The world of influencer marketing is unknown to a lot of people, and confusing to many more. We hear and see influencers all over social media. Within this realm of social media, there are brand ambassadors, like Beyoncé who is a brand ambassador for Pepsi and influencers, like Charli D’ Amelio, who rose to fame first for her dancing TikToks. While each of these categories have similarities, they also have unique differences. Both are fantastic marketing strategies and examples of business tools to utilize when growing your business.
What is an Influencer?
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencers are people who make regular posts about topics they’re knowledgeable about on their social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views. As the name suggests, they influence people by making social media posts that reach a large audience which in turn, exposes brands to potential buyers and makes them part of current trends.
Often, influencing involves posting about a product or brand for a short period of time. It can be a sponsorship, paid partnership, or in other cases a product is sent for free with the agreement that it will be posted should the influencer choose to do so. It involves the product being used by the influencer, creating desire in their followers to purchase one of their own. The consumer’s logic is, if this TikTok-er with 145 million followers uses it, then it must be good. If this Instagram-er whose entire page is focused on fashion is wearing that, then it must be on trend. The social norm of wanting to fit in, or wanting to stand out and be different works the same way, because you’re following people who fit into your niche already. Once they post about something you don’t need to be convinced to purchase it because it has now become about who is posting the product.
What is a Brand Ambassador?
Brand Ambassadors in terms of social media are easily identifiable in working with a specific brand. Their posts for the brand are more of a long-term commitment and more frequent than influencer posting. For example, a clothing company can select three people to be brand ambassadors for them, for a six-month time frame. Over that time, they may be sent an article of clothing per month, with the requirement of three Instagram stories and one post each time. The purpose of brand ambassadors is for brands to utilize them as a spokesmodel or a face to the brand with more of a celebrity status. There is an elevated relationship that is not as transactional as influencer marketing.
Is one better than the other?
Between the two, influencing is more common than brand ambassadors. It has less of a commitment, and normally gives more creative freedom to the person posting the content. It also seems to be preferred because of the higher likelihood of making money due to the lack of non-compete agreements. For businesses and individuals, it’s a decision based on what personally works best. What is going to help you reach your goal? The choice between different influencers is already very broad in terms of celebrity, macro, micro and nano influencers, as discussed in our blog, A Day in the Life of an Influencer. As you include the possibility of brand ambassadors, there are even more things to consider. Some people choose to do both, and others not.
To answer the question about which is better, the answer is one is not necessarily better than the other. It is up to your perspective on influencing and your brand’s growth goals. So, whether you’re ready to take the leap into the world of social media influencing or not, it is exploding and is a phenomenal way to make your brand part of the conversation.
About Megan Valco
Megan Valco is an Account Assistant at Haute In Texas. Currently attending UTSA, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Digital Communications. Her hobbies include enjoying day trips to Fredericksburg and the beach, painting and finding new thrift stores to shop. After graduating, her aspirations have no limit as she plans to continue working in the PR and Marketing world, as well as, traveling and living across the U.S. and abroad.