Table of contents
  1. 1. Definition of brand ambassador
  2. 2. Overview and development of brand ambassadors
  3. 3. Advantages and disadvantages
  4. 4. Relevance to influence marketing

Brand Ambassadors (BAs) comprise a key component of influencer marketing. They often provide an in-person perspective on a product or brand, some represent a brand online as well. They serve as a mixture of the celebrity/model used in traditional ads, such as Gigi Hadid for Maybelline, and influencers on social media

 

Definition of brand ambassador

A brand ambassador represents a specific brand or product. The company producing the brand or product hires them, then trains them with specific product knowledge. They often use this advanced knowledge in public events called in-stores used to launch a product or to promote it at key times of the year. For example, before and during US prom season, Cover Girl cosmetics holds a national multi-month event in major cities, a series of in-stores called Beauty Scoop, hosted by its BAs – professional models and makeup artists. It combines their appearances with blog and article features by its brand influencers who visit the in-stores to interview the ambassadors and report on the event in blogs, Instagram and Twitter. The firm ties this to a national ad campaign conducted in media such as Seventeen and Teen magazines. 

 

Overview and development of brand ambassadors

BAs have participated in advertising campaigns longer than the term influencer marketing has existed. Before social media existed, ambassadors represented brands at in-store events. They perform the one-on-one outreach to brand advocates, a brand’s fans that loyally purchase it. They also drive sales of newly launching product and function as a walking, talking representative of it. The Cover Girl ambassadors, for example, only wear Cover Girl cosmetics while working the events and other Procter and Gamble products to cleanse their hair, moisturize their skin and style their hair – all provided by the client. 

With the advent of social media and the growth of influencer marketing online, ambassadors began extending their reach. Some firms now hire online BAs to lead campaigns, as well as influencers who run blogs (a.k.a. bloggers) or social media accounts geared toward the products. While influencers may receive only exclusive content or free products, the brand ambassadors are professional, paid positions hired and booked through modeling and talent agencies, separate from influencers hired through influencer management agencies. 

 

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantage of hiring trained professionals is simply getting the job done right. Adept at quickly learning intricate product knowledge, ambassadors can step into an in-store after cursory product training. Their experience provides a knowledge storehouse to tap into sales and advertisement. Their professional status can function as a downside for some brands since they’re expensive to hire. Most campaigns using BAs run either regionally or nationally. A single event may employee between one and ten BAs per city. They also offer a leadership role and provide an example for both influencers and advocates. Their product use and application, plus their example posts on social media show how to present the product and how to compose social media branding. 

However, every campaign has horror stories of the no-show BA, the BA who showed up with no makeup or hair done, etc. A client who lets their agency do all the vetting and hiring can end up with a few inexperienced BAs that lead to a bad experience for the company. 

 

Relevance to influence marketing

The ambassador provides a key tie-in from the celebrity in the international or national ads to the product users. They function as the local or regional representative, often leading a social media push while also receiving coverage from brand influencers. They often post to Instagram or Twitter from the live events using branded hashtags. The brand’s influencers and advocates re-post and like these posts and tweets to drive online brand engagement and live event attendance. Since the branches of the campaign work together, it proves helpful to find influencer management platforms or agencies accustomed to working with talent agencies.