exclusive partnerships with businesses to speak and act for their brand. This partnership usually is effective on a long-term basis.
A business’s employees can be brand ambassadors, which is often forgotten or neglected by business owners. Your employees are brand ambassadors as well. The moment they wear clothing or accessories with your brand’s identity, they’re already representing your brand to people. Employees are your business’s front liners. Also, they know your brand more than anyone else, and they speak for it whenever they interact with customers.
Managing and tracking a brand ambassador campaign’s progress has now been made easy with the technology and companies that offer the service. If you want to know more about how it’s done, click here for more info.
If you’re thinking of partnering with a brand ambassador, these are some aspects you might consider.
- The Cost
Businesses do the pricing differently. Some pay their ambassadors daily; others give their rate for the whole program regardless of the longevity.
Some businesses don’t pay their ambassadors on a monetary basis. Instead, they compensate them with travel incentives, a monthly supply of the business’s products, or other options. The compensation merely depends on each party’s agreement.
- What Do Brand Ambassadors Do?
Since brand ambassadors’ relationship with the brand is typically long-term, it gives them an extensive understanding of the brand. This comprehensive understanding and loyalty to the brand makes them speak and act for it anywhere they are. People tend to resonate with this loyalty towards the brand.
If they’re attending an occasion that’s no longer related to the brand, people will still see them representing it. Your business’s partnership with them might end, but the influence they have created with your brand can last even beyond the agreement.
- The Disadvantages
Although brand ambassadors signed an agreement with your brand, you can never control what your brand ambassadors do. They might follow the guidelines indicated on the contract, but they still might do things outside the agreement that can still affect your brand’s image. A well-known brand ambassador may become inextricably linked to your business, tying yours and their fortunes together. But these disadvantages shouldn’t hinder you from hiring a brand ambassador. You need to give your trust to the most qualified ones carefully.
Who Are Influencers?
Unlike ambassadors who represent a brand in a long-term agreement, influencers can be your brand’s promoters in a single post or can work for your business in a short period.
Anyone can be an influencer for a brand, be it a celebrity, or just an ordinary blogger, as long as they have a reasonable number of followers. As a business owner, you can either choose between those who have a wide range of followers or those who aren’t that popular, but the niche is somewhat related to your brand. Other brands, however, prefer to partner with influencers that have a large number of followers regardless of their niche.
If you’re thinking of partnering with a brand influencer, these are some aspects you might consider.
- The Cost
Some influencers charge depending on the number of their followers. Those that have a high number of followers, of course, will charge more. However, just like brand ambassadors, the compensation depends on whatever agreement you would have with them.
Some businesses pay an influencer in a commission base payment, which is beneficial for brands. Commission-based means an influencer won’t be paid until someone purchases under their name. Some brands compensate influencers with their product. For example, they’ll send an item that’s useful to the influencer. In return, the influencer will have to create a post or a review about the said item.
- What Can Influencers Do
Though influencers won’t most of the time turn audience into your brand’s loyal customers, partnering with them will allow you to reach as many audiences as you can. If you choose an influencer whose niche is related to your brand, it can increase your conversion rate.
For example, if you’re selling cakes, you can partner with an influencer whose niche is baking. You can also ask them to either do a review about your brand. People are becoming smart and most of the time don’t buy loud advisement. Having an influencer review your brand makes their followers think that their thoughts are genuine.
- The Cons
Disadvantages of having an influencer represent your brand all boils down to working with the wrong one. Some brands prefer an influencer with many followers without considering if their niche compliments the brand. Mistakes like this most of the time cause damage to businesses. If you value quantity more than quality, it’s best to take extra measures to choose the right influencer for your business. Having an influencer promote your brand means taking a risk whether they’ll be able to create quality content that will resonate with your target audience or not.
Should You Hire a Brand Ambassador or an Influencer?
Both brand ambassadors and influencers share the same objectives. What will fit your brand merely depends on your business’s needs. If you’re a brand that needs to increase its loyal customers and don’t have a problem partnering with someone in a long-term agreement, then consider getting a brand ambassador. If you prefer a short-term partnership and only need more exposure for your brand, an influencer might be a good option.